The real influence of social media on purchasing behaviour

Social Media, brand loyalty and purchasing behaviour

A study conducted by McKinsey & Company found that social media has a much greater influence on purchasing behavior than originally thought.

Recommendations through social media were responsible for 26% of all purchases across the product categories studied – up from the estimated 10-15%.

Furthermore, this number grew by 10% in just one year from 2013 – 2014 and so could now be significantly higher.

In certain categories, including travel and investment, social media influenced for as many as 40-50% of all purchases.

Their conclusion to this research?

“Companies can’t afford to fall behind this powerful curve”.


The simple answer is brand loyalty.

In a study by Laroche et al., 2012, structural equation modeling showed that brand communities established on social media have positive effects on customer/product, customer/brand, customer/company and customer/other customers relationships, which in turn have positive effects on brand trust, and trust has positive effects on brand loyalty.

To increase brand loyalty you must regularly and positively engage your audience with content that they want to see. Flood them with repetitive, low-quality sales driven content and you will quickly loose their attention.

High levels of brand loyalty produce brand ambassadors – individuals who support your brand and recommend you to their friends and family because they like what you do. These individuals are more likely to be repeat customers and if you continue to grow your relationship with them, they will continue to support you. Remember to give something back to your fans!

We still get asked ‘how long or how much will it cost to reach 10,000 likes on Facebook?’. The number of likes you have on your business page is irrelevant if your engagement levels are 0.

Page likes will come as a result of engaging content.


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