How social media is impacting consumerism

by | Sep 6, 2016 | Assorted

Bigger Voice = More power!

Social media has brought about change in the way that people connect to one another, by bridging time, distance and creating virtual communities. Another key note is the amount of power and the voice that social media platforms have given to consumers. People no longer rely on mainstream channels to voice complaints or to reach out to senior stakeholders to address matters with brands or organisations. With just a click of a button, a brand’s reputation could easily go south as negative consumer feedback can instantly go viral and be genuinely damaging. It is not social media itself that influences consumer behaviour, but the ability to be heard and command attention. Brands are no longer the only entities that hold power through advertising, but consumers now have a say in the way that brands relate to them. Brands that are able to use this to best connect with consumers in a way that empowers them and values them are winning in the marketplace.

Free Comes First

Social media’s reach is growing tremendously and this gives brands an upper hand to enhance their image and increase their footprint as far as consumers are concerned. Cheaper advertising rates and easy access to consumers are some of the great benefits of social media. However, this does mean that consumers are easily reachable to anyone. Consumers are always up for freebies; I mean who isn’t? This means the ‘pay per single product’ model of distribution is in many cases less effective and outdated. Why pay for one when you can buy one and get another one free? It is for this reason that subscription based models such as Netflix and deep discount sales are becoming more common. Consumers will intuitively run for a bargain of getting a discount, play to that and you are sure to win them. Offering incentives for visiting a brand’s online store or sharing information about a product or service will promote word of mouth about a brand and its offerings.

Customer Loyalty And Advertising

Consumer loyalty is a valuable thing to have but never has it been more valuable than in the era of social networks. Whereas previously one could only share their love for a brand with their friends, family and possibly colleagues, now they can endorse a product or brand on social media and reach a great multitude of other users. With the average Facebook user having more than 200 friends, it goes without saying that a brand’s popularity or lack thereof, can easily be spun on social media. Therefore, securing brand loyalty will not only result in a happy customer, but they are more likely to share it with their friends and mutual friends.

Digital Distribution

We all know that online shopping can never replace the traditional in-store shopping, however, more and more people are moving to digital and finding it easier to do their shopping through clicking. Depending on the industry in question, an online store for most brands and industries could be a positive vital to a brand or organisation. After all, consumers are always looking for convenience and ease. If people are already talking about brands on social media, wouldn’t it be even better to be able to immediately connect to the brands online through an online store where they can instantly view a catalogue or learn more about the product and even purchase it while they are at it? To that end, you want your online storefront to be as thorough and easily reachable as possible. Even though they can’t actually see or feel the product, but they need to be as approximate to the experience as possible in order to be more likely to commit to a purchase.

Visual Vs. Verbal

It is true that pictures speak a thousand words and the way that people browse and communicate on social networks has caused consumers to be more visual communicators. With the use of emoticons, icons and infographics, there really is no limit to expressing oneself visually. This trend, known as the visual social media era is seeing more and more growth. People like visual stimulation and they are more likely to be impressed by how something looks and be inspired to share it with their peers. Therefore, visual appeal is key to any campaign, branding or design of products.

A Million Thoughts Per Second

It is needless to say that we live in a fast-paced world, where everything is swift, fast foods, fast cars, everything is just racing to get somewhere or do something. Consumer behaviour has also been influenced by this hence consumers’ need for instant gratification even when it comes to consumption behaviour. This is not only as a result of people usually having a million things in their mind but also the need to be able to perform a million things at once in order to keep up. People are stimulated in so many ways and from so many angles, that there is barely any devoted time to a single task these days. This also means that the average concentration span of a consumer has decreased significantly. As such, things need to be short and sweet for users to listen and more importantly they need to cut through the clutter.


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