NEWS25 June 2014

Growth in social media use has little impact on purchase decisions

News North America

US — Social media has little influence on purchase decisions despite recent growth, according to recent research.

According to a Gallup poll of 18,000 US consumers, 62% of adults said that social media had ‘no influence at all’ on purchase decisions. 30% admitted it had ‘some influence’, and only 5% said it had a ‘significant influence’.

Millennials were apparently more inclined to be swayed, but still 48% said that these sites were not a factor in their decision making process. The majority of respondents ( 94%) claimed that sites such as Facebook and Twitter were primarily used for connecting with friends and family; only 29% wanted trends and product review information and 20% wanted to comment on events or write product reviews.

This result is accompanied by news that social media use has grown in the last year. According to a survey of 10,000 US consumers by Temkin Group, Facebook use in the US grew from 42.5% of the US population in 2013 to 46.5% in 2014; the largest increase was with consumers aged between 55 and 64. During that time, daily usage of Facebook on mobile phones grew from 24.7% to 29.3%. The largest growth – of 10% – was among consumers aged 18 to 34.

“Many companies have social media strategies in place that may be largely misdirected,” the Gallup report stated. “Social media initiatives may actually be the least effective method for influencing consumers’ buying decisions.”