Study Reports That Only 4% Of Users Turn To Social Media For Guidance Before They Buy

Posted on May 28, 2009

Do Friends Tell Friends What To Buy?

Do Friends Tell Friends What To Buy?

The study, How People Use Social Media, was produced as part of The Home Technology Monitor, a subscription service of Knowledge Networks.

Highlights include:

  • 83% of the Internet population (ages 13 to 54) participates in social media.
  • 47% of those on a weekly basis.
  • 16% of social media users say they are more likely to buy from companies that advertise on social sites.
  • 16% say they are more likely to buy from brands advertising on social media.

Survey respondents said what the “Most Liked” about participating in social media was staying connected with family and friends, and meeting new people.

I have to agree. For me the ability to connect with other social media and corporate communications professionals is a major factor in my interest in social networks.

The study also shows that:

  • 34% of social media users report using social media sites or features more often now compared to a year ago.
  • 18% said they use social media less.
  • 1% of the total online population – and the same proportion of social media participants – uses Twitter once a week or more.
  • 60% of social media participants say they only access social media sites and features at home.*

Proportion of Social Media Users Who Turn to Social Media When Making Purchase Decisions?

(By Listed Product, Service Category, and Frequency)
Regularly” turn to social media Sometimes” turn to social media
Travel or travel services 4% 24%
Banks or financial services 4% 10%
Clothes or shoes 3% 23%
Eating out or restaurants 3% 21%
Cell/mobile phones and service 2% 21%
Personal care products 3% 15%
Cars or trucks 2% 15%
Groceries or food 2% 13%
Prescription or OTC drugs 1% 10%

The survey question: “How often do you refer to social media websites or features as a resource for information, reviews, or recommendations when in the market for [category]?” Base: Social media users (N = 418)

David Tice, of Knowledge Networks, said that their findings show that marketers need to be prudent and people-centric in how they approach social media.

More to the point he added, “Social media users do not have a strong association between these sites and purchase decisions; they see them as being more about personal connection – so finding ways to embrace that powerful function is key. The fact that they are using social media more now than a year ago is a strong indicator that the influence of these sites and features is here to stay.”

To read the original news release Click Here. To learn more about Knowledge Networks or subscribe to their service and gain full access to the report Click Here

The study is interesting, but what does it tell us? Please share your comments below.

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* Click here to view which social media sites were included in the study.