How social media influences purchasing decisions
Posted on 18th March 2022 at 14:58
No matter what marketing you’re in, there is one important fact that you should remember before beginning your marketing. The biggest customer base out there are the millennials. That’s only because GenZ is still too young to be influencing marketing trends.
This is important to note, only because it should help your business decide which methods to employ when trying to attract customers. Whilst there is still a big place for billboards, leaflets, and radio adverts; millennials have all moved online.
And so should you.
With this in mind, it was surprising to be involved in a conversation recently with a business owner that doesn’t “believe in social media”. It was hard not to answer with “well I promise you it exists”. In 2022, the power of social media is surely beyond question. It is a whole universe all its own.
People live their lives on there. And, as Facebook has shown us over the years, people make their purchasing decisions because of social media behaviour.
Peer recommendations are important to customers
“People buy from people, not from brands”. That saying has been bandied about so much over the years that it is almost a biblical quote or a fortune cookie philosophy. However, there is so much truth in it.
I think I have probably sold hundreds of set meals at my favourite Chinese restaurant, and I have never even worked for them. This is the power of word of mouth. And it might sound really corny, but the biggest mouth you will ever have is your social media.
No matter how tenuously you are linked to the people on your Facebook page, there is a certain amount of credibility you are given by being friends. In fact, as they have decided to interact with you, your opinions are lent more credence than if you had printed a leaflet and shoved it through their door unannounced.
In fact, Hubspot research shows that 71% of people are more likely to make purchasing decision based on social media referrals.
Social media is also about ethics, values, and personality
If a brand is active on social media, you can learn a lot more about them. In a word where personal politics are waved around proudly like flags, a brand who does the same on social media, will win loyal brand advocates.
Aldi is probably one of the biggest examples of this. Whilst they were taken to court and delivered a pasting over a caterpillar cake by M&S, on social media it was a different story.
In a glorious campaign ridiculing the department store giants, the court of public opinion swayed firmly in Aldi’s favour. So, they might have lost the court case, but they won more custom, and they won more plaudits from the people that mattered.
The personality of Aldi meant that people were actively seeking out their posts on social media. And whilst ten years ago it was unthinkable to mock other businesses publicly, now that sort of behaviour on social media is attracting new customers.
People like brands to engage with them
You can be forgiven for thinking that social media is an influencers market. There is potentially some truth to that. It is just that the customers, particularly millennials, are more impressed by engagement than they are promotion.
Fire out a thousand adverts if you like. That can’t hurt. But engage with people on social media, then you are joining important conversations and actually providing social value to them.
According to studies, 62% of millennials are likely to become brand loyal if the brand takes the time to engage with them. If your brand reaches out with sincerity, then you could be creating willing brand advocates.
It’s also about how other brands see you
If you are a B2B company, you might think that this all seems irrelevant to you. But it isn’t. In fact, if you are attempting to win a new contract, how you deal with people on social media, could influence their decision.
We are in the roaring twenties again, and one of the big things for the consumer groups is ethics. People will often be willing to pay more money to a company who matches their ethical stance than they will for the cheaper option.
Because of this, it is important to the business that you supply, that their own purchasing decisions don’t get called into scrutiny. For instance, there would be nothing worse for a brand like LUSH, than to be seen dealing with a company that doesn’t prioritise sustainability.
So, it doesn’t matter what business you are, social media should be a big part of your marketing strategy. If you are unsure how best to implement your social strategy, call us on 01604 698 948 for a friendly no-obligation chat.
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