The way consumers interact and buy products or services from businesses has changed drastically in recent years. We no longer rely upon the drivel spouted out by corporate robots via direct mail, television adverts, flyers and telesales to inform us about products, as we’re able to do the research ourselves.
The internet has completely revolutionised advertising and marketing campaigns, with a real focus on social media. No doubt you’ve heard of Facebook and Twitter, they’re mentioned everywhere these days – TV shows, small businesses, customer service departments, bloggers – they’re not just used by teenagers communicating in text speak – LOL.
It’s not just Facebook and Twitter that are important for businesses though, social media spans a whole host of websites and platforms, including Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, Vine and Foursquare.
Social media influences buying behaviour
If you’re a small or home-based business looking to increase brand recognition, social media is a great way to go. Here are a few statistics from industry leaders that should give you an idea of just how much it can impact your business.
- -More than 15 million consumers go to social media channels before making purchase decisions
- -74% of consumers rely on social networks to guide purchase decisions
- -79% of consumers like a Facebook company page because it offers discounts and incentives
- -78% of respondents said that companies’ social media posts impact their purchases
- -44% of social media savvy women said their trusted/favourite blogger influences their purchasing decision
Benefit from increased website traffic
My Favourite Voucher Codes has experienced the positive impact of social media first hand. This relatively small indie website gives away 20% of all net profits to charity, with a different recipient each month and visitors can choose which charity benefits in a poll on the home page.
When the charities get involved through their social media channels, My Favourite Voucher Codes benefits from a huge surge in website traffic and votes in the poll. Just last month, the deafblind charity, SENSE tweeted about their chance to win the donation and received overwhelming support from their followers. In this case, social media didn’t just benefit the company in question, but also helped raise hundreds of pounds for a good cause.
Stay up to date
If you’re looking to get started on social media, or update those profiles you created months ago, keep a couple of things in mind: listen and engage. If you have a social profile, your customers will expect it to be updated with useful content – not a load of bumph about how amazing your company is.
Remember that social media will brand your business – this can be negative as well as positive, so it’s important to only create accounts that you can realistically manage. If you don’t update your contact details or reply back to customers, you could soon be labelled as lazy and inconsiderate.
However, by listening to consumers and engaging with them, you should start to see the benefits social media can have, such as improvement in website traffic and sales.
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