Social Media's Impact on Product Choice

Businesses are always trying to garner consumer attention. Whether through T.V. advertisements or emails, the goal is the same, lure consumers into purchasing a product or service. Now though, the most effective way to advertise a product might be through social media.

Shoutly, an online social commerce platform, has released the results of its Social Channel Influence Survey. The results show that 92 percent of respondents believe reading a recommendation is important before purchasing a product. Furthermore, when buying eBooks or software 47 percent said a friend's recommendation on social media is more influential than a T.V. ad (31 percent) or a celebrity recommendation via social media (14 percent). When asked how often they research blogs or product reviews before buying such products, 11 percent selected never while 18 percent chose always.

"This study shows that traditional online advertising is not the most effective way to reach your audience and sell products and services," said Henrik Wastlund, CEO of Shoutly. "Instead, consumers want to read a trusted recommendation before buying a new product."

The most trusted social media platform for product recommendations, according to respondents, is Facebook followed by YouTube and Twitter.