Teens and adults who are social media users in 2011 reported high levels of influence as follows:
- 23.1 million discover new brands or products through social media (up 22% from 2010)
- 22.5 million use SoMe to learn about unfamiliar brands or products (up 9%)
- 17.8 million are strongly influenced in their purchase decisions by opinions in social media (up 19%)
- 15.1 million refer to social media before making purchase decisions (up 29%)
Consumers are also integrating social media usage with their mobile phone activity. In 20101, 40% of teens and adults who have ever used social media are accessing it through their mobile device – up from 28% versus 6 months ago. This means that roughly 80 million people check social media from a mobile device.
As a result, social media is now a ‘wherever I am’ option, integrated into the mobile-plus social media users’ shopping experience and habits; 27% compare or check prices via SoMe, 24% refer to reviews for brands/places/services, and 16% (23% of Boomers) use social media to find coupons or other discounts for local businesses.
“Tying consumer interactions back to brands and purchase decisions is essential for marketers, in social media no less than any other platform,” said Patricia Graham, Chief Strategy Officer of Knowledge Networks. “While we have seen a dramatic rise in key metrics that quantify SoMe’s influence, we also have observed a wide variation of influence at the category level. The Faces of Social Media gives brands the ability to not only understand, but also act on that influence.”
“The on-the-go consumer is becoming more mobile in their social media usage,” said Chuck Martin, Director of the Center for Media Research at MediaPost Communications. “This move to mobility combined with the increasing influence of social media during the purchase process has great implications for marketers, who will have to look at location as well as which product purchases are most affected.”