Almost half of social purchases made via Facebook

The top social media platforms are battling for advertising dollars and are using their own user base to influence our online purchasing behavior.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

Are shoppers actually buying items published on social media platforms, and if so which platforms? One company wanted to find out.

Global influencer marketing company Open Influence, in partnership with Survata, has surveyed over five hundred people in the US who follow celebrities or influencers on social media.

It has discovered that, out of all the social media platforms, Facebook is outstripping expectations.

Almost half of survey respondents (47.7 percent) said that the last time that they made a purchase through social media, it was on Facebook.

Instagram follows at a poor second with only 8.6 percent of respondents saying that they had purchased anything through its platform.

Twitter lags behind with only 1.4 percent of respondents saying that they had directly purchased from the platform.

Almost half of social purchases made via Facebook ZDNet

A massive 34.6 percent of those surveyed said that they had never purchased an item through social media. This could be due to customer's resistance to purchasing on mobile and as Facebook dominates the desktop, customers are more likely to purchase from that platform.

Although the Amazon Prime offering provides free shipping, other brands are starting to offer additional incentives to encourage customers to purchase.

The survey showed that free shipping, or including a gift with purchase, does not interest consumers as much as a direct discount will.

Over 52 percent of respondents said that discounts were most likely to motivate them to make a purchase on social media. Only 34 percent responded free shipping would motivate them.

Favourite social media posts over the holidays relate to food and beverage (28.2 percent), and deals / discounts (25.5 percent). Fashion apparel, food, beverage, and entertainment were the most popular items purchased. Tech accounted for only 7.7 percent of purchases.

Almost half of social purchases made via Facebook ZDNet

Over 45 percent of respondents said that hashtags such as #partner, #ad, #spon, #paid, #collab do not, in their view, indicate that a post is sponsored. Regardless of FTC regulations, influencers should not hide the fact that a piece of content is sponsored.

Over 86 percent of respondents have said that it did not change how they felt about an influencer if they properly labelled their post as sponsored.

It is not all good news for Apple. Over 76 percent of respondents do not plan to purchase any of the recently released Apple products this holiday season.

Under 8 percent of respondents do plan to purchase the iPhone 8. This, however, is a higher percentage of purchase intent than the iPhone X, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Apple HomePod).

Even with a large focus on video, photo content still dominates as the favourite type of content people like to see on social media with 37 percent of respondents favouring this type of content.

Video comes in second place with 27 percent of the vote, and interactive content in third place with 14 percent.

Without deals, or discounts, we are unlikely to move towards a purchase - regardless of how the brand showcases its product. Black Friday and Cyber Monday is proof that online shoppers do love a good deal.


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