While social networks are still used mostly for socializing and product discovery, they are playing a bigger role in driving consumers’ brand awareness and buying decisions.
In fact, 41% of consumers now say they have purchased a product as a result of an ad -- or sponsored (affiliate) post -- on social media, according to a new national survey Adlucent.
“The way consumers engage with brands is changing, and social media is one of the main drivers behind it,” Michael Griffin, founder and CEO of the digital ad agency, notes in a new report.
In addition, 45% of consumers now say that product recommendations from influencers they follow on social media have at least some impact on their purchase decisions.
Clearly winning the brand game, 76% of consumer respondents note that they have learned about a new brand or product on Facebook -- more than any other social media site.
What’s more, nearly 10% of consumers say they have purchased products as a result of seeing an ad on Facebook.
People are not following brands, however. In fact, a full 75% of consumers say they don’t follow a single brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat or Periscope.
As for what resonates with consumers on social channels, the more personalized the better. Indeed, across seven major social media sites, an average 46% of respondents say they would prefer tailored social media ads.
Specifically, 68% expressed a desire for tailored Facebook ads, 63% want tailored ads on YouTube, and 67% want tailored Twitter ads. Consumers say personalized ads are less disruptive. They give them more control over the overall experience.
The research does not address whether they are comfortable with networks collecting more personal data -- in order to serve more personalized ads.