By George DeMare, Vice President Business Development —

Social media has evolved into the official home improvement influencer.

A recent study by the Home Improvement Research Institute found in 2011, word-of-mouth from family and friends was the top source of project planning inspiration. Fast-forward to 2017 and many companies have progressed their traditional print and radio advertising to modern social media and websites. In fact, the internet is now the top go-to source for consumers when it comes to home improvement project planning, research, and shopping.

A good number of consumers are starting their home improvement projects online.

Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube are leading the social media landscape for home improvement needs. Consumers are finding inspiration by leisurely browsing, watching how-to videos, reading product reviews, and comparing prices. These social media channels have diverse content and offer enough value to attract any and every type of home improvement consumer.

The path to purchase for consumers is a mixture of online and real-world experiences. The vast majority of homeowners utilize personal computers and smartphones for their research and planning – they can think about home projects from anywhere!

While digital channels play a vital role, nearly 30 percent of consumers are still more likely to visit a home improvement retailers’ store for ideas compared to 18 percent of consumers who would browse the website instead.

Actual digital transactions for home improvement products remain rare, making up a tiny portion of sales but are rapidly growing.

Consumers have an endless amount of information at their fingertips and are more informed than ever! The ability to access inspiration, instructions, and advice from real people is still a leading factor for those looking to complete home improvements. But companies must keep in mind the magnitude of online marketing and consumer ease to stay relevant in this shifting media evolution.

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