We had a great discussion on yesterday’s post, where I shared a video and we debated whether or not it made you buy the product they were advertising.

Here’s the question I’d like to ask: what have you bought because of Social Media?

For example:

  • have you bought books because someone on a blog recommended one?
  • have you attended an event because someone tweeted about one?
  • have you bought expensive goods because someone linked to them?
  • have you bought a brand’s product or services because it engaged with you?
  • have you attended or bought local because a local business engaged with you?

I think we can mine an incredible amount of insight if we all share our experiences – which is why I’m asking you please to not just read but comment, as well as asking you to share this article profusely so we can grow our data set.

Looking forward to discussing with you – I really do think it will help us all a lot,

Archived Comments

  • http://www.misae.co.uk minxymoggy

    This is a really important survey, Scott thanks for starting it. For my part I can say I’ve been to lots of events because of social media and I’ve discovered a lot of online services through friends sharing them and crowdsourcing ideas. However I read slightly less in print now than I used to, but read *way* more online and from much more diverse sources.

  • http://www.FreshResources.co.uk @barryfurby

    Absolutely, I think we all build up an element of trust between our connections and these recommendations carry a lot of weight. I personally have attended various events, bought web hosting, bought (and read) books that i was pointed too – even bought pizza and frozen yoghurt on the back of social campaigns. Don’t get me wrong, if @SuperHosting tell me their hosting is ‘super’ i wont buy it, but if @scottgould did, i probably would :-)

  • IvanaSendecka

    Excellent question, Scott! ;-)

    I have bought mainly books thanks to referrals of my network.
    Then, I have also bought presenter’s remote and few DVDs with movies. If my current location would not be Slovakia, but more technologically savvy country, I would follow also restaurants tips and nice food joints spotted via Foodspotting;-)

    I can help you with your research and use your question in Question Of The Week series on my blog, so there will be more data to work with.
    Have a super cool day, Scott.

  • http://twitter.com/lexjt Lex T

    I have to profess, as a consumer, I have not yet (consciously) made a purchase because of social media. However, thought I’d share some B2B SM purchasing experiences relating to a recent event I was promoting…

    Without doubt, the networking ability afforded by twitter has been fundamental for me in making connections with ‘creatives’ and dynamic businesses in the area (including yourself of course) that will help me add value to the organisations I am working with on a daily basis.

    These connections have resulted in B2B business being done. For example, twitter enabled me to start interacting with new contacts such as @PJSPhotography and @HillTribeMedia. I got quotes from both relating to @exeterfoodfest 2010 and the result was me commissioning hill tribe to produce a marketing video for use in promoting the 2011 festival. Although budgets didn’t stretch to Peter’s 360 photography unfortunately, I have since met with him and discussed various ideas and future business opps.

    A true example of the potential for SM to generate business now AND in the future.

    Also shows how global SM platforms are helping drive economies at a local/regional level…and that has to be a great thing!

    Hope this adds to the insight and great subject for discussion

  • / Scott Gould

    So Social Media has motivated you to go to events – why? What is the motivation to go?

    Also, how much are they?

    Have you paid to attend an event virtually yet?

  • / Scott Gould

    Sure – it’s about trusted referrals.

    I’m curious about the pizza and yoghurt – what motivated you to buy those?

  • / Scott Gould

    Thanks for helping us out, Ivana :-)

    Tell me more about the DVDs – what made you buy them?

  • / Scott Gould

    Hey Lex

    Just a thought – didn’t you come to Like Minds because of Social Media?

    Like you say, it’s a network engine – and it’s trusted referrals you’re looking for, right?

  • IvanaSendecka

    DVDs case study;-)

    I have shouted out on Twitter before Xmas holidays, which are your TOP 3 movies: I have got replies from cca 30 people, so it was pretty long list of the movies worth to watch.
    Firstly, I have watched downloaded versions (yes, I admit I download movies) and then when I liked the movie I have bought an original DVD – kind of like souvenir item.
    Same goes for CDs, if the stuff is really good, I buy original.

    So, I believe that worry of DVD or CD producers that piracy will destroy them is not in place, whereas if they produce good stuff, people will get back to them and buy it. Building copyrights brick walls around them will not help them.
    They should relax and know their customers behavior;-)

    End of DVD case study;-)

  • http://twitter.com/BarryFurby Barry Furby

    probably just because I spend a lot of time in the area (Camden, Piccadilly and Soho) and appreciated that they’d made the effort to reach out to social media to attract consumers.

  • http://www.misae.co.uk minxymoggy

    They’ve mostly been tech, investor or social media gatherings although there have been some others. I guess the main motivation is because I see learning as an essential part of my daily life and the ability to cement relationship made through networking online via social media are important.

    I pay for some events but I get invited to a lot more for free. I’ve paid over £100 but I can’t recall what the most expensive was. I’d say the majority are under that with most being free (or invitational).

    I also bought Adobe CS5 based in SM. Specifically a YouTube video someone shared.

  • NC Smith

    I keep finding myself buying the music Lance Armstrong tweets about. I’ve picked up a few books. I’ve also attended conferences first heard about on Twitter, and done business with people first encountered on LinkedIn. I would also suggest there are people I have business relationships today that I would not if not for the SM connection that keeps the relationship at the forefront of my mind, as it were.

    Oh yes, also local restaurants.

  • http://twitter.com/JohnDeereTara Tara Litzenberger

    I’ve purchased some rather odd things because of Social Media. One was a segway tour- friends and I decided (via twitter) to purchase tickets from Groupon (which they promote through twitter & email.)

    I also bought fresh beef. Several twitter friends recommended a specific kind of ground beef as being absolutely delicious, and twitter connected me to a local rancher who sells it. She DM’d me when they had some in stock, I ordered online and paid via paypal, and have a freezer full of good food.

    I’ve received lots of book and conference recommendations, but the only one I can track specifically to twitter was a friend sending me a copy of Crush It. I sent him money via Pay Pal to cover the postage.

  • http://widget.xssl.net/~admin228/graphic-design/ teedp

    I attended Like Minds because of Twitter.
    I also purchased these Top Trump Cards because of Twitter. http://www.face37.com/work/24/type-trumps
    Interestingly, I also started disliking a political party because of very negative campaigning style of tweets (running down of others).


    PS I am now going to start smoking Malboro and drink Coca-Cola / Budweiser Mixes because I heard that they were the most valuable brands on earth via Twitter. ;-)

  • / Scott Gould

    So it’s the weight of a single influencer – Lance Armstrong – right?

    Restaurants as well – that’s interesting. No restaurant has engaged me at all. How did they engage you?

  • / Scott Gould

    Wow – interesting examples!

    So my question is, what was it that made you buy? What the keywords here?

  • http://twitter.com/MartinHowitt Martin Howitt

    I know it’s a truism that “people buy people”, but I’ve generally bought into people via Twitter rather than into products. (I did, however, buy an iPhone because of Twitter mainly to keep up with stuff while on the move.)

    In terms of people, I’ve bought into all 300 or so people I’m following: in some cases they’ve also bought into me. That rocks.

  • http://twitter.com/graemefraser graemefraser

    Two physical things. Firstly a Flip HD videocamera. Not through engagament as such but rather because so many people that I follow recommended it. The second. A simply retweet of @henry_leon, founder of Leon Restaurants, who then sent me 40% off dinner. Not quite fully enagaged but its a start.

    But like an earlier post, I am still yet to be fully engaged by brand through social media.

  • NC Smith

    In the case of music, yes, just Lance. I can’t recall many others I follow tweeting about music and I apparently like his taste. I’m a big fan of Band of Horses thanks to him. The book recommendations are from various sources. The restaurants come from a frequent habit of mine in using Twittlelator Pro’s “nearby” function, and other efforts to dig into the Twin Cities, of which I am a relatively new transport. I follow and unfollow random locals regularly. However, I would not distinguish that practice from, for example, my mining of social networks for information on what social enterprise is all about, or any other topic.

  • http://www.rosagarriga.net Rosa Garriga

    I don’t know if you consider Amazon as Social Media, but I do pay a lot of attention to the book reviews and have bought some books because of the comments I’ve read.
    The same for webs like TripAdvisor, before booking a hotel I always read many reviews…
    But other than that, I can’t relate any other physical thing. I attend many events but are based on referrals from people I know personally.
    For me SM have helped me to connect with like-minded people, blogs and so on, like this one :)

  • http://twitter.com/alexthegreen Alex Green

    I bought you a book because I met you on social media, does that count??

  • http://www.sytaylor.net sytaylor

    What do I owe to social media?

    ChrisBrogan & Trust Agents
    Twitter engagement
    Organised several events
    Bought 15+ books
    Got a job as “Innovation Lead” – partially due to the Social Media network I have.
    Found myself bringing this to everyone I know IRL…

    …and I feel like I just scratched the surface.

  • http://tomdavenport.co.uk Tom Davenport

    I buy stuff if people I trust recommend it highly, which could be via social media but could be anywhere.

  • http://twitter.com/DickieArmour Dickie Armour

    I absolutely love this aspect of Social Media. Recommendations by your connected friends is so powerful.
    I went to LikeMinds 1 and 2 because I heard about it on Twitter. I have made so many new friends, and I mean real friends as a result.
    I bought a book, The Go Giver by Bob Burg as a result of a tweet I saw of a photo Bob had taken o0f his new book on display at an airport. I didn’t know Bob; I’d never heard of Bob Burg. (Sorry Bob!) But he and I are now connected on Twitter and I reviewed his book “The Go Giver” here: http://bloggingbookworm.com/review-the-go-giver...
    Take a look at the first comment – from none other than Bob Burg!!!
    That could and never would have happened 2-3 years ago.
    I love Social Media and especially Twitter!

  • Chris Hall

    I’ve bought:

    * kodak Zi8
    * event tickets
    * concerts/MP3’s
    * web services
    * books

    …and many many more. This all came because of trusted recommendations from friends, colleagues, clients and collaborators. This is social media in overdrive and proving real value on all levels.and all proving the power of Facebook’s latest social graph approach.

    So the key words and the crux are ‘trust’, ‘recommendation’ and ‘influence’. By the way, in my opinion, this is your best post for some time on many levels.

  • http://twitter.com/DickieArmour Dickie Armour

    I agree Chris.

    And the other awesome thing about Twitter is we met as a direct result of Twitter and LikeMinds!

    I love Social Media :-)

  • http://catherinewhite.wordpress.com Catherine White

    Most of my connections were born out of one or other social platform.

    While I accept social media only goes so deep, I enjoy conversations with people around a familiar camp fire.

    Some I trust more than others, but if one of them sends me a link or nudges me to an event, yeah sure I make an effort.

    That said, I don’t do the social round, which my circle understand, so I know if they have really, really nudged me, I had better check out their suggestions.


  • jamespoulter

    have you bought books because someone on a blog recommended one?
    Yes – Rupture by Simon Lelic – recommendation from @davidcushman

    have you attended an event because someone tweeted about one?
    Yes – Like Minds Immersive (by @scottgould and a host of others)

    have you bought expensive goods because someone linked to them?
    A couple of luxury clothing items that I now covet to my shame

    have you bought a brand’s product or services because it engaged with you?
    Virgin Media – Via their twitter customer service I defunct from Sky

    have you attended or bought local because a local business engaged with you?
    Yup – the Burger Box @ Surbiton Station and @bonitoschat the best burritos north of the river

  • / Scott Gould

    So it’s linked into your interests of Creative and SOcial Media – which of course is regular due to the use of the media.

    That YouTube video that you saw for CS5 – what was it abotu the video?

  • / Scott Gould

    Seems restaurants are certainly making the best use of SM – but only in big cities. None doing it in Exeter!

  • / Scott Gould

    Wow – so crowd sourced reviews!

    Thanks for this :-)

  • / Scott Gould

    LOL – Nate, always with a comic angle :-)

    So what were the keywords that we can use here? Relevance? Trust?

  • / Scott Gould

    Thanks Martin for this – I guess we could say that the more people who you have bought into who affirm a product, the more likely that you’ll buy it yourself?

  • / Scott Gould

    Thanks Graeme for this – what is the picture of “fully engaged” – what does it look like?

  • / Scott Gould

    So reviews are a big deal for you then. Do pay equal attention to reviews and ranking?

  • / Scott Gould

    That totally counts :-)

    But then again, we had a good long phone call. That was last August believe it or not – the last time I was in St Ives. I went back there this weekend – made me think of you and where I was stood when we spoke

  • http://twitter.com/BarryFurby Barry Furby

    I’ll try and dig out a tweet I saw the other day, a restaurant offering BIG discount to their mayor on Four Square….

  • / Scott Gould

    Sy – thank you for this – very thorough. Certainly it shows both soft and hard results – unpaid and paid.

    How are you “bringing this to everyone I know IRL”?

  • / Scott Gould

    Well hey – thats Social. Social Media is just trackable word of mouth, right?

  • / Scott Gould

    So recommendations are the key thing for you Dickie – would you say it is about quality of quantity of recommendations?

  • / Scott Gould

    Chris, first thanks for the kind words re: best post – lol – not sure what makes it so tho!

    Thanks for providing examples and giving your keywords. I’ve asked Dickie below and would ask you to – is it the quality or quantity of trust / recommendation / influence?

  • / Scott Gould

    So it’s personal trust – with people you know online as well as offline?

  • / Scott Gould

    James – thanks for the very thorough response!

    Let me ask a question I’ve asked a few people below – is it the quality or quantity of recommendations?

  • / Scott Gould

    Thanks Barry :-)

  • IvanaSendecka

    ;-) cheers, Scott.
    here are some more thoughts on your question http://ivanasendecka.com/2010/05/22/qow_20/#com...

  • http://twitter.com/alexthegreen Alex Green

    Oh, Good. then I bought a book because of social media!
    I may also have bought some other things but in all fairness, I don’t remember anything specific, at least not for myself!
    One day, I may buy a like minds ticket and that will be totally because of social media.

  • / Scott Gould

    Oh, I hope one day you can come!

  • chris_krasovich

    I have definitely made purchases because of SM tips. One item that did not make your list would be altruistic spending. Because of SM, I have been more aware of opportunities to support worthy efforts and organizations financially and have done so with greater frequency than I would have otherwise. Some examples include disaster relief, calls to action from This American Life, and individual fund drives.

  • thaneryland

    I have done the same as many below re purchases and recommendations. A few other thoughts:

    a) Would be interesting to look at the non-Amzon, non-already establish ecommerce leaders/channels (DVDs, CDs, travel, hospitality) since they were already pushing offers to us pre-TWitter and FB.
    1) Would be interesting to see what SM has brought people through bartering and or swaps/free ‘purchases’ — the silent economy with no bar codes. I have gathered the following by asking/following my social networks:
    * A lawnmower that was sitting in someone’s shed since there was nothing on Freecycle, and I needed on quickly. Someone in my football league offered it for free.
    * Freelancers for my social media monitoring and analysis projects.
    * Tenants for my wife’s holiday home in Italy. Via FB.
    * Special offers and events for Crouch End residents via @CrouchEnd.

  • http://twitter.com/smartannam AnnaMP

    I am out of that population that is sceptical to any recommendation but it does not mean that i ignore everything. Under thorough study it turnes out that something recommended is approximately the same as i’ve already bought.
    Another thing when brand’s product or services engeges with me. it touches personal sphere and shows respect to me inner ego. I would consider such attempts less sceptical but stilljudge by myself. Strongly believe that direct contact on person-to-person basis has more impact for both: the company as well as consumer. The company compiles data on a customer, the customer is soothed with uniqueness idea. Social interaction adds more credibility than getting ordinary direct mails.

  • / Scott Gould

    I like this Chris – that you have given to charity, etc, through social media.

    What motivated you to give to those particular groups?

  • / Scott Gould

    Thanks for this very through comment!

    Great insight on Amazon – though isn’t it the point that SM is just a referral engine for connections that we already had anyway?

    I love the examples, and the diversity of them. All of them seem to be very people-to-people, rather than brand focussed – which is a common trend that I’m seeing

  • http://www.rosagarriga.net Rosa Garriga

    Yes for me reviews are very important, especially for hotels. I have to say I usually try to look for cheap hostels (I’m on a student budget!) so quality is more difficult to find. However, you have to be careful because I’ve seen many times how hotels review themselves, but usually its easy to spot the ‘patterns’ of such reviews :)
    The ranking is the first thing I look at, but then I’ll base my decision on the reviews.

  • / Scott Gould

    I’m the same actually. Ranking, then reviews.

    It’s quantitive, then qualitive. Volume, than value


  • http://www.rosagarriga.net Rosa Garriga

    Yes, first quantity, for 2 reasons:
    – as in statistics, the higher the sample the more reliability
    – if the sample is big, is less likely that its all biased by the own hotel reviews!!

  • / Scott Gould

    Thats good to know. It means that numbers DO matter – but it’s understanding which numbers matter in which context.

  • http://www.misae.co.uk minxymoggy

    This is the YouTube video on Photoshop CS5’s Content Aware Fill. Once I saw that you could delete a tree and not be left with a gap in an image I had to have it! I challenge you to NOT want a copy after watching it!


  • thaneryland

    Thanks for the personal response, Scott. I am not sure that SM is solely
    a referral engine for connections that we already had. I learned of you
    through your link to Trey Pennington. This was an invisible connection to
    me. Like the BBC iPlayer mantra, repurposed: SM wakes the invisible,

    I also look at examples like a Tweet from a tiger sanctuary manager asking
    for information on the driver of a car that killed a tiger. This is a
    broadcast platform for help as well as a referral engine example. I will
    be curious to see if this SM approach will bear fruit faster than WOM in
    the traditional village sense.

    I keep referring to David Armano’s ‘Human Feed’ diagram a lot these days.
    The human feed is the world’s largest referral engine. Search engines
    served their purpose (and still do) but we are shaping the future of how we
    interact. Right now, I find the paradox of SM, te increased levels of
    loneliness in 18-24 yr olds and the asocial aspects of iPads fascinating
    and somewhat troubling for how we interact.

    OK, gotta run.

    On Fri, 28 May 2010 20:19:45 -0000, “Disqus”

  • / Scott Gould

    Thanks for the reply!

    Those are good insights – I’ll be thinking on them :-)