Research has found that only 1% of parents cited social networks as a key social influence when considering purchases, with 7% saying that advertising was a key influencer, with these mainly driven by the food and drink category.
The research was carried out by Different Size Feet, a new specialist family unit of global word of mouth agency 1000heads, and aimed to understand how families are socially influenced when making purchasing decisions. Over 1,000 parents aged between 25 and 44 were questioned for the research, which looked into family purchasing decisions across six main product categories for UK families which included automotive, domestic appliances, food and drink, health and beauty and family leisure.
It was found that parents spend on average 14 hours a week of their personal time on the internet, with six of these being on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Only 12% of parents visited brand websites, andonline reviews were found to be less influential than offline conversation, with it only featuring as a core influence in domestic appliances (31 %) and holidays (18%), while offline conversation with friends receiving 26%.
Carrie Grafham, director of Different Size Feet, said: “Nowadays social networking sites are an important aspect of people’s daily online visits – mums being one of the highest user groups. However, in spite of 17% following more than 6 brands on Facebook, the impact of social networking sites on their purchasing decisions is often overstated.
“Our research aimed to understand the influence of social interactions on family decision making. What it found was that, in spite of the amount of time spent online by people, offline conversation with friends and family, rather than social media, was still the most influential, regardless of product category. ”