Social Media Brainstorming

Chapter 3: How Social Media Affects Consumer Spending Habits

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      Just what do these numbers mean for business? In order to understand, let’s take a look at how social media impacts spending habits. Let’s start with the most basic item, something we all need: food.

      The truth is that since social media hit the scene, every aspect of our lives has been impacted, and since food is something we all need, obviously the impact will be more universal. Here are just a few statistics:

      – At least two out of our three standard meals are now eaten while we are online.
      – Most Millennials didn’t learn to cook from their mother, but through YouTube.
      – 20 percent of those seeking advice on what to cook turn to Pinterest.
      – 25 percent of those seeking advice on what to cook turn to other cooking & recipe websites.
      – Most decisions about what to have for dinner are made just two hours before mealtime, and often through a text or telephone call.
      – Often, first-time online food shoppers do it to take advantage of a Groupon deal.

      If our relationship with food has been impacted on every level, from how we select and prepare it, to how we consume it, just imagine how our shopping experiences on the whole have changed. The evolution of our overall consumer spending habits is, in a word, stunning.

      When we look at consumer spending online as a whole, the numbers are impressive. According to industry leader, comScore, Inc.,in the first quarter of 2013 alone, consumers in the United States spent over $50 billion online, and that doesn’t even include autos, auctions or large corporate purchases. The $50B+ figure marks a 13 percent year-over-year increase, and it is the tenth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth.

      Just where are consumers getting their information to make these online purchasing decisions? Through their friends and connections on social media sites, which are influenced by savvy social media marketing campaigns. More than 81 percent of consumers say that the posts from their social media connections influence their purchasing decisions, and 30 percent will respond better to an online brand offer when that offer is reposted by a friend. Here are a few more statistics related to how social media marketing affects consumer’s spending habits:

      – 44 percent of social media users are more likely to pay attention to branded content that includes pictures.
      – 40 percent are likely to pay more attention to branded content that has status updates.
      – 37 percent are likely to focus on branded content that has videos associated with it.

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