35% of online consumers across 24 countries claim to have ever purchased a product or service based mostly on an ad they saw on a social media site, details Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange in new survey data. But that figure drops to just 18% in the US. Similarly, US respondents were about half as likely as the average global respondent to report having ever purchased a product or service based mostly on a posting they saw on a social media site (16% vs. 31%). (The survey does not detail whether said posting was from a friend, brand, or either.)
It’s interesting to see that both globally and in the US, social media ads tend to have influenced a slightly higher percentage of respondents than social media posts.
Within the US, social media’s influence on purchase decisions tends to be higher among the demographic groups that are its heaviest users: women and youth. Women were almost 50% more likely than men to report having bought something mostly as the result of a social media ad (22% vs. 15%), and roughly 67% more likely to have done so mostly on the basis of a social media posting (20% vs. 12%).
Meanwhile, 18-34-year-olds were nearly three times more likely than 50-64-year-olds to have made a purchase based mostly on a social media ad (28% vs. 10%). The gap was even more pronounced for social media posts (26% vs. 7%).
While the age pattern played out on a global scale, there was much less gender variance for both social media posts and ads.
- Within the US, the influence of social media postings tended to rise alongside household income level, while the opposite was true for the influence of social media ads.
- Countries with the largest proportion of respondents claiming to have made a purchased based on a social media ad were: Brazil (69%); Indonesia (68%); Mexico (61%); India (57%); and Turkey (55%).
- Countries with the largest proportion of respondents claiming to have made a purchased based on a social media posting were similar: Brazil (66%); Indonesia (64%); Mexico (60%); Argentina (51%); India (50%); and Turkey (50%).
About the Data: The Ipsos data is based on a weighted sample size of 12,000, from an online survey conducted from April 2-16 across 24 countries, with adults aged 18-64 in the US and Canada, and 16-64 in all other countries.
The countries reporting were: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the US.