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ipsos-socnet-earned-media-purchase-influence-june2012.png18% of US consumers – including 23% under 35 – have bought a brand because their friends like or follow the brand on a social network, per findings from an Ipsos survey released in June 2012. This figure was much higher in other markets, though, led by China (54%), India (44%), Turkey (39%), and Indonesia (39%). Overall, 22% of the consumers polled in 24 countries around the globe said that they had bought a brand due to a friend following it on a social network, with the under 35 group twice as likely as the 50-64-year-old set to have done so (27% vs. 13%).

A comScore study released in June used a variety of case studies to demonstrate that Facebook earned media influences buyer behavior, with friends of fans proving a potent audience for brands.

Marketers Mixed on Facebook’s Purchase Influence

Marketers appear to see some value in Facebook’s ability to fuel purchase intent, although they are somewhat ambivalent about the extent to which this is the case. According to an AdAge survey of its readers (who classified themselves as decision-makers in social media marketing), while slightly more than two-thirds say that Facebook is at least somewhat useful in driving purchase intent, the majority of those respondents (55.5% overall) believe that it is only somewhat useful.

In fact, roughly one-third either don’t know (19%) or don’t find Facebook useful (13.4%) at all.

Facebook Ad Dollar Growth to Lag Social Media Overall

Further data from the AdAge survey reveals that more than 7 in 10 marketers expect to increase their social media advertising budgets over the next year, compared to 25.3% who will maintain current levels and 1.9% who will decrease spending. Interestingly, though, a smaller proportion (56.4%) will increase their Facebook ad budgets, suggesting that social media advertising budgets may be headed for other networks.

Other Findings:

  • Within the US, according to the Ipsos results, respondents from high-income households are almost twice as likely as those from low-income households to have bought a brand based on friends liking or following it on a social network (20% vs. 12%).
  • While 86% of the AdAge survey respondents use Facebook for marketing, only 55% currently advertise on the network.
  • 88% of the respondents said they would implement Facebook content without ads, although slightly more than 7 in 10 believe that their Facebook content and advertising efforts are linked.

About the Data: The Ipsos data is based on a survey of 12,000 consumers; 500 each in 24 countries. The AdAge survey was conducted in conjunction with Citigroup, and received responses from 658 subscribers.

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