Getting a sharper picture of social media’s influence | McKinsey & Company
* Social recommendations induced an average of 26 percent of purchases across all product categories, according to our data. That’s substantially higher than the 10 to 15 percent others have estimated
* Roughly two-thirds of the impact was direct; that is, recommendations played a critical role at the point of purchase
* The remaining third was indirect: social media had an effect at earlier decision-journey touch points
* In 2014, consumers made 10 percent more purchases on the back of social-media recommendations than they had in 2013
* Consumers access social media to very different degrees in different product categories.
** At the low end, only about 15 percent of our respondents reported using social media in choosing utility services.
** For other categories, such as travel, investment services, and over-the-counter drugs, 40 to 50 percent of consumers looked to social recommendations.
* Product categories tend to have their own discrete groups of influencers
* A first-time purchaser is roughly 50 percent more likely to turn to social media than a repeat buyer
* Half of the recommendations were made offline—in person or by phone
* Offline conversations were up to 40 percent more likely than digital interactions to influence purchase decisions of products such as insurance or utilities
* 10 percent of the active influencers accounted for 24 percent of the total recommendations
* shoes and clothing: 5 percent of the recommenders accounted for 45 percent of the social influence generated
* Companies that spend effectively on search-engine optimization (to move their product mentions to the top of search results) can expect to benefit from a greater social-media impact
* Television advertising tends to act as a substitute for social media rather than complementing it. Relatively few customers were prompted to seek out social influences after viewing a TV spot