Social Media Ad Spend Shown To Influence Product and Service Research

According to a new Mintel report, total advertising spend on social media in the US will surpass $11 billion by 2017. And, nearly 40% of US social networkers said social media has some influence on them when conducting research for products and services. Men and women aged 18-34 are the most likely to use social media to guide purchase decisions, with 21% of 18-34-year-old men reporting they purchased a product by clicking on a social ad. social

Social media shows a clear push for native advertising, says the report, defined as a form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it is placed. Native advertising is expected to outpace this overall ad growth, increasing from $1.8 billion in 2013 to $9.4 billion in 2018. 

Mintel technology analyst, Bryant Harland, says “… getting the most out of social media marketing requires… (helping) networkers… find information that is truly relevant to their needs… ”

To that end:

  • 79% of those surveyed have viewed or shared content from a company or visited a company’s social media page
  • Nearly 25% of networkers said they looked for more information on a search engine after seeing a video, image, or other social media post that a company put on social media
  • 28% said they visited the company’s website after seeing content from the brand
  • 50% of networkers said that social media has no influence on their purchasing decisions… (suggesting that 50% do consider social network content to some degree, opines the report)
  • 9% of networkers said they made a purchase by clicking on a social media ad; 11% said they purchased a product they saw advertised without clicking an ad (suggesting there is more to social advertising than direct conversions, says the report)

“… considering that any high frequency of social media usage… including more frequent interaction with friends… correlates with a higher likelihood of using social media for research… value of the channel vastly improves when looking at the most active networkers… “ says Bryant.

According to the study, Facebook is the clear winner when considering weekly usage, with 86% of networkers reporting they visit the site once a week or more, followed by:

  • YouTube    (60%)
  • Google+    (43%)
  • Twitter    (37%)
  • LinkedIn    (30%)
  • Pinterest    (30%)
  • Instagram    (28%)

Along with the younger demographic, parents show an increased responsiveness to advertising (19%) and a higher tendency to buy products and services that their social media friends use (15%), compared to those without children in the household.

For more information from Mintel, and to purchase the complete report, please visit here.


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