How many times have you asked your friends or colleagues for feedback on a product that you intended buying? Or asked which brand of that product they used? I do it every time I’m making an important purchase. Like the time I wanted to buy a dishwasher.
I asked a friend who had one, and she gave me such a glowing report of the particular brand of dishwasher she had, that I went ahead and bought it without making any more inquiries.
According to the Nielson Global Online Survey 2011, 92% people trust recommendations from friends and family and 70% trust consumer opinions posted online. This means that most people don’t care as much about your ads as they do about what their friends think. Coming back to my story, it struck me that the dishwasher brand probably knows this fact, because I cannot recollect having seen their dishwashers being advertised!
Social media – an integral part of most peoples lives
And now, social media has become such an integral part of most peoples lives, that getting feedback, recommendations and reviews about products or services is even easier – it’s just a click away! Another survey found that 96% of internet users are part of a social network, and regularly turn to social media before making buying decisions. Some 45% of online adults worldwide say they regularly check out brands’ social networking pages, such as on Facebook; according to a new survey from Ipsos OTX and Ipsos Global @dvisor. An article in eMarketer cites a survey conducted by Regus, which revealed that on an average, 47% of businesses worldwide successfully used social networks for customer acquisition in 2011.
Social Media – your digital word of mouth!
Do you see how important Social Media Marketing is? It is your ‘digital word of mouth’. Using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and even Youtube, you can create a buzz, publicise your brand and business and even create a viral marketing atmosphere. For small and medium businesses, social media is an ideal channel for brand building, because investment is negligible, while returns are high.
All you have to do is create unique content that is engaging and encourages people to share it with others. This repeated sharing by more and more people sends strong signals to search engines and improves your brand’s position in search engine results thereby increasing its reach even more.
Are you connecting with your ‘key-influencers’?
You could be having hundreds of brand advocates out there – are you connecting effectively with the people who have the power to influence their friends? If you are not yet, then do it now! Exploit Social Media to your advantage – turn conversations into conversions!
Sadhana Karnad is a research writer at Abhiyan, where she develops engaging content that builds thought leadership and revenue opportunities for clients. A website critic, she reviews Internet properties in terms of design and content. Reach Sadhana via LinkedIn.
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