Social Media and Consumer Behaviour

The concept of social media has completely changed the way people consume information and interact with each other. In just ten years, social media has gone from being an alternative form of communication to becoming one of the most powerful tools to connect companies with consumers around the world. From Facebook to YouTube, social media channels have become a part of everyday life and have been found to drive nearly 50% of the traffic on major websites, according to Hubspot. Additionally, 88% of marketers in the U.S. are using social media to make an impact on their potential customers. Here is some data on how social media is making an impact on the consumer behaviour in different aspects:

On Shopping

49% of people use social media as a resource for researching new brands, products or services. Social media is used to learn about specific brands, so it makes sense that 92% of users who follow a brand on social media like or love at least one post per week. It’s important not just to push out your business message but also engage in conversation with consumers; they will talk back and let you know if they are interested in your product. A survey found that 81% of customers expect companies to respond quickly via social media when contacted by phone or email within three hours when using social media as an initial contact channel. In terms of share purchase intention, 23% said they would buy more from a company after seeing their posts on Facebook compared with 10% for Twitter posts!

On Decision Making

According to DataScout’s Digital Consumer Survey, Social Commerce: Moving Beyond Traditional Sales Channels to Engage Buyers Directly, 2015 had shown there is a clear relationship between social media usage and buyers decision making as 49% of respondents have indicated that they have purchased products or services after seeing them on social media. On top of that, 57% of shoppers reported being likely to purchase a product if their friends liked or endorsed it on Facebook or Instagram. This indicates great deal about changing behaviour towards brand loyalty these days. What does it mean for your business? The next generation customers are spending more time on Social networks than ever before and 75% consider recommendations from their social network when making decisions about where to shop, eat out, and play games etc., so how can businesses engage with these potential customers in a better way?

On Content Creation

By 2013, 89% of marketers were using social media to create branded content and to communicate directly with customers. As a result, all types of companies must look at how social media is affecting consumer behaviour. Companies are also taking notice that in 2016, 56% of consumers who were very satisfied with their experience were willing to spend more on similar products or services. Only 3 percent of very dissatisfied consumers said they would be willing to spend more money. Here’s what it means for your business: Your brand isn’t going anywhere anytime soon—the internet will still be around long after we’re gone—so you have time to make your mark as an authority figure within your niche. If you really know what you’re doing and aren’t just talking about it, then there will always be people interested in hearing from you about your industry—even if some topics do get tired over time.

On Communication

Data has shown that, through our interaction on social media, we develop both a sense of community and expectation that we can interact with companies on their platforms. According to findings by Global Web Index, 86% of social media users expect brands to engage them on social networks. With people increasingly becoming brand conscious, it is more important than ever for companies to have a presence online. This presents businesses with an excellent opportunity to interact with customers directly and build relationships in real time. Businesses must be quick, however, as 94% of consumers expect a response within one hour when contacting businesses over social media. The numbers don’t lie; when it comes to social media in business relationships between consumers and brands, speed is everything!

On Travel

The share of travel-related social media activities among all social media activities was 19% in 2015. Among internet users, 58% had ever engaged in travel-related social media activities. This figure increased to 66% for active internet users (those who used any two or more of seven different online services). A total of 14% said they use social media to plan trips, 7% to research or book a trip, 5% to ask questions about travel, and 3% to follow news related to their destination. As many as 12% were using social media to post photos while on a trip, while 8% used it to read others’ posts about destinations or people traveling. Nearly half (45%) of travellers with Facebook accounts engage with brands on Facebook during travel and 42% post status updates during travel that mention specific brands.

Future of Social Media

Social media is among a very few remaining channels that have yet to be fully exploited by marketers. That’s not to say we can’t expect more of what we see today, but We anticipate that social media will start to follow other aspects of our culture in which it takes on some form of identity.

As opposed to existing solely as a means for people to connect with one another, social media could become about self-expression – either for individuals or brands.