Do you have a favorite blogger whom you follow religiously? Do you turn to reading a product review the moment you decide to buy something online? If you agree to these questions, then you belong to the section of the society (almost 74% of the population) whose purchase decisions are influenced by social media.
We like to connect with a brand or product before being associated with it. If the product is popular on social media and users are posting positive reviews, then that increases our trust in it. In fact, research says that 90% of consumers today put their trust in trendsetters and opinion-givers on social media to make purchase decisions. The result? It gives way to the flourishing trend in the advertising world: influencer marketing.
Did you know that these social influencers or “trendsetters” who post every day and have a huge fan following are targeted by businesses to promote their products?
Yes. And it may either be sponsored or not, but they are contributing to what is known as the ‘bandwagon effect’. Let’s say, an influencer shares a post of her new jeans on Instagram. She raves about its fit and how comfortable they are. Her followers will immediately want to know more about those jeans & would want a pair for themselves. These social influencers know social media at the back of their hands and will tag the name of the store or brand of the product they use in their posts. The result? Followers become familiar with the brand and get influenced in their shopping behavior.
Reviews from friends and family matter
The basic function of social media prompts us to connect with our friends and family who we don’t see very often. So the more we share on social media, the closer we get to them. And it goes without saying that if I share a review about a new product, it’s going to come under the watchlist of my friends and family members. And would they not trust my review about a product over a complete stranger’s?
The store’s popularity on social media
How popular is the brand on social media? How many followers do they have on their official social media accounts? All these factors play a key role in influencing a buyer’s decisions. Social influencers will promote brands on their pages that have a cool and attractive presence on social media more. This way they come off as more credible in the eyes of the buyers.
Social Media Advertising
Placing ads for a brand or a store on social media is like cheesecake these days. What requires detailed planning is the kind of targeting they do. The goal of marketers while placing ads is to lead the consumers on a journey that begins with “awareness” and ends with “purchase”. Well-targeted ads on social media can be highly effective in driving repeat sales too.
Sparking a discussion among followers
Maybe you’ve come across or been a part of one too. What social influencers sometimes do is they initiate a discussion on social media surrounding a particular product, service or a brand. But it’s also brands who spark discussions like these to pique interest and curiosity of followers. It can be a simple question, a comment or a special feature, the aim is to let the loyal customers do the selling for them.
The new job of social influencers is to generate buzz for a business in unique, authentic ways on social media. This resonates with their followers and affects purchase decisions. And that in turn generates sales of a brand, thus completing the whole cycle.
So, next time you start following a trendsetter on social media and start buying what he or she is endorsing in their posts, remember that brands maybe behind your move, thrusting you to be a part of influencer marketing.