Let’s face it, social media has become not only a part of modern life but for many people, it has become an essential part of their lives. This can be seen in the pure amount of time some people spend on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Studies estimate that the average person spends up to 3 hours a day on Facebook alone. As a company looking to grow your business, what does this mean to you? It means if you’re not marketing on social media, you’re behind the curve. As important as social media marketing is for companies, it’s also important to understand exactly how potential customers are using social media to inform them on a purchase.
Narrowing down of ideas
This is a pretty simple idea. Say you want to buy a new phone and you can’t decide between an iPhone 5S and a Samsung Galaxy S4. What better to help you decide than to hit up a mass group of friends all at the same time and get their feelings based on their experience. You might find out from one of your friends that he loves his S4 but it has this one little problem. If that problem is a deal breaker for you, you just saved yourself a lot of time and, potentially, money.
Localization of Planning
So, based on the info you received from your friends, you did a little more research and you have decided on the iPhone 5. Now, it’s just a matter of picking a provider and going to get your new phone. You can find out how each provider performs by going online to review sites and reading reviews on which company has the best service for the price. This comes with one problem, you’re from Salt Lake City, UT and all of the reviews that you’re reading are nationwide. It’s Facebook time! Again, you go on Facebook and throw out a mass question about which providers are best for your area. You can get feedback from multiple trusted sources that are within your area so you know the information is reliable.
All right, so you’ve decided that you’re getting an iPhone 5S from Sprint, you’re almost there. Now all you need to do is decide which Sprint retailer you’re going to go to or if you’re just going to go their website and order it there. Again, you can go to yelp or some other review site and read reviews from multiple (possibly) customers or you can go back to Facebook and ask the 5 people who recommended Sprint and find out where they went and if they liked the service and the deal that they got.
Not all customers’ use social media in this way but a shocking number of people do. In addition to their independent research, getting suggestions from trusted sources is an enormous value to the modern consumer.
How Can We Use This?
First, by establishing a strong, trusted social media presence. Having a Facebook page does nothing if you’re not utilizing it properly. You have to get the word out about your business while simultaneously providing a superior product. As we get deeper into the Internet age, it’s simply not enough to rely on word of mouth alone. If you increase your online presence and don’t offer the service to back up your claims, the Internet and the modern consumer will know.
It’s important to use social media in marketing your business. 5 years ago, the motto was “If you’re not online, you’re not in business.” While this still holds true today, it should be modified to say “If you’re not active on Social Media, you won’t have an active customer base.”