Connection #7: Social Media: Influencing Purchases One Customer at a Time

Social Media Influencing Purchase Behaviour

(Image courtesy of Matthew Peneycad’s featured article.)

Social platforms are extremely important for businesses today. For any business out there unwilling to change and adapt to the way of the world, by all means, check the stats; you’ll re-think your stubbornness. Even those that have made the effort into the social world, they’re not utilizing it to its full potential; there is an endless amount of value they can achieve through the strategic use of social media. Throughout this entire COMM 306 course, social media has been prevalent to each and every assignment; and we’re just students. With the continuous rise of power that social media has- over pretty much everything- it’s only sensible for all businesses to get with the program, as effectively as possible.

Matthew Peneycad, writer for Social Media Today, recently published an article with a list of important “need-to-know” stats as to why businesses need social media. While reading his article titled, Unignorable Stats About How Social Media Influences Purchase Behavior, it was too good not to share. Aside from businesses- which is the main target- these tips could be universal and translate to anyone: from students to professors, and even the independently employed.

One of the statistics is that 91% of people have gone into a store because of an online experience; this even surprised me. As I stated earlier, there is still so much value organizations haven’t grasped, due to a lack of social media. For those on their social game, clearly this proves it’s purely beneficial. This statistic, crazy as it is, makes perfect sense; with a businesses information, product details, prices, and ups & downs ready for consumers to view at the click of a button, why wouldn’t they? Because of this, it is imperative for a businesses website and social media properties to be up-to-date, with all current information available that consumers are looking for. Peneycad makes a valid point: “If they can’t find the pertinent information that will sway their purchase decisions, they’ll buy from a company that does”.

American Eagle Store American Eagle Creates Mobile Triple Play

(Image courtesy of Mobile Mavens.)

Another statistic is that 89% of consumers conduct their research using search engines (Peneycad). Let’s experiment here. Go to Google and type in any businesses name; it’s a guarantee that the majority of the search engines you find will consist of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube. If not, their irrelevant in the social media world. According to Peneycad, “you have a tremendous opportunity to impress information seeking consumers on your social media properties when they are conducting research for a purchase, so take advantage of this and ensure that you’re putting your best foot forward”.

The next statistic correlates with the first: 62% of consumers end up making a purchase in-store after researching it online (Peneycad). We know that people tend to impulse shop at times, but this proves that the chances of that happening are much smaller. This means that the customer wants any and all knowledge about the product before making the final purchase decision. Having a website that is easy to navigate through is strongly recommended; you wouldn’t want that customer to go to your competitor at this point in the process.

If you read my recent blog post on rogue websites, then you know how important it is for businesses to monitor any activity going on through the web about them. Something I failed to mention was previous customer’s online reviews. This could go very badly, but statistics show otherwise. “72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations“, says Peneycad. So, if a complete stranger’s opinion is just as good as a friend’s, your business better make sure what those stranger’s are saying is good news- or else it’s bad news for you. To make sure of that, initiate the discussion to your customers- past, current, or potential- by encouraging them to write reviews on your social media platforms; that way you have instant access to what’s being said, with the opportunity to respond- this will go a long way.

Remember when I said it will go a long way if you actively respond to customer reviews? It’s true. According to Peneycad, 78% of consumers say that the posts made by companies on social media influence their purchases. If a business incorporates communicative and effective social media platforms, they have the opportunity to sway the customer’s purchase decision through the content incorporated. Is this all coming together for you all? It can’t be stressed enough: for a business- or anyone advertising their brand (even your personal one)- it is imperative that you incorporate communicative social media platforms into your daily regimen and ensure the content meets the customers needs. This is your opportunity to sell your product business; don’t waste it.

*The video above shares some insight from professionals on how to engage your customer through your content.

The video displayed is credited to YouTube and the company Constant Contact.

Peneycad, Matthew. “Unignorable Stats About How Social Media Influences Purchase Behavior.” Social Media Today. N.p., 13 Jun 2013. Web. 14 Jun 2013. <http://socialmediatoday.com/rgbsocial/1532766/unignorable-stats-about-how-social-media-influences-purchase-behaviour&gt;.

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