Effects of Social Media Marketing on Consumer Buying Decisions
Social Media has in the last few years become part of one’s life. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have seen immense growth in numbers per day of people signing new accounts- both personal and business pages. In recent times, news has spread extremely fast due to social media platforms and many people do get their information from social media networks. Social media also helps organizations to communicate with their customers. It, therefore, is no surprise that social media marketing has grown rapidly due to these trends.
Social media marketing is defined as a form of internet marketing that utilizes social networking sites as marketing too. The goal of social media marketing is to produce content that users will share with their social network to help a company or brand increase their brand exposure and expand their customer reach and base.
Nowadays many people are using the internet as a tool to connect to old friends, they use it for business, they look for reviews on social media to support their decision making on buying a product or service.
As a Communications Agency, part of what Global Media Alliance does is to work with companies and brands to develop the right social media marketing strategies to suit their objectives of reaching their targeted audience.
Below are some of the ways social media marketing affects consumer behaviour and purchases:
Social Media Marketing Reaches Consumers While They Are Already Online
The growing trend of online shopping has allowed for many consumers to be driven by this trend because they are already online. Social Media Marketing has found a way of reaching consumers through means such as display Ads that pop up even when the consumer is not the site that is selling that particular product. Sponsored Ads on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have also increased due to the need to get more people interested in one’s products or services.
This is different from traditional marketing perhaps 20 years ago where marketing professionals often relied on traditional marketing such as TV and print ads to get consumers interested in their products. This meant that consumers still had to physically go to a shop to be able to get all the information needed on the product they wanted to buy before making the decision to purchase it or not.
Social Media Marketing makes engagement with consumers most of the time easier and faster thus influencing quicker decisions on interest. Consumers have also grown accustomed to being just one click away from discovering a new brand, visiting a company website, or making a purchase, they now look for convenience.
Social Media Marketing Keeps Your Brand Visible
Traditional online advertising changes as consumers click through different web pages. Ads are not searchable. If a consumer closes one window and then returns to it in hopes of finding an ad they saw, it may have changed already. One of the main benefits of marketing through social media is the visibility and stability of information shared.
For example, if a consumer notices your product as they scroll through their Facebook feed but doesn’t think much about it at the time, they can later review their social feed or search for your company’s page to find the information again when they want it. Further, even if consumers don’t go looking for your brand online, once they follow your company on a social feed, they’ll see much of what you share, making a product and brand placement natural, unobtrusive, and consistent.
Social Media Marketing can Drive or Deter Traffic
In this age of empowered and wiser consumers, it is important to note that consumers have a large amount of influence to their peers. As a result, consumers who are dissatisfied with a product or service can deter traffic while consumers who have a good experience with the brand will drive more traffic to the company.
A bad review on social media can create a negative image of the brand online deterring prospective clients from trusting one’s brand. It is very important therefore that when brands choose to use social media marketing to sell their products and services that they are able to properly engage with their audience even those who have had bad experiences (as one cannot always control everything) to ensure that they do not lose trust in the brand.
Chief Director – Global Media Alliance.
LinkedIn: Emma Wenani