Social Media Shopping Survey: Holiday Shoppers Likely to Consider Ads

Social media is becoming a hugely powerful tool for businesses. Not only can you use the platform to communicate with customers and promote sales, but you can also now actually buy and sell products directly on social media. In fact, a recent report from Business Insider suggests that social media is driving huge increases in retail traffic. So how big of an impact is social media having on holiday shoppers? We asked 1,000 respondents about their shopping habits and their thoughts on the impact of social media.

social media shopping

Social Media Users

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 45% of respondents said that they use multiple social media sites or apps. And 32% said they use just one. Facebook was the most popular, with 93% of social media users saying they have an account. 47% said that they use Twitter. 33% use Instagram. 25% use Google+. 19% use LinkedIn. 15% use Snapchat. And 8% use others like Tumblr or Pinterest.

Holiday Shoppers

In general, 70% of social media users said they’re at least somewhat likely to do some holiday shopping this year. 28% of those shoppers expect that social media posts will have at least some kind of impact on their buying decisions. And 29% think that social media ads will have some impact on their holiday shopping decisions.

Social Media Shopping

Looking back, 9% of respondents said that they’ve already made many purchases based on things they’ve seen in social media posts. And 26% have done so at least once or twice. And 6% said they’ve made multiple purchases based on social media ads, while 22% have done so once or twice. Those who have made purchases because of social media were likely to buy from many of the same brands regardless of whether they bought based on posts or ads. The most popular brands mentioned include Amazon, Samsung, Walmart, Nike, Apple and Sony.

More specifically, just 5% of respondents said that they’ve made purchases directly on social media sites many times. And 11% have done so at least once or twice. Those consumers were also more likely to say that their other purchases have been influenced by social media posts and ads.

Key Takeaways

The brands that tend to do well with consumers on social media have made an impact both with their ads and their posts. But shoppers seem a bit more likely to make purchases based on posts. So what this suggests for brands is that it could be a good strategy to use social media ads as a way of increasing awareness and followers, rather than trying to push immediate purchases. Then, once you have more consumers following your social media streams, you can create more posts designed to sell. However, when asked specifically about holiday shopping, consumers seem to be more likely to have their purchases impacted by both posts and ads. So just for the holiday season, it seems that social media ads designed to sell specific products could be more effective than they are throughout the rest of the year.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Christmas Shopping by Herry Lawford under CC BY 2.0

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on November 17-22 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.