SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook and blogs have emerged as key influences on the spending decisions taken by over half of fashion-conscious American women whereas Twitter is not effective as an initial source of information, according to new research.

The report from social media analysts Netbase found that the majority of women making decisions about clothing seek inspiration from Facebook, blogs and message boards, as well as image-sharing platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.

Netbase surveyed just over 1,000 women aged over 18 who have a profile on one or more social network. The respondents were categorised either as 'fashionistas', who agreed that fashion and beauty are extremely important to them, and 'social shoppers' who responded that the brands and products their friends use influence their own purchase decisions.

56% of 'fashionistas' and 72% of 'social shoppers' said Facebook inspired fashion decisions in at least one product category. Online message boards or blogs are consulted by 62% of 'fashionistas' and 64% of 'social shoppers'.

While Twitter does not appear to influence fashion choices, Netbase urges marketers not to overlook its influence for overall campaigns.

Lisa Joy Rosner, chief marketing officer of Netbase, said Twitter does not matter for influencing what product should be bought, but does play a role in decisions about when to buy. She said Twitter is still important, especially if brands want to get information out quickly.

She recommended brands should "hook consumers on products with Facebook and blogs" and then give promotions and incentives through Twitter.

The report also found that Pinterest influences 27% of 'fashionistas' while Instagram appeals to 42% of younger women aged between 18 and 29.

Rosner said brands should discover who are the key bloggers, their locations and then engage in conversation in those locations.

"Brands need to listen to the conversations that are happening on Facebook between users and listen to the conversations that are happening directly on your brand page. Digital marketing should strategically mention your campaign across those platforms," she concluded.

Data sourced from Luxury Daily; additional content by Warc staff