Social Media Influences Holiday Gift Decisions

The holidays are here again, delivering that “gift giving” stress that’s burdened upon us. Whether it’s the office “Secret Santa” or just gift sharing between friends, many of us stress over what exactly to give the other person without seeming cheap. In a stroke of genius, many people are turning to social media, and not conventional advertising, to influence their buying decisions. Two surveys, from both the Sacramento Bee and the San Francisco Gate, have shown that consumers are relying on social media for holiday gift ideas than TV, newspaper and advertising:

SFGate:

  • 90% of respondents said that following a brand on social media makes them either somewhat likely or very likely to consider the brand when planning their holiday shopping list.
  •     Nearly all respondents across all demographic categories replied they were either somewhat likely (61%) or very likely (36%) to turn to social media before buying something.
  •     32% of respondents said discovering new gift ideas is the most effective use of social media for holiday shopping. Only 7% said it was sharing product purchases.

The Sacramento Bee:

The survey, released today by ConsumerSearch.com, part of The About Group, examines how people plan to shop this holiday season, including what elements of social media inspire consumers.

Sixty-five percent of respondents said they rely on word-of-mouth, or brainstorm with friends on gifts for loved ones, while others (64 percent) look to stores and manufacturers to provide inspiration through advertisements, emails and store web sites. Similarly, 62 percent of respondents said they use social media sources, including user reviews, online wish lists, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

This is interesting, but very unsurprising. More and more, social media is becoming more immersed in our every day lives. Because of this these platforms make it incredibly easy to learn about the person you’re giving a gift to and what they might want. A new Facebook status update about Halo 4? A tweet about that new Kendrick Lamar album you want to buy? A Pinterest board filled with clothes from Express or Forever21? These platforms are revealing little pieces of ourselves every time we decide to take part in it; it would make sense that consumers will turn to this for ideas.

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