Social Media Driven Consumer

Ryan Frederick
2 min readNov 8, 2023

During challenging macroeconomic conditions like we are experiencing with inflation, high interest rates, and a sluggish stock market, how can consumer spending still be holding up well? We entered into a new era of social media driving the consumer economy.

There is a lot of talk about how bad social media is. Still, one undeniable fact is that social media drives a significant amount of consumer perspective, action, and spending across many vital sectors, including clothing, events, travel, food, hobbies, and entertainment. Why? Because people need content to share. So they buy, do, and go places to have content for their social accounts.

The desire for social media content is now driving consumer behavior. Is that bad? I don’t think so. The only reason we aren’t yet in an official, full-blown is consumer spending, driven by an insatiable appetite for content for social media. $700 million will be spent on pet Halloween costumes this year. There is no way to explain this than social media are driving it. Category after category of strong spending can be tied back to content for social media.

The expansion of influencers and digital creators is undoubtedly impacting, but broad-based consumer spending strength, especially in the face of larger economic headwinds, reaches beyond influencers and creators.

The next question is, how long can it last? Consumer spending does have a ceiling without the spending corresponding to income, and for most people on social media, that doesn’t happen in equilibrium. Consumers are financing much of their current social media-driven spending, which always comes home to roost at some point. However, suppose wages continue to increase, and consumers can’t stay above their debt water. In that case, they will continue to spend to support the social media addiction of posting fits, pet antics, and mosh pit selfies.