Study: Millennials Rely on Social Media for Shopping Decisions


Millennials, those born in 1982 or later, are nearly three times more likely than other generations to reference social media networks when making purchasing decisions; and they’re not just turning to Facebook, says a new study from Livonia-based Market Strategies International.

While other generation groups tend to stick with Facebook for most of their social media activities, Millennials have a more diverse social media portfolio. For example, Millennials are 19 percent more likely to use Instagram and 14 percent more likely to use Tumblr than other generations.

The study also found that Millennials are three times more likely to be influenced by comments on social media or blogs than baby boomers, with survey respondents viewing social media comments as “more transparent” and blogs as “usually more objective.”

Members of this demographic are also more likely to share their thoughts about a product or service online. In comparison to other generations, Millennials are 7 percent more likely to share a link to a product or a service on social media, 8 percent more likely to have post a picture, and 7 percent more likely to write about a product or service.

“Millennials are more engaged, more vocal, and more visual,” says Paul Donagher, managing director of the consumer and retail group at Market Strategies. “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.”

Donagher says the information can have a significant impact on traditional marketing tactics. “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,” he says.