A large majority of people use social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. If you’re one of those individuals, you probably spend more time on these sites than you realize. In addition, there’s a good chance you may be making more purchases because of them.
In a study conducted on about 700 million online shopping transactions, the results showed that when comparing Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest users, Pinterest users spent about 70 percent more per transaction.
While many of the products and services you see on social media may feel like necessities at the time, it’s likely social media is tricking you into making a purchase. Here are some of the ways you can be influenced to make a purchase while using social media sites:
Showing Posts About Influencer Lifestyles
One of the positive elements of social media sites is finding a content creator you resonate with. Unfortunately, these influencers may trigger you to make purchases you don’t need. Many of them are sponsored by brands and get paid to promote specific products and services.
Additionally, there are certain subconscious traits that you pick up when you follow influencers. It could be something like saving up to splurge on your birthday, choosing specific fragrances or wearing clothes from specific brands.
Cashing In On The Fear of Missing Out
If you’re constantly viewing the world through a social media lens, you may start to feel like everyone is wining and dining regularly, driving the latest vehicles and wearing expensive clothing. However, you have to remember, social media is similar to a highlight reel. It’s not showing the actual daily lives of these people.
More often than not, the posts, videos and reels are made to show their good side while masking anxiety, loneliness or depression.
Encouraging Immediate Gratification
While shopping online is convenient, it’s also too easy to fall into a spending trap! You can be shown a product and quickly click on it to make a purchase without thinking about how the expense will affect your account balance and budget for the month.
Showing Posts From Friends About Products and Services
If you trust the opinion of your friends, you may see them post about products and decide to purchase the products based on the trust you have.
Unfortunately, companies understand the power of referrals and offer incentives to individuals who use their products. If they’re getting paid commissions to use those brands, they probably aren’t telling you the truth.
Giving Brand Offers and Discount Coupons
If you’re like other social media users, you may follow multiple brands without thinking about it. However, doing so keeps them on your radar, which can push your mind to spend more money on their products.
While offers and discounts are good, remember to spend only on the things that you really need.
Sending Targeted Ads
This is the most direct way – every time you’re on a social media site, it’s collecting data associated with your preferences to show ads. When you receive an ad that seems to know what you want to buy, you shouldn’t be surprised. Your data is used as a marketing tool to try and get you to buy products.
Sending the Same Ads Consistently
Social media sites will wear you down when browsing by posting the same ads repeatedly with the hope you’ll make a purchase. Strangely, this tactic works on many individuals.
Encouraging You to Copy Friends’ Purchases Out of Curiosity or Jealousy
Social media can be an excellent way to keep in touch with family members and friends living in distant locations. However, when you get a wide social network, you may be influenced to make a purchase similar to that made by one of your friends and end up like the main character in the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic (on Prime Video). The movie shows how quickly you can drain your bank account by buying frivolous items.
Moreover, brands offer options such as paying in EMIs (easy monthly installments), offering Buy Now Pay Later schemes in addition to supporting credit cards to push you to go beyond what you can afford.
It can be easy to lose track of time on social media sites. After all, they are free and you are just passing time or staying connected, right? Unfortunately, the same sites are used as tools to influence your opinion and lure you into purchasing unnecessary products. Be sure to remind yourself to only buy what you need.