A study finds social media is having a big influence on consumers' purchasing decisions and brands need to be there with smart social content.

There’s a lot of back-and-forth about the value social media marketing contributes to the bottom line, but a study from MarketLive makes it clear that social is driving purchases.

A survey of consumers revealed that 49 percent of people are making holiday purchases based on social referrals.

What exactly is a social referral? That’s where things get a little fuzzy. MarketLive doesn’t clearly define what its participants consider a social referral, so it could refer to:

  • A brand’s post about a product or service (A company you follow shares an update about its offerings/an exclusive deal/a contest)
  • A review posted by another user (i.e. your friend posts about a service she recently tried and loved/hated)
  • A link shared by another user (for instance: Your sister shared a link for a new product)
  • An ad featuring a product or service promoted by a brand (You see the ad on your feed)

While the definition may not yet be set in stone, the finding solidifies the idea that people are going to social networks and learning about products they plan to buy. It’s in brands’ best interests to be there with a variety of content (written, visuals, video; organic and paid) that’s going to influence their target audience to convert.


Not sure where to start with social to make an impact for the holidays?

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.