Social media has crept into most aspects of our lives. So many adults make friends, find appointments and even build career networks. It is a virtual portfolio of our personal and public selvesand of course many of us want to show our best online. Which begs the question: How do you influence others and how do others influence you on social media?
More than a third of Americans admit that social media influenced their spending habits and that they did spend too much to keep up with the fun of her friends. Now, 64 percent of Americans are wondering how their friends can afford the expensive trips and trends they share online.
Online shopping has grown significantly since the US quarantine began. Recent reports have noted this 40 percent of consumers have increased their online spending to some extent. Food is the most popular product bought online, and 31 percent of Americans say they have ordered takeout. Hygiene is the second most popular online shopping. 27 percent of Americans buy disinfectants and other items online, followed by clothing at 26 percent.
The feeling of having to keep up with friends and appear on social media is at the core of many bad spending decisions online and can be detrimental to your financial health. A $ 30 concert ticket doesn't seem like much, but this creates a habit of over-spending which can affect savings goals and throw your budget off balance.
We surveyed 1,500 people to learn more about social media spending and found:
40 percent of Americans have made a purchase because of the influence of social media
A quarter of Americans bought clothes or accessories, the most popular category, because of social media
Nearly 20 percent of Americans admit judging others for their purchases
40% of Americans have made a purchase that is influenced by social media
Our survey found that 40 percent of Americans admit buying an item or experience after watching something similar on social media. Clothing and accessories were the most popular category. 24 percent of respondents said they bought new looks on social media.
That percentage drops significantly to just 12 percent when buying beauty and health products – the second most popular category. Vacation experiences were the least influential category. Only 5 percent of Americans planned a trip through social media.
Generation X (35–44 years old) are most likely to make purchases with influence on social media. 44 percent of Generation X respondents say they bought something that they saw online. Clothing and accessories remain at 27 percent.
On the other hand, baby boomers (aged 65 and over) were the least likely to buy on social media at 31 percent, followed by Generation Z (18 to 24 years old) at 36 percent. Only 40 percent of baby boomers use social media, while more than 70 percent of the other age groups connect online. This is probably why fewer baby boomers shop on social media.
Additionally, 46 percent of women bought something they saw on social media, while only 34 percent of men did the same. Both women and men prefer clothing, but men place more emphasis on experienced purchases such as events and vacations than women.
Clothing and accessories have the greatest influence
Clothing and accessories remained the most important influencing factor across age and gender groups. Generation X women are most interested in fashion. 38 percent buy clothes or accessories that they have seen on social media. Men were less interested in fashion than women, and Gen Z and baby boomers were the least interested, as only 14 percent of men in each generation bought fashion trends through social media.
The fashion industry has built a huge market that is all about controlling news and improving accessibility through visual apps. A quick and simple example of this are the over 847 million posts under #fashion on Instagram.
Even among fashion influencers, 42 percent shop directly on Instagram. The trending cycle is growing as 86 percent of influencers buy items that other influencers wear and then likely share the trend on their own account.
Almost 20% of users rate others for sharing their purchases online
While a large percentage of Americans admit that they make purchases they see on social media, a fifth of respondents also admit that they judge others for sharing their purchases online. Interestingly, younger generations were the most judgmental. 23 percent of Gen Z users rated their colleagues' purchases, while only 15 percent of those over 55 rated the purchases of others.
It seems men are the most likely to judge others for sharing what they buy. 27 percent of Gen Z men admit judging other people's purchases, while only 19 percent of youngest generation women do the same.
Current research suggests that apps like Instagram may have a direct relationship between envy and conspicuous consumption. Preliminary research suggests that many users believe that others post their purchases to flaunt exclusivity, which creates envy and possibly supports why so many users are quick to judge others. Those who reported high levels of envy were also more likely to consciously purchase items they had seen to fill the perceived wealth gap.
Social media trends persist, and marketers take advantage of the authenticity of influencer marketing. A third of Americans admit spending more than they can afford to keep up with their friends, and social media envy plays a big part in that influence. The best way to stay financially secure is to make a commitment to one budget. Apps like mint can help you plan and meet your larger savings goals and combat the habit of buying impulses.
swell:: Charles Schwab | intelligence | Assistance | Harvard School of Public Health | medium
This study consisted of two survey questions carried out using Google Surveys. The sample consisted of no fewer than 1,500 completed answers per question. Stratification weighting was used to ensure an accurate and reliable representation of the total population. This survey was conducted in August 2020.