50 years ago, word-of-mouth advertising was the best way for any company or brand to obtain new customers. The same holds true today with one major difference – word travels much faster. With the advent of social media marketing, buyer behavior has changed drastically over the years.
Reviews and consumer choices
It’s been estimated that up to 90% of Americans now turn to the Internet for suggestions on where to spend their money. A vast majority of those shoppers will also gladly voice their opinion – whether positive or negative – online. Consumer reviews can drastically affect a shopper’s decision. One bad review can, at best, send customers away. At worst, a negative opinion can completely tarnish a company’s image and irreparably damage their bottom line.
A search engine is, in essence, a virtual gathering ground of every piece of information ever. A consumer wishing to find out a company’s hours, prices, and even parking situation needs only to ask and they will have their answer instantly. When a company stays in the spotlight through positive social media interaction, they tend to rank higher on search engine queries than lesser-active competitors.
Deals and discounts
It’s a no-brainer – people like to save money. And, with websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, smart shoppers can share their bargain finds with hundreds to thousands of people at once. An added benefit to the seller is they may spend very little money and still reach a massive audience.
Personal recommendations carry a huge weight with shoppers. A quick post online by a happy customer is very likely to create a domino effect of new revenue for the business in the spotlight. Aside from just social media, a customer now has the power to instantly message a friend who they know has patronized a certain business before making a financial commitment. Within seconds, that potential customer can get someone else’s opinion and either whip out their wallet or walk away.