How to Use Social Media to Influence Purchase Decisions

December 18, 2018

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Scientists and marketers have worked together for years perfecting various formulas and methods that allow businesses to extend their reach on social media. 

Recently, they found that social media has become much more influential when it comes to people’s buying decisions. According to Sprout Social, 74% of people rely on social media prior to making a purchase and 80% of consumers are more likely to buy a product or service when it is suggested by a friend or family member.

Businesses and brands can increase awareness and engagement through popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Most consumers follow brands on social media to browse products, find inspiration, and to keep up to date with trends. Here is how businesses can use these platforms to influence purchase decisions: 

Emotional Influences 

Many consumers will be influenced emotionally by peers to purchase a product. If a consumer is scrolling through their social media with no intent to buy a product and a social media influencer recommends a product, the consumer is much more likely to buy. 

A study by Market Force shows that 78% of consumers said that social media posts by trusted influencers can impact their buying decisions. That same survey also shows that 30% of consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger. We suggest to our partners that businesses should use a social influencer or testimonial to appeal to the emotions of consumers.

Peer Influences

Social media has been extremely effective when it comes to convincing consumers to buy. According to Forbes, 81% of consumers reported that they are directly influenced by recommendations from peers when purchasing a product. When consumers see that their friends and family have purchased a product, it’s likely that they will buy as well because it was recommended by someone they trust.

Getting quality reviews and ratings on social media is a great way to create a sense of trust with consumers. The best way to do this is to simply ask - send a follow up email after a purchase encouraging your consumers to leave a review on Google or Facebook!

Sense of Community

Social media is influential in marketing a service or product because it creates a sense of community. People tend to stay in large groups - also known as the bandwagon effect. A “bandwagon effect” is a psychological phenomena where a large proportion of people who adopt an action cause others to perform the same action. When a product or service is perceived as “trendy,” the more people are likely to buy it. Consumers want to have the latest products constantly, regardless of whether the product actually benefits their lifestyle. 

A beneficial way for brands to appeal to consumers’ sense of community is to boost sponsored posts - especially those that tend to promote engagement in the form of comments and shares - to increase awareness. 

What Should Businesses and Brands Take Away?

Businesses and brands can take advantage of social media to influence purchase decisions by showing how a product or service will improve their lifestyle, solve an issue, or improve satisfaction. When consumers feel they can identify with a brand’s message, it improves the level of trust, which makes the consumer much more likely to purchase. 

Brands and businesses should also try and have their product or service shared by a reputable influencer. Once they have created a social media strategy it is much easier to use social media to influence consumers to purchase a product or service. 

In addition to creating brand awareness, social media is also beneficial in establishing a positive business reputation. Reviews on social media from consumers can make or break a brand. Most people always take a look at customer reviews before purchasing; this is why staying consistently active on your social media is very important. If there is a bad review, make sure it is handled quickly and efficiently.

 

If you would like to learn more about our services and how we can help you take your brand to the next level, don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly or on our social media!

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