Are Businesses Wasting Their Ad Money on Social Networks?

Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- What is social media for? The vast majority of 18,000 respondents in a new Gallup poll  -- 94 percent -- say what you would think they would say: to connect with family and friends.

However, when it comes to advertisers using the sites to peddle their wares, most Americans are very disinterested in their ads, according to Gallup.

In fact, more than six in ten say that the various messages they see have virtually no effect on their buying habits.

A mere five percent agreed with the statement that ads on social media sites have a “great deal of influence” on what they buy.

Millennials who responded to survey -- by far the biggest segment of social media users -- aren’t enamored with brands and businesses on social media sites. Nearly half say the ads had no influence at all on their spending habits.

Another finding: even people who “like” or follow brands on social networks aren’t rushing out to buy the merchandise. Of this group, 53 percent say the messages have some influence and 34 claim they could care less.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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