Purchase Decisions Influenced by Social Media Up 14% in Last 6 Months

Online research company Knowledge Networks studied the purchase decisions of Americans and found that the likelihood of a consumer to discover new products or brands is rising rapidly with 38 million 13 to 80 year olds now influenced by social media, up 14% from just six months ago.

People who reported being social media users in 2011 reported high levels of influence as follows:

1.  23.1 million discover new brands or products through social media (up 22% from 2010)
2.  22.5 million use social media to learn about unfamiliar brands or products (up 9% from 2010)
3.  17.8 million are “strongly influenced” in their purchase decisions by opinions in social media (up 19% from 2010)
4.  15.1 million refer to social media before making purchase decisions (up 29% from 2010)
5.  Roughly 80 million people check social media from a mobile device

Consumers are now integrating social media as a part of their phone use with 40% of teens and adults who have ever used social media accessing it through their mobile device (up 28% from just 6 months ago). Mobile devices are playing an increasing role in purchase decisions as well with 27% of users comparing or checking prices via social media and 24% regularly checking reviews of locations, brands and services.

Realtors, how does this influence your career? It’s much less about an actual house than it is two things- you and neighborhoods. Consumers are now using the web and their phones to research you, ask their friends for referrals, read reviews about you and read your blog long before they reach out to you and what their friends say influences whether or not you get hired. Consumers are also asking their networks about neighborhoods they’re considering and reading up on the area via review sites and the like before they make a purchase.

What this means to you is that you should first be armed with the same knowledge they are and be sure you’re aware of sites like Yelp and review sites. Secondly, it means your presence in social media be it Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or elsewhere, improves your chances of a referral because if there is nothing for them to read about you, they don’t feel like they’ve done any research. Consumers are buying your services and they’re buying a neighborhood, and if neither exist online or no one in their network knows of it, the chances of the sale narrow. We anticipate this trend of consumers influencing each other via social media will continue to grow rapidly.

Article by AGBeat News of AgentGenius.com.  Click here to view full article.

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