It has become clearly evident that people trust the opinions of other people far more than they do traditional marketing practices. Because of this, businesses that are not engaged in social media are finding themselves at a glaring disadvantage. Disconnected businesses are paying a very heavy cost for their absence on social media. Here are some reasons why:
- Older consumers are becoming more proficient with social media and according to Insider Retail, 58% of internet users aged 50-64 actively use it.
- There are a wealth of new consumers entering the market today that have never lived without social media. Connecting to them through platforms they are familiar with is essential.
- People are now seeking the most relevant opinions of people online (think of services like Yelp), as opposed to the somewhat ancient method of relying on an industry expert or the complexities of company-based jargon.
In addition, the older, wealthier population in this country is using social media at a very high rate. According to Cogent Research, up to 70% of wealthy investors have made personal decisions on their investments based on material and opinions they gathered from social media networks.
There are still many businesses that foolishly believe that social media is just a passing trend, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. LinkedIn and Facebook have been both active for a decade or more and Twitter is eight years old and manages upwards of 500 million tweets a day.
A recent study done by McCarthy Group found that a staggering 84% of millennials do not trust traditional advertising or sales pitches. What they do trust, almost implicitly, is their friends and the opinions they broadcast across social media channels. The ability for a company to engage with all of these customers through social media networks, and to answer any questions they may have in real-time, is essential for success.
New research online shows something truly remarkable. People trust the opinions of complete strangers more than anyone else. Most importantly, what they trust and value the most is relevant experience. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the comments of strangers online who have used a particular product are more likely than anything else to influence purchasing decisions and habits.
Building an online footprint with your business is vital because it gives you access to the actual people who are talking about your product. This allows the business to have more influence on the conversations surrounding its brand. With the annual spending power of millennials set to exceed $200 billion in the United States alone, it is critical to assess and understand the detailed buying preferences of this group of people.
By simply having an online presence and being aware of what is happening, a business can quickly build a solid, lasting relationship with its clients, as well as establish an emotional connection with their customers by engaging directly with them.
A strong social media presence can also help to identify and deal with any misconceptions, questions and concerns that customers may have before any major problems develop. It’s also a way for businesses to monitor the biases and inclinations of their customers, as well as manage their communications strategy with ease.
The possibilities are endless for a business that is involved in social media networks, but of course, the first step is to be an active part of them. This means understanding how social media fits into an $8 trillion e-economy and how your personal business strategy can best be invested.