The advent of social media has opened a new avenue of marketing for corporations. The traditional “word-of-mouth” publicity has been replaced by the “word-of-web”, as consumers are increasingly referring to social media sites before making a purchase, greatly influencing buying behavior.
Though most companies these days have an official website which has complete information about their products, consumers usually engage with a company after reading reviews and feedback from existing customers.
Before buying a product, every consumer wants to make sure that the product is the best in its class, and offers good value for money. This is where social media plays an important part in defining consumer behavior. People who have already used the product describe their experience – its strengths, weaknesses etc., and this helps in disseminating information.
Social proof is the new currency of credibility:
- A 2012 Nielsen survey indicated that 92% of people globally trust word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family
- 85% of consumers say that they refer to online reviews before making a purchase at a local business
People are more likely to trust those who give an impartial account of a product rather than a celebrity who is paid to endorse the product. Social media enables people from all over the world to form a community of consumers, giving them the power to harm or herald a company.
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Infographic: Impact of social media on consumer behavior — http://www.torbenrick.eu/t/r/zcn
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