Yes it has. Infact, it’s  the first question to be asked by any marketer who wants to start using social media. Since conversations have shifted online and people are discussing about brands/service/companies etc via social networks, IM’s, micro social services like twitter, friendfeed, forums, blogs; it becomes pertinent to delve deep to understand if at all Social Media impacts consumer behavior and in turn purchasing action.

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Now, according to a study done by OTX Research on behalf of DEI worldwide entitled “The Impact of Social Media on Purchasing Behavior“, the answer is YES!

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The study confirms that consumers currently use social media as a top resource for information on brands, companies, or products:

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What it also concludes is that social media outreach by brands and companies, especially if this outreach is done by a personal online representative, can be much more influential on consumer behavior than ads or other promotional devices.

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In fact, 2/3rds of consumers are likely to pass the information they receive from these representatives on to others and over half are likely to take action on this information.

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Attitudes towards information they receive from online brand representatives

  • Likely to pass this information on to others – 67%
  • Likely to share their opinions – 63%
  • Value information more than ads – 62%
  • Likely to take action – 57%
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Below is the pdf version:

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The Impact of Social Media on Purchasing Behavior – Get more Business Plans

via InsightBuzz

P.S. These findings are primarily US based but my assumptions are that those are are inhabiting online are in one global echo-chamber. So it won’t be much difference in India too.

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