Survey: Social media has little brand impact

Washington, D.C. - A clear majority of Americans say social media has no effect at all on their purchasing decisions. According to a new Gallup poll, 62% in the U.S. say Facebook and Twitter, among other sites, do not have any influence on their decisions to purchase products.

Only 5% say social media have "a great deal of influence" on their purchasing decisions, while another 30% say these channels have "some influence." Even Millennials tend to say that social media marketing is not much of a factor in their decision-making. Among the four major generation groups that Gallup surveyed, Millennials (those born after 1980) were the most likely to say that social media have at least some influence on their buying decisions (50%). But Millennials were nearly as likely to say social media have no influence at all (48%).

Social media's influence on Americans' purchasing decisions decreases with age. Among traditionalists (those born prior to 1946), a solid 75% say that social media do not have any impact on whether they purchase a product or service.

Only 29% of U.S. consumers say they use social media to follow trends and find product reviews and information, while 20% say they visit social networking sites to comment on what's new or write product reviews. Even among American consumers who "like" or follow a company on Facebook or Twitter, 34% say that social media have no influence at all on their buying decisions, while 53% say they have some influence. Gallup research shows that when it comes to making purchasing decisions, consumers are much more likely to turn to friends, in-store displays, television commercials, and even mail catalogs and magazines than to consult a company-sponsored Facebook page or Twitter feed.


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