In our second instalment of this week’s series marking the release of our Social Flagship Report, today we look into the power of recommendations on social media in inspiring and motivating purchase considerations.

Brand discovery is where peer-to-peer recommendations on social media have the most impact – as much as 27% of Millennials cite this as a way of discovering new brands, and a significant portion of Gen Xers also say that these inspire their brand considerations. Elsewhere, a fifth of internet users say that lots of “likes” or good comments on social media would increase their likelihood of purchasing a product, climbing to almost a quarter of Millennials and Gen Zers.

While Facebook still forms the backbone of their social media portfolios, Gen Zers and Millennials also have a considerable presence on other platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr and Pinterest. The image and lifestyle-centric nature of these platforms has made them prime candidates for influencer marketing, especially among young females. 52% of female Gen Z Instagrammers have visited a celebrity’s page on the platform, for example.

The extent to which these younger age groups value their peers’ opinion is shown in our data – 4 in 10 Millennials and Gen Zers say they are easily swayed by other people’s opinion, but this figure drops sharply among Gen X and Baby Boomers. This helps explain why – across the purchase journey and in other types of activities like online sports viewing and searching for entertainment – younger age groups tend to fall back on the authenticity of content and commentary created by their peers with similar interests in their decision-making process. Without a doubt, this provides great direction to brands which can tap into such content when building their ongoing marketing and content strategies.

This will only become more relevant as brands look to close the purchasing loop on social media and convince consumers that they can not only get inspired on these platforms, but can trust them to make the all-important purchasing step on them too.

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