As a small business, if you think you can skate by without using social media channels, think again. According to a study released yesterday, September 8, social networks are playing a larger role in driving brand awareness and influencing consumer purchasing decisions.
While consumers may start their initial product searches on search engines or Amazon, social media’s influence can’t be ignored, according to the study released by Adlucent, a digital advertising and analytics agency based in Austin, TX. The study looked at seven major social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and Periscope. It found that 39% of consumers are somewhat influenced by social media posts and ads. Additionally, 45% of consumers said that product recommendations from celebrities and influencers they follow on social media somewhat influence their buying decisions.
Consumers want social media personalized
Social media allows brands to connect with consumers, but 75% of consumers follow exactly zero brands, on average. Social ads are the way to go: 46% of consumers would prefer tailored social media ads. Diving deeper, 68% want targeted Facebook ads, 63% want tailored YouTube ads, and 67% want tailored Twitter ads. These are less disruptive and allow consumers to feel in control, which fosters more frequent engagement, according to the study.
Facebook is still at the top of the heap
While other social media platforms are important, Facebook still has the top spot when it comes to influencing consumers. It boasts over 1 billion users, and 76% of consumers have learned about new brands or products on Facebook. They consider Facebook ads to be more relevant. Additionally, 10% of consumers have purchased products directly as a result of seeing an ad on Facebook.
So what’s next? Adlucent found that consumers want to purchase directly through social networks: 43% would purchase directly through Facebook if they could. Far fewer would purchase directly through Twitter (27%) or Pinterest and Instagram (26%). There’s opportunity to sell to consumers if brands can find a way to take advantage of this trend.