Millennials Trust Social Media and Look Beyond Facebook before Purchasing: Market Strategies

Millennials Trust Social Media and Look Beyond Facebook before Purchasing: Market Strategies


Livonia, MI—Millennial consumers (born 1982 or later) are increasingly turning to social media channels before making purchases, and they are looking beyond Facebook for their research and to share their thoughts on a brand, according to Market Strategies International (MSI). Marketing to Millennials, a new research study from MSI’s Consumer & Retail group, finds “Millennials are almost three times as likely as other generations to use social media as a prepurchase research tool.”

As a result of the findings, MSI believes that understanding how and where Millennials do their research has enormous implications for brand marketers. The study reveals that while other generations rely primarily on Facebook for their social media activities, Millennials are significantly more likely to turn to particular social media platforms for specific purposes. For example, according to MSI they are much more likely to use YouTube for learning about products, Twitter for expressing opinions about products and Instagram for posting photos of the products.

In addition, when seeking information on products and services before purchases, Millennials overwhelming (75%) said they trust friends and family for advice because they “don’t have an agenda and aren’t trying to sell me something.” However, they also depend on comments posted on social media. According to the new study, they perceive social media comments as “more transparent” and blogs as “usually more objective.”

“What we’ve learned in this study can inform traditional marketing tactics in a significant way,” said Paul Donagher, managing director of the Consumer & Retail group at Market Strategies. “We can start to crack part of the Millennial code now that we understand their use of and trust in certain platforms. Millennials are more engaged, more vocal and more visual. 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 added, “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.”

Market Strategies International—a global market research firm with expertise in consumer/retail, energy, financial services, healthcare, technology and telecommunications—interviewed a national sample of 2,011 consumers aged 18 or older from February 5 to February 11, 2014. Respondents were recruited from the United Sample, Inc. (uSamp) opt-in online panel of U.S. adults and were interviewed online. The data were weighted by age, gender and census region to match the demographics of the U.S. population.