How Social Media Impacts Consumer Buying Decisions

Over the past decade, the use of social media has skyrocketed. Around 59% of the world’s population uses social media. The average daily usage is 2 hours and 29 minutes (July 2022).

Social Media
How Social Media Impacts Consumer Buying Decisions

It has evolved from being a platform for individuals to share photos of their friends and family to being a powerful marketing tool for businesses too. Social media has made its way into marketing strategies, and for good reason.

You can use social media to get feedback from your clients and see what they’re thinking about your products or services. If you want to reach a wide audience, there are several ways to go about promoting your business through various platforms.

With growing popularity, social media now has more impact on consumer buying decisions as well.

What is consumer behaviour?

Consumer behaviour is the way people choose and consume goods and services. It focuses on how consumers make decisions regarding various brands and conduct their research and shopping.

The average consumer would go through the following stages before buying

  • Need recognition or problem awareness
  • Look for information
  • Check for alternatives
  • Post-purchase evaluation

Here are four ways in which social media influences consumer behaviour: 

  1. It builds product awareness.
    A human tendency is to look for options or reviews when customers are not sure what product to buy. This is when it comes in handy. Social platforms are actively used for sharing reviews, which can be quite impactful for a brand. Customers who have had a positive experience are likely to recommend it to their family and friends, increasing brand awareness.
    Interactions with your customers show that you care. It contributes significantly to the development of positive relationships with your customers.
  2. Social proof in purchasing decisions.
    Social proof has emerged as a more powerful motivator for purchasing decisions. Marketers are making the social space more transparent by sharing positive customer reviews, comments, likes, tweets, and pins. Sharing customer testimonials, case studies, pictures, comments, and videos increases trust. All this eventually leads to an increase in conversion rates.
  3. Shortens the consumer’s journey.
    With the advent of technology, buying products has never been easier. One can buy products with just a click from the comfort of their homes through various platforms. This was not the case before smartphones and social media apps. Consumers prefer buying products through just a link than visiting stores.
  4. Social Media Influencers.
    Consumers are more likely to buy products from recommendations that they trust. People who are well-known and popular influence the buying habits of their audience. For example, a beauty influencer who endorses skincare products. Consumers look up to these influencers for recommendations on products, which in turn encourages them to buy the product.

Social media impacts society in the following ways:

  • increases awareness of social, ethical, environmental, and political viewpoints or issues
  • effectively spreads educational knowledge
  • provides companies with improved marketing opportunities
  • Creates new channels that companies can use to find, recruit, and hire new employees
  • provides a forum for group debate and opinion sharing

Conclusion

There are still many factors that influence consumer behaviour, including psychological, social, and personal factors. It is true, however, that a lot has changed since social media came into play. Using social media marketing strategies, brands can convert visitors into customers. Businesses need to keep updating themselves with the ever-changing trends and lifestyle to keep up with the consumer expectations.

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