Consumers place confidence in family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances over advertisements and promotions while taking most buying decisions. Consumer reviews are significantly more trusted than descriptions that come from manufacturers.
With the advent of social media, the ‘Social’ aspect in buying has become unfathomable. Companies are rewarding loyal customers for their genuine feed back, recommendations, ratings with bonuses and gift vouchers. The way companies and consumers communicate has completely changed.
Brands have been using incentives to get people to make purchases, they are now applying similar tactics to motivate people by offering them perks to spread the word about their brand.
Social Media has created a burning desire among people to buy things at a bargain rate facilitated by the ability to stay connected with peers for their opinion. The market place has become crowded with social buying and it is here to stay!
Neilsen’s Social Media Report 2012 30% of people spend time on social networks via their mobile phone. With this geographically relevant targeting to increase the relevancy of messaging promises a new era. Further more, demographic profiling is also beginning to emerge.
And to take it a step farther, when it comes to customer service, consumers preferred (29%) to use the company’s Facebook page for customer service issues, followed by 27% using Twitter, and 15% using the company’s blog.
The report says that over 47% of social media users engage in social customer service and over 1/3 prefer to use social media over using the phone. The frequency among social media users to engage in social customer service are 9% daily, 21% weekly, 70 % monthly. Thus, integrating social media with customer relationship management is the next frontier for organizations.
Interestingly, the report also shows how much of an impact social networks and reviews have over certain demographics and for certain types of consumer goods.
For example, those located in Asia-Pacific are far more likely to be influenced via social networks in almost every category, whereas Europe seems to be the most skeptical across the board.
Social Buying with geographic relevance and defined interests targeting has been steadily evolving in 2012 and here to grow in in the coming year. Most brands will focus on closing the gap between recommendations through Social Media and the actual sales in the year ahead.