How does social media influence consumer behavior?

4 Ways Social Media Influences Consumer Behavior 

Does social media affect consumer behavior?

Social media has occupied an important position as a communication tool. People across the globe use social media to connect to other people or organizations.

Globally, people have started to use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to share their experiences. As customers, people share product reviews, information about a service, advice on food or health, warnings about products, tips on using certain products, and much more.

People have a lot of ‘connections’ on social media, therefore information is consumed by many people. This information becomes a source of  influence on consumers and their buying behavior.

Research studies  have shown that many people rely on the information and reviews on social media as a guide for planning their future purchases.

Social media has grown in terms of its reach and impact. Here is a statistic to prove that.

54% of social browsers use social media to research products (GlobalWebIndex, 2018).

4 Ways Social Media Influences Consumer Behavior 

More buyers are now on social media networks than ever before. Consumers are looking for reviews and recommendations. Therefore, it’s essential to have a prominent online presence on various social media platforms.

The latest trend in marketing is the introduction of the social media. Social media has the power to influence potential customers from the start until the stage of a purchase and beyond as well.

To start off, consumers need awareness about your brand and its offering. At a later stage, when they start to narrow down their choices, you need a social media influencer to convince their choice. A constant dialogue between the customer and the brand is essential to keep the relationship strong. Attractive and informative content can glue the customers to your brand.

Here are 4 ways in which social media influences consumer behavior: 

1. Builds product awareness

Social media is a huge influence on consumers when they are attempting to build awareness about a particular product. When people face a problem, they start searching for a solution. But most of the times people do not know which product or service will solve their problems.  

How do people get to know about your product?  A large section of the audience gets to know your brand through the content that is distributed on social media.

Top 8 social networks drove more than 31% of overall traffic to sites

The aim of every business is to influence consumer behavior.  If you do not have a brand presence on social media, you are missing out on an important opportunity to influence your consumer buying behavior.

2. Social Proof as a greater force of buying decisions

Social media has resulted in the evolution of social proof as a greater force for buying decisions. Social proof has emerged due to the tendency of people to imitate the behavior of people around them or people imitate people who have influence over them.

Happy customers tend to go about praising the products with likes, shares, reviews and comments on social media. Marketers are making social space more transparent by sharing reviews, comments, likes, tweets and pins of their happy customers to generate brand trust and increase conversion rate.

Sharing testimonials, case studies, pictures, comments and videos of happy customers will build greater trust and will work well on your landing, page, consulting page and sign-up page as well.

The power of social proof cannot be undermined when social media has become integral part of buyers and sellers. Social marketers looking to sell their products should have a solid social proof in form of case studies, images, video, pod cast interviews and influencers as part of their selling strategy. All this will eventually increase the conversion rate. 

3. Promotions, Discounts and Deals on Social Media

Many social media users have signed up for social media groups/forums that they are interested in. When consumers see promotions, discounts and deals on social media, it influences their buying behavior.

64% of online consumers wait to buy things until they go for sale,

Social media is an inexpensive platform that gives brands instant reach to billions of active social media users. Brands should ensure that target audience sees your products, likes them and shares them on social media, which helps to influence consumer behavior.

4. Social Media Influencers

Consumers are more likely to buy when they get recommendations from a person they trust. Celebrities and popular people inspire their audience and influence their buying behavior.

It is true that 49% of consumers seek guidance from social media influencers before making a buying decision.

For example, an influential gamer would endorse gaming and tech products. Consumers on social media look up to these influencers for recommendations and advice on products. A positive influence will encourage the consumer to buy the product.

Influencer marketing can work wonders for your brand by attracting more customers. Many marketers are replacing celebrities with YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat influencers. These online stars are providing unfiltered feedback on products, and consumers love it.

Conclusion

Social media, which includes the content, visuals, promotions, discounts and influencers, has the ability to influence the buying behavior of consumers.

The effects of social media on consumer behavior cannot be ignored by brands and businesses.

A Deloitte report highlighted that consumers who are influenced by social media are 4 times more likely to spend more on purchases. Moreover, the influence can be so high that 29% of consumers re more likely to make a purchase on the same day of using social media.