By Daniel Hunter

New research released today (Thursday) by GfK at the Institute of Promotional Marketing’s (IPM) Social Marketing Conference reveals that 81% of social media users regularly use coupons, vouchers and deals when shopping, compared to 69% of consumers who haven’t engaged with social media in the last 30 days.

Female social media users are more likely to take advantage of promotions than their male counterparts (85% versus 75%). Overall, promotions are most popular with younger social media users, with 89% take up amongst 16 to 24 year olds. However, the figure doesn’t fall dramatically even when you reach the oldest audience in the survey, remaining at 78% of those aged 65+.

Social media is proving to be an effective way to distribute promotions. In the UK research, carried out in February 2013, one quarter (27%) of social media users who used promotions found them via social media; 17% from companies/products they follow online, 8% from a friend sharing it, and 4% from a friend posting a ‘like’ or comment about it.

For all users of vouchers, coupons and deals, it is offers on food and drink that are the most likely to be used. Social media users, by comparison, are more likely to use vouchers for health & beauty promotions, and for days out and attractions.

GfK also ran this research in the US, where more people use social media to benefit from promotions. According to the research, almost half (46%) of US social media users ‘like’ brands to get discounts, promotions and to hear about sales. One quarter (27%) ‘like’ brands to get new product updates, and 27% to show their support of the company to others.

Crucially, 25% of US social media users have purchased a product/service because it was recommended on a social media site, and 26% have changed their mind about buying after reading or seeing something on a social network site.

- For usage of coupons in general (whether social media users or not), the US ranks 1 (85%), and UK ranks 5 (77%) globally;

- However, for social media users and coupon usage specifically, the UK moves up to third place after the US and Taiwan.

Richard Bussy, Digital Consultant in GfK’s Digital Market Intelligence team says: “Through our experience in consumer trends, we have known for a long time that technology is a driver of change, working as a catalyst to allow other trends to flourish. The research adds weight to our point of view that social media has a similar effect; regular users of social channels aren’t acting in altogether different ways because of social media, but rather are enabled by it to pursue their interests more easily and to a greater degree.”

Digital Marketing Show - if you sell products or services to marketing professionals take a look here for further details.

Join us on
Follow @freshbusiness