NEW YORK: Three in ten internet users worldwide have made a purchase based on a social media ad or post, according to research from Ipsos OTX, with that figure rising to almost seven in ten in Brazil, the most engaged country.

The global innovation centre for Ipsos, the market and opinion research firm, polled 18,150 consumers in 24 countries and found that 35% had bought a product or service largely on the basis of an advertisement on a social media site, while 31% had done so as a result of a posting they had seen.

While the actual figures varied widely, with Brazil the most open to persuasion via social media and Britain the least, advertisements were always at least as effective as posts and generally more so.

Overall, BRICS nations emerged as being among those most likely to be influenced by social media advertising. Fully 69% of online Brazilian consumers had made a purchase after seeing an ad, and 66% after seeing a post.

Equivalent figures for India were 57% and 50%, and for China, 51% and 44%. Further back came South Africa, on 42% and 31%, and Russia, on 40% and 35%.

Other countries that were highly engaged social purchasers were Indonesia (68% and 64%), Mexico (61% and 60%), and Turkey (55% and 50%).

In addition to South Africa and Russia, a middle group included Saudi Arabia (39% and 39%), South Korea (34% and 35%), Spain (31% and 27%), Poland (28% and 24%), Italy (28% and 23%) and Hungary (25% and 21%).

A group of developed countries made up the bottom tier, starting with Sweden (25% and 17%), followed by Japan (19% and 16%), the United States (18% and 16%), Australia (17% and 14%), Belgium (17% and 13%), France (15% and 7%), Germany (14% and 13%), Canada (13% and 10%) and finally Great Britain (9% and 9%).

The under-35s were most likely to have purchased a product or service based mostly on an advertisement they saw on a social media site (40%) or based mostly on a posting they saw on a social media site (36%).

Education levels were another indicator, with a high level of education indicating a greater propensity to buy (39% and 35%). The same was true of income, with those on high income (36% and 32%) more likely to buy than those on lower incomes.

Data sourced from Ipsos OTX; additional content by Warc staff