Aug 01, 2016 / by Maria Materise

If you don’t understand what motivates your audience to make a purchase, you won’t be able to convince them to buy from you. So where can you turn to gain the insights you need?

Social media discussion offers an inside look at how and why consumers make purchases and what your brand needs to be doing better.

At their recent webinar, “Analyzing Back-to-School Shopping Behaviors,” Cision’s Michelle Vangel and Caitlin Jamali shared their findings from a study of social discussion among back-to-school shoppers during the 2015 season. They showed on how people shop for the school year and the role that social media plays in the decision-making process.

Here are four insights Caitlin and Michelle shared during the webinar, and what it means for brands looking to attract consumers:

1. Personas shed light on shoppers’ motivations


Caitlin and Michelle identified several shopper personas that emerged during their research, including:

  • Savers, who are focused on finding the best deals and have a tight budget
  • Planners, who know what they need to buy and stick to their list
  • Students, who are excited and apprehensive about buying supplies for college
  • Convenience Shoppers, who want to make purchases quickly and painlessly

Personas help your brand hone in on the types of people interested in what your brand has to offer. When you know detailed information about them, such as demographics and behaviors, you can better target your communication.

2. Shoppers make friends and exchange advice online

Caitlin and Michelle found that 43 percent of back-to-school social buzz occurred on blogs, specifically mommy blogs. Another popular place for discussion was forums, such as those found on and BabyCenter.

On these sites, shoppers shared what they were looking for, how they were planning to find it and where to find the best deals.

Your audience is talking about your brand and your products online. With a media monitoring tool, you can tune into the conversation and gain insight on your reputation, what you’re doing well and how you can improve.

Want more insights on back-to-school shoppers? Watch the on-demand webinar!

3. Bargains and deals are a frequent discussion point


The Savers, who had the largest share of voice during the 2015 season, are constantly on the hunt for and talking about the best deals available. Caitlin and Michelle found that one in four shoppers discussed deals and savings on social.

Merchants that were offering an exciting sale or deal were discussed positively and gained a large share of the conversation. Staples was one of the top retailers mentioned, mostly due to their popular penny sales.

Your audience may not be as focused on sales and deals as back-to-school shoppers, but they are looking for a solution that meets their needs. How can your brand better position its products to be more attractive to buyers? Social listening can help you uncover actionable insights needed to improve your reputation and earn more sales.



Images via Pixabay: 1, 2, 3

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About Maria Materise

Maria Materise is a content marketing specialist for Cision. Formerly a copywriter, she enjoys creating content that excites and inspires audiences. She is an avid reader, movie trivia geek, Harry Potter fanatic and makeup junkie..