Content Marketing Blog

Social media to influence 83% of Christmas shopping lists [STUDY]

With 45 shopping days until Christmas you would have to be pretty well-organised to have done all your Christmas shopping already.

But whether you’re the kind of person who has everything wrapped and tagged before the start of December or you’re one of those desperate souls charging round the shops on Christmas Eve, chances are social media will have a big influence over what you end up buying.

A new study commissioned by consumer advocacy company, Social Media Link, revealed social media was set to have more of say on Christmas shopping lists this year than ever before.

More than 80 per cent of the 21,000 people surveyed said they would be using social media to discover new products, while 67 per cent said they actively sought out online reviews from family members and friends before deciding what to buy.

“Holiday shopping is trend-driven and last-minute,” explained Social Media Link CEO, Susan Frech. “Consumers wait to learn what’s hot, then make their lists. This study suggests that they’re already discovering new products through the power of online reviews. That’s a game-changer.”

The study also revealed that the most popular channels for product reviews would be Facebook, retailer websites and brand websites.

Facebook, the world’s largest social network, recently made some tweaks to how its search works, which promised to make it easier for users to find recommendations from people they’re connected to and the wider Facebook community.

With 18 per cent of respondents saying just one review would be enough for them to make a decision if that review came from a close friend, Facebook seems well-positioned to play an increasingly important role in the pre-purchase research phase.

Brands that build an active presence on Facebook by creating great content and actively promoting it give themselves the chance to get at their target audience while they’re still deciding how to spend their money. This is one of the many ways content marketing can benefit your bottom line.

The Social Media Link survey also showed video was an increasingly powerful tool for brands looking to influence purchase decisions.

Almost half (46 per cent) of respondents said they used Google’s video sharing site, YouTube, to learn about new products and brands and 49 per cent said YouTube was a useful tool for gathering information before buying something.

“While video reviews on YouTube certainly hold sway for consumers, it’s important to note that video on Facebook is gaining,” Frech added. “I predict that by next holiday season year, we’ll see the balance of video reviewing tipping to Facebook.”
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