Social media is about much more than posting pictures and catching up with friends. Consumers are actively engaging with brands as a part of their purchasing decision. It is essential for organizations to get on board because social media is making a big impact in the following ways:
It emphasizes the power of word-of-mouth. Since the beginning of time, word-of-mouth marketing has been essential if brands wanted to be successful. I know it’s hard to imagine, but there was a time where television, radio and the Internet did not exist. Once the Internet became popular, word-of-mouth marketing transformed with the introduction of the online customer review.
Social media really took this idea to the next level by encouraging users to incorporate their “friends” opinions into the purchasing process. The power is now in the hands of the consumer, not the brand. One bad review could be detrimental to the success of any company or organization.
It strengthens the relationship between businesses and consumers. Through social networks including Facebook and Twitter, brands can communicate with consumers on a more frequent and individual level than what was possible before. A lot of organizations are enticing fans that endorse their brand by giving out prizes. Instead of feeling like they are one in a million, consumers have the chance to feel special, encouraging them to become and remain loyal to the brands they love.
It keeps all stakeholders informed. Engagement and connecting with other consumers are great benefits on social media networks, but the community is also a place where brands can release important information including product releases, sales announcements, events, store hours, locations and much more. This convenience is important to consumers who are trying to stay informed and quickly engage with the brand.
It can turn a “want” into a “need.” Social media has the power to grab a consumer’s attention and cause them to take action. According to a study done by Sociable Labs, 75% of shoppers who read social sharing comments about a product have clicked on the link in their friends’ Facebook posts, taking them directly to the product page or a retailer’s website. 53% of those shoppers ended up making a purchase.