A decade ago, social media was seen as little more than the latest fad among the Internet generation. A way for college and high school kids to keep in touch, gossip, and talk about the latest trends. Today, though, social media is a massive, economic force — a requirement for businesses to be successful, and it has completely changed consumer behavior.
If you’re a business, you’ll have noticed some of these changes.
1. Consumers Have Far More Bargaining Power Than Ever Before
In a world connected by social media, consumers have more power than they’ve ever had in the past. The ability to connect, and to communicate, means they also have the power to bargain with businesses. The power dynamics have shifted, and consumers know it. Which is why if a business doesn’t come to the table, consumers will simply go elsewhere.
2. Visibility of Businesses
In the pre-Internet days, only the biggest corporations were household names. If you were a business in a small town, you had a very limited reach regarding who knew about you, and how many people would support you. Thanks to social media, though, it’s now possible for a business to reach the attention of thousands of people who would otherwise never have known it existed at all. That visibility means that businesses big and small can tap into national, and even global, markets, and find far more customers than would have ever been possible without the aid of social media.
3. Viral Marketing
Viral marketing is when a business wins the lottery. Every post a company makes on social media — whether it’s a meme, a short video, or a fully blown commercial, has the potential to become a viral sensation. And when a post goes viral, it brings a huge amount of attention to a business. This can result in hundreds, if not thousands, of new followers, along with huge up-ticks in traffic, and purchases.
Viral success is difficult to engineer, but it would not be possible without the popularity of social media sites.
By shrinking the marketplace, and creating a platform that any business can use, social media has created intense competition. If a big box store is offering a product or service at one price, and a small business is offering it cheaper, social media can get the word out. Customers don’t have more options, but they do have tools which tell them more about their options. That means every business is trying to be the best choice.
5. Increasing Importance of Imagery
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but on social media an image might be worth a lot more than that. Because social media is something people scroll through, they’re more likely to stop for images than they are for text. The right picture can arrest a browser, and once they stop scrolling, their curiosity has been piqued. So they’ll read associated text, and might even click-through to see what the post was about. People are also much more likely to share image posts than they are to share pure text posts, making pictures the weapon of choice among businesses fighting for a bigger share of the social media market.
These are just a few ways social media has redefined consumer behavior. As part of our service offering at KND, we can help you to devise a clear brand strategy which will effectively harness the potentiality of social media platforms — thereby increasing reach and online market share. For more information on how consumers have changed, and how you can tap into their new behaviors in order to get ahead, simply contact us today and register for a free 30-minute consultation with one of our digital and online marketing experts!Posted by Chris Garrett on 11 January 2017