Study: Millennial shoppers trust social media, but diversify beyond Facebook

LIVONIA, Mich. — Millennial shoppers are nearly three times as likely as other generations to use social media as a pre-purchase research tool; however, many increasingly are looking beyond Facebook to other social media channels, according to Marketing to Millennials, a research study from the consumer and retail group at Market Strategies International.


While other generations tend to stick with Facebook for most of their social media activities, millennials (born 1982 or later) are significantly more likely to turn to specific social media platforms for unique purposes. For instance, millennials are much more likely than other generations to use YouTube for learning about products, Twitter for expressing opinions about them and Instagram for posting photos about the products, the research found.


Millennials also turn to friends, family and comments on social media for information when shopping for products or services, viewing social media comments as “more transparent” and blogs as “usually more objective.”

Approximately three-quarters of millennials trust family and friends most when researching products or services because “friends and family don’t have an agenda and aren’t trying to sell me something.”
 


“Millennials are more engaged, more vocal and more visual. They’re not merely passive readers — they post, pin, view and blog. And, they’re willing to experiment and go onto the next innovation in social media,” said Paul Donagher, managing director of the consumer and retail group.



Donagher added, “Savvy brand marketers will involve millennials sooner and more often in the various stages of marketing development and will continue to explore and use the social media tools that are most relevant to millennials. We suggest using this study to help guide the next steps that brand and category managers will be taking in their continued need to understand this generation.”
 


 

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