Cost-of-living pressures means social media users are rethinking the value of platforms, spending more time searching for money-saving content.
Research from creative agency We Are Social and market research company Statista Q, found that since the cost of living crisis began in late 2021, almost half (45%) of social media users – rising to 62% among Gen Z – have been using social platforms to actively seek out money-saving content from brands and influencers.
Facebook and Instagram were the top performing platforms for money-saving content, putting Meta in control over the majority of money-saving social content market share.
The survey of more than 2,500 consumers also revealed that over a quarter (26%) of users are now more likely to click on or purchase budget products that are advertised or shared on social media.
Brands and influencers have a role to play
In response to the growing demand for money-saving content, users noted a marked shift in the tone and the content of many influencers on social media – from aspirational to relatable.
Nearly half (43%) of adult social media users in the US and UK said creators on social media have become more considerate of their audience’s spending power. More than three-quarters (78%) think influencers who share luxury items are at risk of being perceived as out of touch, while almost six in 10 (59%) consumers noted that influencers have helped them find cheaper options for products.
This research marks an interesting consideration for brands, particularly those who use influencer marketing, to be cautious with how they frame products to avoid ousting themselves as ‘out of touch’ with their customers. This is a particularly tricky tightrope for marketers of luxury brands to walk.
The current economic climate lends itself well to influencers and brands who stay rooted in realism and market themselves as relatable.
Users themselves have changed how they present themselves on social media. One in six of those surveyed admitted to “toning down” their online posts to avoid “showing off” in the current economic climate. Around half (48%) believe their social media accounts portray a realistic version of their life.
Paul Greenwood, report author and Head of Research and Insight at We Are Social, said: “It’s become clear that digital life hacks have entered a new era. Shopping at budget stores has become a badge of honour, showcased via TikTok challenges. Collector culture has suddenly become more accessible, with inexpensive spoils shared on social platforms.
“It’s natural that people will change the way they act as their financial status shifts and we can see people are taking a more subjective view of what’s actually valuable to them. That often means influencers flexing what they know rather than what they have – and brands should be taking a similar approach in social platforms.”