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Social Media Marketing Influences Customer Purchasing

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Social Media Marketing Influences Customer Purchasing

by Donovan Dillon Contributor

Posted on June 12, 2014 17:53 PM

According to a report published in 2013 by the Advertising Research Foundation, social media marketing has a significant impact on how consumers purchase items. In fact, one-third of those surveyed said they were either introduced to a product or changed their opinion of one after viewing posts on social media and 22 percent said that social media was an important part of the decision making process. This is forcing many businesses to ask how these statistics affect e-commerce.

Friend Recommendations

For decades, recommendations from friends have been a major factor in how people choose to purchase items. People have always been more likely to purchase an item or frequent a business if a friend has recommended it. However, social media marketing has created a much wider range of friends that consumers can use to seek opinions. No longer is it simply a neighbor or co-worker who provides feedback on a product or service, but it could be a cousin living in another country or a former classmate that lives in another state who provides insight into a company or product. Therefore, companies must take an active stance on sites such as Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter not only to promote their products and services, but also to address any customer concerns, feedback or comments.

Brand Awareness

A study conducted by IBM related to 2013 Black Friday sales found that only one percent of visits to e-commerce sites were from social media, and even fewer sales came from social media.  Although many would argue that this statistic indicates that social media marketing has little affect on e-commerce, the fact is that a consumer’s decision to make an online purchase is very complicated. Social media offers customers a platform to provide and receive feedback directly from the company. This helps build brand awareness while allowing a company to be seen as proactive when problems arise.

Traffic vs. Sales

One thing to keep in mind is that, although social media marketing has been shown to drive traffic to websites, the goal is to gain sales from that traffic. Currently, search engines still generate higher sales numbers than social media, which is why search engine optimization techniques are still important. However, social media channels are slowly becoming the preferred method for choosing goods and services.  According to a Nielsen study, 70 percent of adult social networkers shop online and are 12 percent more likely to do so than an adult Internet user who is not active on social media.

Social media marketing is an important tool for businesses today. Social media sites help promote brand awareness, allow instant customer feedback and are a growing method for consumers to gain information on products or services. To learn more about how MODsocket can take your social media marketing efforts to the next level, visit us at www.modsocket.com.


About the Author

Donovan Dillon is President of Ad Giants - a Next Generation Marketing Services company specializing in software-as-a-service and creative solutions that improve sales and marketing effectiveness. Donovan has over 25 years of marketing, product management and technology planning experience. He was previously head of Marketing for Broadwing Communications, and has held senior marketing and technical positions with Level 3, XO Communications, and ATT.