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Does Social Media Help You Spend More Than You Normally Would?




You probably realize by now I am a research skeptic in most instances. I am what many call a “high skeptic”. All that means is that I come at these things form the angle that researchers will have to prove to me that they are genuine rather than the opposite approach which would be to just accept research as real just because it is research.

So when I saw the chart below from research conducted by ClearSaleing and reported by eMarketer I had a few thoughts.

The premise is that in a multi-channel approach the impact of social media is that people spend more, on average, when social media is part of that process.

I suppose that could be true but I think it has more to do with the types of purchases that are influenced by social media. Larger ticket items require many people to get more information so they feel they can be assured that they are making the best decision with their larger outlay of cash (or credit). That makes sense.

But when research like this is presented in a way that is designed to make people say that “Oh social media makes people spend more when it is part of a multi-channel effort” I get queasy. People will look at this and not do the next level of thinking behind it. Not the least of which is to see that ClearSaleing is a company that measures such things and stands to benefit from provocative research.

I am not saying this isn’t legitimate research. It very well could be spot on but this world of “research as PR” it is always a good idea to play the role of skeptic before you make decisions based on research like this.

Agree? Disagree? Let’s hear it.