How Social Media Affects Millennials’ Purchasing Habits -
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How Social Media Affects Millennials’ Purchasing Habits
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If your business targets Millennial customers, social media may be even more important than you previously thought, not only in making the sale but also in influencing shoppers’ friends and families to buy. A survey for The Webby Awards conducted by Harris Interactive reports that more than two-thirds (68 percent) of social media users aged 18 to 34 say they’re at least somewhat likely to buy a product or service after seeing a friend’s post about it. (In contrast, among social media users 65 and older, 78 percent say they are “not at all likely” to buy something based on a friend’s posts.)

Who’s most likely to post about new products or services on social media? Young women make up the majority, with a whopping 82 percent of women aged 18 to 34 saying they post about new products and services at least sometimes. However, Millennial men were most likely to say they “always” post about new products and services; 6 percent always do so.

The younger consumers are, the more likely they are to say they’re usually the first in their social circle to try a new product or service. Some 57 percent of 18-to-34-year-olds said this, compared to just 34 percent of those 45 to 54.

What do these results mean to your marketing?

  • When marketing to younger consumers, emphasize what’s new. If you’re targeting Millennials, be sure to regularly change up the home page of your website or the window displays in your store; send frequent marketing emails about new products or services; and promote new merchandise, product lines or services.
  • Get social. Clearly, it’s very important not only for your business to be active on social media, but to get your customers active in sharing their thoughts about your business. Consider adding a widget to your ecommerce site that lets users share when they have made a purchase. Encourage them to post photos of them using your products—for example, you could hold a contest for the coolest or funniest or most creative image. Post pictures of new products and ask for opinions or ask who has tried it or wants to buy it.
  • Work the reviews. Be sure your business has a presence on ratings and review sites, since Millennials love to share their opinions. Encourage customers to review your business by putting the review sites’ stickers in your window, displaying them on your website home page or including them in follow-up emails after an order is delivered.

By taking advantage of Millennials’ natural desire to share everything they do with the world, you can let the world know about your business.

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Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at, follow her on Google+ and, and visit her website,, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.
Rieva Lesonsky

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