A survey of US adult female social media users who strongly agree with the statement “Fashion and beauty are extremely important to me” (fashionistas) has found that blogs and message boards are their most influential social property when making buying decisions. The study, commissioned by NetBase, reveals that 62% of fashionistas consult these platforms for inspiration before making a purchase in at least one product category.
Facebook is the next-most influential social property among these fashion-conscious women, with 56% turning to the site for inspiration in at least one of the 11 fashion categories identified. That’s not surprising given that 97% of fashionistas have a Facebook profile.
Of more interest is the influence of Pinterest and Instagram. While 51% of fashionistas have a Pinterest account, nearly all of those (49% of fashionistas overall) report being influenced in at least one category by the site. Similarly, although “only” 47% are on Instagram, 36% overall report being influenced by the site.
Despite Twitter being the second-most popular social media platform among fashionistas, it did not rank in the top 5 for influence. To some extent these results confirm intuition, as Pinterest and Instagram are more visual platforms than Twitter, and one would surmise that fashion shoppers would be more engaged with visual content.
The study also looks at the social sites that most influence “social shoppers” – women who strongly agree with the statement, “The brands and products my friends use influence my own purchase decisions.” Given that the sample size was considerably smaller for this group, these results should be observed with caution. Nevertheless, this group exhibits similar patterns to fashionistas. That is, Facebook and blogs/message boards are their top 2 social influencers (in reverse order from fashionistas), followed by Pinterest and Instagram.
About the Data: The survey was conducted by Edison research among a representative sample of women over 18 years of age in the US who have a profile on one or more social networks. The sample was collected in May 2013 and is weighted to the national US population of adult female social media users.