How many purchasing decisions have you made that were influenced by what others say on social media? Raise of hands, please. Alright, you can count me in. 🙂  I like to think that I am an independent thinker, and I am, particularly on matters I consider as truly essential; but on matters that are not, it’s a different story. I often check online reviews on Yelp or ask my online friends what they think about something. Social media conversations on topics like books, coffee, travel, photography gears [the other business], dining, service, etc., help form my decisions for [future] purchases.

Social Media Made Me Buy It

social-media-likeMy hubby and I recently watched a movie based on social media recommendations. We checked online reviews then asked my social media connections what they think about the movie. Based on social media friends’ recommendations and the reviews we read, we went ahead and watched it. Our verdict about the movie is that it was – a fail. Oh no, I won’t tell you the title!  😀

Then there’s this movie that was rated rather low on a couple of review sites. I admit that we were very hesitant to see it but we did anyway. There were only a handful of people in the theater. Needless to say we were already bracing ourselves for yet another disappointment. To our surprise, that one turned out to better than the movie referenced above.

https://socialsuccessmarketing.com/storage/2013/03/photo11.jpgLastly, I recently purchased the Piano Guys CD because of @LindaLSnell. I’ve seen them share YouTube posts on Facebook and swap tweets on Twitter about The Piano Guys. Honestly, I never heard of the group until I saw Linda and Amy sharing info about this group online.

I have also queued up plenty of social media, SEO and photography books on Amazon because friends say that it’s a good read.

Social Business’ Takeaways

Here are takeaways for businesses involved in social media:

1. Social Media can sway a person’s decision to buy a product or a service. I have told myself to never get influenced by online conversations but I find the online “voice” too hard to ignore.  There are many purchasing decisions that are made and shaped by social media.  It is happening now.

Question: Do you listen to online conversations about your product and services? How do you do it? Some social media listening tools out there are:

  • Twitter Search
  • Hootsuite
  • Tweetdeck
  • Google Alerts

2. Social media can influence other people’s perception of your product and business. Our hesitation about the second movie as mentioned above was formed by the reviews and ratings we checked online. It was that social sentiment that caused the trepidation.  It was, overall, a good movie, but it just didn’t sell well with the social crowd for some reason. I have a hunch why but then that’s a different story.

Question: How is your product or service perceived on online?  Quick tips:

  • Respond to complaints and inquiries. Do not ignore them.
  • Use the social media listening tools I indicated above.

3. Some purchasing decisions are made based on recommendations gathered from trusted relationships that have been built over the years.  I checked my online friends’ opinion about the products/service I was buying because I trust them.

Question: How do you build relationship in social media?  Quick tips:

  • Engage.
  • Engage.
  • Engage.

You can add to this list. If you are already doing social media make sure that it is integrated and optimized for the success of your business.

Social Media is about the customer

In today’s digital age, social media will have an increasing role in a customer’s buying decision.  I understand that you can’t be omniscient, but there are tools that you can use to see what they are saying. You can’t be everywhere, but people are already talking about your product and service. They may not be buying it right away, but the conversation may spark others’ interest about your product and service. How you can leverage social media to steer the customer’s preference is all up to you.  And if you don’t have time because you are busy developing your business, ahem, you can hire us. 😀

What purchasing decision have you made in the past that was influenced by social media?  Join the conversation. Share your story!

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