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April 14 , 2009

Social media is influencing purchasing decisions
New study offers insight into consumer behaviour

A report by CNW Group and Leger Marketing shows that social media is growing and with it the number of consumers using social media to research purchases.

“Social Media Reality Check” contains comprehensive new research into the social media usage, views and habits of Canadian consumers and public relations practitioners who use social media.

More than 1,500 Canadian consumers were surveyed on issues ranging from how often they use online communications tools, to how social media has influenced their purchasing decisions. PR practitioners were asked how they thought consumer users would respond.

Almost half of the consumer social media users and 62 per cent of PR practitioners use social media at least once a day, according to the report, and consumer use grew by 48 per cent year-over-year.

Participants indicated that they found social media to be credible and 61 per cent of consumers said that they used social media when researching purchases. Thirty-one per cent of consumers and 55 per cent of practitioners actually agreed that social media is more credible than advertising.

According to Dave Scholz, VP and General Manager of Leger’s Toronto office, the study paints an encouraging picture.

“Social media is high and rising, it’s credible, and it’s influencing purchase decisions,” he says. “That’s great news for practitioners who say they see the value in social media, despite the fact that most aren’t yet working with objectives, monitoring or measurement.”

Full finding of the report will be published as part of a joint webinar to be hosted by CNW Group and Leger Marketing on April 29, 2009.

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