How Social Media Behavior Impacts Purchasing Behavior

Early last month, The Manifest released a new report investigating the connections between social media interactions users make online and their purchasing habits. The report found interesting results that can shape the way businesses utilize social media to sell their products in a way that isn’t overbearing or obvious.

In our post, we’ll cover the key takeaways from The Manifest’s report.


Use Social Media to Connect With Consumers and Other Businesses

The report stated that the traditional communication barriers between people and brands no longer exist because of the internet, and social media offers a convenient avenue to get in touch with businesses.

As a result of this lack of barriers, 74% of people follow brands on social media and 96% of those people interact with the brands they follow.


74% of people follow brands on social media, and 96% of these people also interact with the brands they follow.

For brands, this means that your fans are commenting on your posts or sending DMs usually asking questions, offering feedback, or raising concerns. Fans want to keep up with the latest updates and news for the brands they follow and enjoy.


Interact With People on Social Media to Establish Rapport

The interactions that fans have on social media with brands adds a depth to their relationship. This creates rapport and an authentic sense of trust.

As a result of this trust, after seeing an advertisement on social media, 67% of people have made a purchase.

67% of people have made a purchase after seeing an advertisement on social media.


Know That Men and Women May Be Drawn to Different Platforms, but Don’t Base Your Whole Strategy on Generalization

Gender is definitely a factor in what platforms certain consumers frequent.

For example, studies have proven that women consumers’ buying habits are more influenced by Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, while men tend to be influenced more by Youtube and Twitter. While this is a significant note to consider, it is important to remember that the bottom line always depends on the consumer’s personal social network preferences, the products they are interested in buying at that time, and the person themselves.

Different Social Media Platforms Influence Men and Women's Buying Decisions

Know What Ages Your Social Media Advertisements Will Influence the Most

Just like men and women have different advertising needs, different age groups do as well.

Millennials (ages 18-34) spend the most time on social media daily and access the most platforms weekly compared to Generation X (ages 35-54) and baby boomers (ages 55 and up). As a result, it makes sense that social media holds higher weight in Millennials’ buying habits.


Choose Your Social Media Platforms Carefully

Businesses need to target their advertisements not only to their intended audience, but also to the specific platform that audience is most likely to use.

The Manifest states this notable finding in their report:

Consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand they follow on Facebook (52%) than all other popular social media platforms combined.

However, while intriguing, does not mean we should shy away from advertising on other platforms. Many social scientists argue that Facebook holds this title only because of the size of its user base, not necessarily its capability to influence consumer purchasing.


People are more likely to buy from a brand they follow on Facebook than 7 other popular social media platforms combined.


Embrace Social Media as a Tool for Two-Way Communication

People interact on social media with a variety of different intentions. But they always expect brands to interact back.

Most consumers (51%) choose to interact the most with brands via liking their posts. However, replying to those fans that comment is a fool-proof way to build that trust and relationship with consumers.


How people interact with brands on social media


People Want to Buy from Brands that they Follow on Social Media

The people that follow your brand follow you for a reason. They’re interested in your content, your message, and/or your product.

The only way to truly capitalize on this knowledge is to ensure that you are defining and catering to your target audience. This will yield the best social relationships and the most revenue for your pocket.


*Note: this study was conducted with 537 social media users in the U.S., of which 64% were female and 36% were male. About 42% of respondents are millennials (ages 18-34); 36% are Generation Xers (ages 35-54); and 22% are baby boomers and older (ages 55+).

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