If you’re not on social media, we’re not sure if we should be saluting you, or telling you that you’re most probably living under a rock.
Initially, social media platforms had the primary role of helping people share posts and photos with their friends and family.
However, with time, social media has changed to be an avenue most small, and big businesses use to create brand awareness, engage with their audience, advertise their services and products, attract traffic to their websites, generate leads, and drive sales.
This significant evolution in social media use is not only useful to B2C businesses, but B2B companies are also harnessing the marketing opportunities that social media provides.
Statistics show that in 2013, 86.2 percent of companies in the U.S. used social media marketing and in 2017, 90 percent used it. It’s projected that 91 percent of companies will be using it by the end of 2019. Therefore, social media’s influence is ubiquitous.
In fact, social media is now the cornerstone of every organization’s marketing techniques and rightly so. According to Sprout Social, 74% of shoppers rely on social networks to make purchasing decisions.
Here’s how social media influences the purchasing decision of its users:
1. Assessments And Reviews From Social Influencers
Social influencers are individuals with a massive following on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms.
With many users seeing the influencers’ posts every day, businesses usually, target influencers to promote products. Whether the content influencers post is sponsored or not, their posts have a tremendous effect on buying decisions.
For instance, if an influencer posts on Instagram about his new shoes, praising the footwear for its affordability and comfort, his followers may start expressing interest in those shoes.
Social media influencers are well known on social media, and will typically tag the brand or store whose products they’re promoting in their posts. This increases the followers’ familiarity with the brand, and it influences their purchasing behavior.
2. Reviews From Family And Friends
The primary function of social media is to connect us with family and friends who can’t meet often. However, as we continue using social media, we share a lot of information. We tell our friends and family about a new service or product we’ve discovered which ends up influencing them.
Studies show that 80 percent of customers can buy a product based on what their friends suggest. If you were fighting with a decision on whether to purchase an item or not, would you trust a stranger’s review over your sister’s firsthand review? Probably not.
Encourage your customers to be part of a conversation regarding your products on social media. Create a product-specific or brand-specific hashtag and start promoting it in your posts and on your website. You can also host a contest that lets customers post photos of them using your product.
3. The Presence Of A Business On Social Media
A company’s presence on social media immensely influences the purchasing power of its target audience.
Even if the brand creates tremendous attention from customers and influencers, with uninspiring social media presence, it’ll be hard to convince others of the company’s credibility.
A steady feed that displays the company’s products in use and offers value can help turn visitors into loyal followers and buyers.
A consistent feed will help a company to be a magnet for more followers, and that’s an essential element in influencing purchase decisions. When new people see a huge following, they get an impression that other people know about the brand, like their posts, and find satisfaction in their products. Therefore, many followers combined with great posts equals higher chances of purchases.
To be on top of the game, post content that your fans will find highly valuable, and post it regularly. Even if you’re in the service industry, social media enables you to increase brand awareness, engage with customers and learn a lot about their consumer behavior.
4. Social Media Advertising
The placement of social media ads is simple, but the targeting is more elaborate.
As a company, you can place ads, which align with your business goals like increasing brand awareness or generating sales.
When a user clicks through the ad and lads on your website, you can also use retargeting ads to move interested prospects through a sales funnel.
Social media ads can also help to drive repeat sales. Reminding customers that they need to restock a certain product or showing them other complementary products can increase the lifetime value of the customer. You can achieve this through retargeting or remarketing.
5. Trending Posts
You’ve probably discovered some changes to your popular social media platforms over the past few years. Posts with the highest engagement on Instagram and Facebook tend to show up first in news feeds.
In other words, posts with more shares, comments, and likes are highly favored and start to trend. When a certain service or product attracts the initial attention, such posts can influence the purchase decisions.
A trending post requires more than likes. Therefore, encourage your fans to share the post and drop comments as well. Suggest that someone should tag a friend or include a question in the caption to help generate a buzz.