Social media and its influence on Consumer behaviour

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot…and missed.  I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.  And that is why I succeed”. Beautifully said, dramatically illustrated. This is not part of a movie, this is a Nike basketball shoes commercial made in 1999, by Michael Jordan one of the greatest basketball players ever. The last lens at the last second of ad focuses on the shoes he wears. Yes, it was the most amazing sport’s commercial I had ever seen by that time in TV. And today, thanks to internet and social media, all of his fans are still able to watch it again and again with one click on Youtube or other related websites and share their love and experience of wearing those fancy shoes with their comments. The point is, as a diehard fan, any time I see this commercial, and its following comments, I get so excited and motivated that in a blink of an eye, I’m ready, wearing on my Jordan shoes, grabbing my ball, let’s go to the basketball court, and on the way, I dream about one of his many amazing released shoes to be my next favourite purchase. This is how social media, word-of-mouth (WoM) and “celebrity effect” work hand in hand to save a 5-years, 250 million dollars worth contract (between Michael and Nike Company) which was signed in 1984, for the next 30 years. And who says that Jordan fever is going to end this soon?! Or Nike’s biggest jump in its sales revenue is going to stop here?!


When you hear the word media, it may instantly remind you of newspaper, TV, radio and of course internet, but in this blog, we are only going to talk about social media which recently is getting so popular, especially among new generation. Websites, applications and any means of interaction among people that enables users to create, share, and exchange information, ideas, personal messages and comments in virtual communities and networks. Yes, you are right, Facebook is the best example and you can add YouTube, Twitter, MySpace, eBay, Instagram, Flickr, LinkedIn Groups, and of course blogs. Just like this blog here, that lets us communicate. And gives you this opportunity to leave your comments right here and invite others to do same and even discuss about your comment, support it or disagree with it.

But what are the effects of social media in consumer behaviour! How it can influence your purchasing decision in the ways you may not even be aware of!


In fact, social media is revolutionizing consumer behaviour. Consumers use social media to interact with friends, view photos and videos, and find businesses and brands. More than half of online shoppers interact with a retailer on social networking sites and retailers and brands are capitalizing on this new promotional dimension to strengthen their customer relationships (Rapp A & Grewal D, 2012)

The power of social media has even further increased by growing trend in on-line shopping and usage of mobile devices. Even in-store shopping is now affected by social media, using various apps at the point of sale. With one click, they can search information about the products, their features, compare prices, read online feedbacks about the products or get user reviews experiences.

That’s true! Consumers are now researchers!! Not only your company’s website, but using social media they can find out what other people think about your products. So the more information there, about a product, the more it affects their purchase decision. They can also use especial discounts for just having an account in company’s website and thus being considered a member! Yes! This is exactly a revolution which is growing at a fast pace!

Researches in this area indicate that social media has change the way consumers think about marketing and business, as most firms and consumers are now able to interact directly with one another (Solomon, 2010). Owing to social media, channels of communication between firms and consumers are getting less and less which allows the consumers to communicate directly with the brand representatives. This results in consumer loyalty in many cases, as companies can respond to the consumers’ needs and complains in an effective way to win them back again. Even the most unhappy, angry or dissatisfied customers, if provided with an opportunity to discuss their issues and be treated nicely with free replaced products, gifts, or other ways of compensation, may soon forget their past experience and keep the loyalty. Customer service is now a new way of marketing and social media has made it much more effective.

The impact of Social Media on the Car Buying process used by consumers

Consumers in general, enjoy and admire many types of online groups and those groups can change their buying decisions behaviour (Solomon, 2010). They often prefer to make their choices within a social environment including their friends, family and colleagues. Although in the past, such decisions were made based on information and details that they could obtain through mass media; this trend is shifting more and more toward social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube that have had a remarkable influence on consumer decisions. According to a survey by ACNileson (2007) most consumers rely on online recommendations for their purchase decisions. Although the final decision for the purchase is made by consumers themselves, but the influence of social groups on these decisions is inevitable. Word-of-mouth (WoM) advertising has always been an important part of decisions made by consumers and achieving sales for a company. Sinclair & Vogus (2011) found out that the influence of WoM is stronger than effects of target marketing on purchase decisions. Even the fanciest advertisements are not as convincing as getting recommendations about a product from someone you trust. Therefore, When asking your friends where they bought their shoes or where are their favourite restaurants, WOM can influence your decisions (East, 2008).

Online WoM (eWoM) happens mostly through online social networking sites such as blogs, online discussion forums and review and preview sites (Gold-smith, 2006). eWoM is defined as ‘any positive or negative statement made by potential, actual, or former customers about a product or company, which is made available to a multitude of people and institutions via the Internet’ (Hennig-Thurau, Gwinner, Walsh & Gremler, 2004, p. 39). With the popularity of social media, eWoM advertising can go worldwide in few seconds, once a message is sent from a single consumer about one company. So consumers are now part of process of building a brand reputation. Of course, this has its drawbacks, as negative information will just as easily spread by this fabulous version of WoM as positive information does (Solomon, 2010). When Google Inc. sold Motorola to Lenovo this news spread very fast through WoM and made Motorola’s current customers and prospects doubtful about their purchase decision due to the negative perception about the quality of future products and services. Researchers have found eWOM to be capable of influencing, both, consumption-related behaviour and brand equity. Sweeney, Soutar & Mazzarol (2008) suggest that influence of WoM on product and service perceptions is so that it easily leads to changes in value ratings, judgments, and probability of purchase. Huang Boh & Goh (2011), also believes that WoM can change people’s feeling, actions, decisions and even behaviours. Besides, even marketers are now able to closely monitor eWOM to capture consumer sentiments and insights and to artificially stimulate and control it (Payal S Kapoor, K.R. Jayasimha and Ashish S 2013)

At the end of this blog, we are going to share some figures and statistics with you so that it can give you an insight and help you for a better understanding of significant role of social media on consumer behaviour and businesses.

new stat

Source: Wanderful Media 

Did you know that :

-78% of consumers purchase decision are influenced by the information and advertisement which made by companies on social media (Demers, 2013).

-The influence of friends and family on social media on consumers’ purchase decision is about 81%

-62% of consumers will end up making a purchase in-store, after searching on-line information about it. (Greg Sterling, 2012)

– Approximately 52% of Americans own at least one social media profiles and about 25% of users follow their favourite brand, firms and products through social media. Edison (2011)

– 88.2% of 399 random firms in E.U. and U.S. had started to use social media initiatives and almost half of these firms (42.1%) had completely integrated social media into their marketing strategies (Insites Consulting, 2011)

– More than 93% of Business-to-Business (B2B) marketers now use one or more social media forms to interact with their customer (Holden-Bacher, 2011)

And using one of the most popular types of social media, which is personal blog, and thanks to Matthew Peneycad (2013), we also found:

– 91% of people have gone into a store because of an online experience

– 89% of consumers conduct their research using search engines.

– 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

– And last but absolutely not the least, upwards of 75% of consumers do not accept traditional advertisements as truth!!

References list

ACNielson (2007), Trust in Advertising: A Global Nielsen Consumer Report, October.

Demers, J. (2013). ‘How Social Media is Changing the SEO Industry’, SEO social media, Available from:

East R, Wright M, Vanhuele M, (2008). Consumer Behaviour: Applications in marketing.London: SAGE.

Edison. (2011). The Social Habit 2011. Retrieved 2012-05-11, from

Goldsmith, R.E. (2006), “Electronic word-of-mouth”, in Khosrow-Pour, M. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of E-Commerce, E-Government and Mobile Commerce, Idea Group Publishing,Hershey, PA, pp. 408-12.

Sterling, G. (2012). ‘91 Percent Have Gone into Stores Because Of Online Promotion’, Available from:

Holden-Bache, A. (2011). Study: 93% of B2B marketers use social media marketing. BtoB Magazine, April 18.

Hagel, J., & Armstrong, A. (1997). Net gain: expanding markets through virtual communities. United States of America: Harvard Business Press.

Huang, J.-H., & Chen, Y.-F. (2006). Herding in online product choice. Psychology and Marketing, 23(5), 413-428.

Huang, J., Boh, W. F., & Goh, K. H. (2011). From A Social Influence Perspective: The Impact Of Social Media On Movie Sales. Paper presented at the PACIS 2011. Retrieved from

Insites Consulting (2011). “Social integration survey,” unpublished data set, Ghent, Belgium

Rapp A & Grewal D (2012) “Understanding social media effects across seller, retailer, and consumer interactions”

Sinclaire, J. K., & Vogus, C. E. (2011). Adoption of social networking sites: an exploratory adaptive structuration perspective for global organizations. Information Technology and Management, 12(4), 293-314.

Solomon, M., Bamossy, G., Askegaard, S., and Hogg, M. (2010). Consumer Behavior: Buying: A European Perspective. 4rd ed., Financial Times Press.

Payal S Kapoor, K.R. Jayasimha and Ashish S (2013). IIM Kozhikode society Management Review. (Brand- related, Consumer to Consumer, Communication via Social Media)

Peneycad, Matthew (2013), ‘Un-ignorable Stats About How Social Media Influences Purchase Behaviour’,, weblog post, 13 June, viewed 27 February 2014,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s