Social media, while having its feet firmly in the ground, is still an evolving medium with an untapped potential for businesses. As this dynamic landscape is evolves, so does consumer behavior. Consumer behavior, in this regard, refers to how your social media followers and fans react to your products, brand, and business as a whole on the internet.
If you are a social media marketer, it is important to realize this aspect as it can help in more direct decision making. Generally, social media marketing can influence consumer behavior and does so in in three major ways.
Trust and Credibility
Word of mouth is an essential marketing strategy, but one that takes time to be effective. When your social media followers are happy or satisfied with your products and brand, they will likely invite their friends to like your page or to follow you. Word of mouth is generated when your business establishes trust and credibility with your social media followers.
Back in the day, before television and newspaper ads, word of mouth was the most significant driver of sales. However, in the internet age, online consumer reviews have become increasingly important. That being said, consumer reviews tend to be misleading in some instances. Since social media though, trust and credibility has become important once more. For example, if a digital media firm has a Facebook and Pinterest account, then fans and followers would directly know what the business is all about and what it offers. Word of mouth is directly related to how many of your fans and followers invite their social media contacts to like or follow your page. This serves as a fundamental tool on which businesses can build their reputation through social media.
Engagement and Loyalty
What many marketers fail to realize is that building credibility is the first step to building loyalty. In the case of social media, engagement is the most significant driver of brand loyalty. How much you engage with your fans and followers will have a direct effect on how your business and brands are perceived by the consumers. Through social media, brands can encourage more direct engagement with consumers, which can instill brand loyalty among users. For example, if a pizza delivery service has a Facebook account and has fans that are concerned with the delivery time, the service can realize what consumer sentiments towards the business are. As a result, the service can introduce strategies to improve consumer experience, which as a result, can account for loyalty.
Information and Resource
Other than the fact that social media boosts engagement and credibility, it can also be work as a medium to share information. For example, after studying consumer behavior, the pizza delivery service realized that their large pizzas are ordered the most. This insight on consumer behavior allows them to have more direct decisions. For instance, the service can introduce new flavors specifically for large pizzas, or offer discounts on large pizzas. Alternatively, the service can use social media for sale announcements, new inclusions, and inform consumers about working hours among others. Overall, social media is an effective ground on which your business can build a long lasting image.
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