Search marketers analyzing a variety of consumer behaviors to determine whether the person will make a purchase today or in three months may also want to consider the time and the sequence of events that occur on social platforms just prior to the purchase, as well as historic data that gives them insight into occurrences that followed the purchase.
Curalate, a social commerce company, plans to release data next week that details the impact of social media, micro-influencers and other factors on consumer buying behavior.
The company surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers in March 2019, about how they discover new products, what prompts them to make a purchase and their timeline for buying.
Apu Gupta, CEO and co-founder of Curalate, said "ecommerce [sites] focus on people who know what they're looking for rather than those looking for inspiration."
More than 80% of consumers have discovered a product they had an interest in buying on a social platform, up from 58% in 2017.
Product discovery on Pinterest experienced an increase, with 28% of consumers discovering products on the platform -- up from 22% the year earlier.
Facebook also saw growth, with 70% -- up from 52%. Instagram jumped to 48%, up from 18%.
Curalate's survey found that social images also lead to product discovery on a brand's own website. Some 50% of consumers said seeing photos from an Instagram feed on a brand's website helps them discover a new product during that session, and 52% said they spend more time on the brand's site when they encounter social images.
Some 47% of consumers who purchase a product they discover on social buy it online at a later date, with 19% saying they buy it immediately from the social tag, and 13% saying they buy it in a physical store.
The best time to target that ad on social will differ depending on the product.
Research released this week from Sprout Social, which pulled the data using its platform, suggests the best time to target the ads.
Wednesday is the best day to post on most social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
More specifically, the best time to target on Facebook is between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., according to the Sprout Social report. Sunday has the least amount of engagement between Facebook members and brands, especially in the early morning before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
The best times to post on Instagram are Wednesday at 11 a.m. and Friday between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.