The Declining Influence of Social Media

Gallup recently released data from its "State of the American Consumer: Insights for Business Leaders" report this week, an examination of consumer spending from 2008 through 2014. 


The study examines how consumer spending, confidence and expectations have shifted because of the economic downturn, offering advice on how companies can "more effectively measure and manage their own customer engagement in this new normal and on how leaders can improve customer engagement and organizational performance."


Most of the report doesn't related (at least not directly) to Internet professionals, but there was one data point that should catch your attention. According to the Gallup report, just 5 percent of consumers who use social media say these channels have a "great deal" of influence on their purchasing decisions, while 62 percent say they have no influence at all. 


Gallup research reveals that friends, in-store displays, television commercials, and even mail catalogs and magazines have more influence on consumers' purchasing decisions than social media.