The figure is a lackluster 4 percent in the "travel or travel services" and "banks or financial services" categories, and a mere 3 percent when it comes to "clothes or shoes," "eating out or restaurants" and "personal care products." It's lower still for "cell/mobile phones and services," "cars or trucks" and "groceries or food" (each at 2 percent) and lowest of all for "prescription or OTC drugs" (1 percent).

The numbers are more robust when respondents apply the looser standard of whether they "sometimes" use social media for guidance on purchase decisions in these categories. Still, the highest figure is a modest 24 percent for the "travel or travel services" sector, with "clothes or shoes" a percentage point behind.

In light of such numbers, it's not surprising that just 16 percent of the social-media users surveyed said they're more inclined to buy brands that advertise on social sites. Then again, most are not hostile to advertising on those venues: 63 percent agreed that the presence of ads is "a fair price to pay" for being able to use social sites.

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