Individuals exposed to social content are significantly more likely to increase their spending and consumption than those who aren't exposed, according to results from a new Ogilvy-ChatThreads study of restaurant consumers.

There was a two-to-seven times greater likelihood of higher spending or consumption depending on the media encountered by the study group. The sales impact was most pervasive when social content was combined with other types of media such as PR, out-of-home and TV.

Additionally, out of over 20 channels studied, social content exposure was associated with the largest shift in brand perception during a 7-day period.

Despite these strong social content impact findings, consumers are seeing relatively little branded social content during their daily routine. Only 24 percent of the study group reported exposure to social content, compared to a 69 percent exposure rate to TV ads.

According to Irfan Kamal, senior vice president of digital/social at Ogilvy, "Much of the work to date has looked at direct channel impacts; for example, do direct clicks from a social media site result in sales? This study of restaurant consumers attempts to understand the more complex factors that lead to consumer purchase and perception changes.

“We found that in the real world, social content exposure—by itself and more broadly when combined with other types of media exposure such as out-of-home, PR or TV ads—is linked with 2-to-7 times higher likelihood of consumption and actual spend increases. And, social content exposure alone is associated with the largest shift in week-to-week brand perception."