If your company’s marketing plan consists just of a website, you’re missing out on a lot of potential customers. According to the University of Maine, social media is used by 93.33% of internet users and 72.3% of the overall US population (over 240 million people). Globally, the average amount of time spent on social media every day is 2 hours and 24 minutes. The average social media user visits 6.6 different social media networks. 33% of internet users would rather contact a brand via social media than by phone. Every day, you are missing out on millions of prospective clients if you do not use at least one social networking platform.
Brands may use social media platforms to acquire real-time data about their target audiences’ preferences and test new visuals to optimize photographs and videos across marketing and e-commerce contact points. According to my observations, the most astute businesses will continue to invest in platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest to inform their visual strategy, ultimately maximizing online income and long-term business growth. Social media’s flexible nature makes it an ideal platform for storytelling, product debuts, and new initiatives. As we approach a new era of e-commerce, it’s evident that social media marketing is no longer an option; it’s a business-critical activity.
Quick Access to Information
From the standpoint of the consumer, social media enhances the buying experience. Prior to the advent of social media and the internet, people wanting product information had to frequently speak with store staff or someone they knew who used the product. That has changed dramatically because of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and Instagram, which are full of free information that everyone can readily and rapidly access at any time. A consumer may be able to obtain information on a product through a corporate website, yet they may still have questions.
Social media also has an impact on consumerism because it allows shoppers to get direct product knowledge by engaging directly with retailers or other consumers. Examine social media! Complete strangers may respond to your questions, or you may tag the company and possibly hear directly from the manufacturer. Using social media to find out these details can eliminate the need to visit a physical location, saving both times spent in the store and time spent commuting.
Customer and Audience Involvement
Social media platforms enable you to communicate directly with customers and fans while also allowing them to interact directly with your brand. Unlike traditional media, which only allows for one-way contact, social media is a two-way street. If you want your customers and followers to be interested, you must be engaged yourself. Maintain an active presence on social media and reply to comments and queries on your postings in a way that is consistent with your brand. You can also utilize social media monitoring to track what people say on the social web. Burger King does more than just tweet; it also responds to others who mention BK.
Images and Graphics
“As the adage goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Being able to see something typically brings far more clarity than simply hearing about it. This is another illustration of how social media has influenced customer behavior in the modern economy. Previously, buyers could only see their chosen things by visiting a business that carried them or by seeing a television commercial that featured the product in a precisely curated way.
For consumers who want to see a product before purchasing it, social media can provide images and videos, particularly from other consumers who are using that product. The availability of these photos can be a deciding factor in deciding whether to purchase them. Websites and advertisements frequently depict the goods with optimal lighting and sound on a white background. A food dehydrator may appear to be a wonderful buy until you read a consumer review that reveals it is small and very loud. Potential customers can observe the scope of the product and its real-world use through social media without having to leave their homes or suffer from buyer’s remorse.
Buyers and marketers now have a level playing field thanks to social media. Consumers can learn about and interact with brands much faster and more readily, and vice versa. Brands may listen to their customers on an individual level and help them address problems more quickly. Because of social media, consumers now have considerably higher expectations of the firms they support. Organizations of any size can meet the challenge if they have the necessary tools.
Views expressed are personal.