In today’s modern era, Social Media acts as an important means of communication. People all around the world use it to connect with other people or organisation. It also serves as an efficient marketing tool for corporations and entrepreneurs.

The most popular and commonly used Social Media sites are:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • My Space

SOCIAL MEDIA AS A PODIUM

Social Media is a large platform where people all around the globe are connected virtually with one another. It is used not only for interaction with words but also but for exchange of goods and services. It acts as a tool for marketing research, sales promotions or discounts and e-commerce as well.

Social media has changed the way we work, the way we live and most importantly the way we communicate. It is changing the world and making us more influential. The more influence a person has, the more appeal that individual has on companies or individuals who want to promote an idea or sell a product.

SOCIAL MEDIA FOR MARKETING

Social Media marketing is very common nowadays. The main idea is to create a two-way interaction between the audiences and consumers on one hand & marketers and sellers on the other. Social Media helps the marketers to create awareness among masses in the form of advertisements and posts. Users of social media like, comment and share these posts and also keep passing the message to their friends and relatives. This helps in creating a huge market awareness among the consumers.

We know that the basic objective of a supplier or any organisation is profit-maximisation. This can only be achieved through high sales. Therefore, they use Social Media as a podium to attract consumers. On the other hand, consumers also get a benefit of convenience to achieve what they are looking for as a wide range of products and services are available.

Media marketing is advantageous as it helps in keeping up with the ongoing trends that are set by big influencers. Marketers employ social media personalities to promote their products online.  Celebrities with large social media followers, regularly endorse products to their followers on their social media pages. These celebrities are either the brand ambassadors of the product or they get a specific amount from the marketer to post about the product to influence his/her followers.

CONSUMER’S PERSPECTIVE

Social media is a virtual home for business. It provides free communication. On the consumer end, a person can now voice his/her opinion in a semi-public setting. Social Media makes it easy to share information. The reviewers help the consumers to decide whether or not to invest in the product.

Consumers are now directly able to communicate the brand representative online. This helps in increasing consumer’s loyalty. If the consumer has any complaint regarding a product or service and the representative is professional and compassionate enough to understand, then the consumers gets a sense of satisfaction. They also appreciate the fact that instead of receiving an automated message they receive a personalised response when they post comment on pages.

Social networking sites allow the distribution of information not only regarding the product but also concerning the company. Such abundance of information has altered a common consumer to a researcher. Now, prior to making an investment on any product or service, the client goes through all the required information, takes into consideration the rating and reviews made by other people and also gains knowledge about how the company handles the after-sale service. The more information available, the more likely the consumer will make the buying choice that fits his/her need.

Advertising has always been a crucial part of achieving sales for a company. With the help of social media, advertising can go worldwide with just a single click of a button. It helps in creating a large podium where celebrities and consumers themselves encourage other consumers for the usage of a product or service. The trust factor here comes into play. We know that no ad is as convincing as having someone we trust recommending a product or service.

Taking an example of the current situation in the world. People of all age groups are quarantined at their very own places. Consumption of media has increased manifold. Students tend to make best use of this period working from home and participating in online trainings. They recommend the various sites to their friends too. After completion of the training or internship they share it on LinkedIn, Instagram and other sites. Others can therefore gain information from them and interested ones can help themselves out. This helps in giving information about various sites and wide range of services thus creating a platform of multiple choices.

SOCIAL MEDIA AND PURCHASE DECISION

Consumers are regarded as a niche of every business enterprise. To satisfy the customers, is the main motive of any business enterprises.

In earlier days, consumer digest was used to put the reviews about the products. People would rely on the opinion of retail shops owners. However, today social media has taken the position for placing the product reviews, ranking and recommendations.

Social media permits the users to post comments, give reviews, warnings, tips, advice and issues about any product or service; put status for the product or service which includes likes and dislikes and also tweets about the products. When a customer is satisfied with the product, he might recommend the product to different users and friends of social media by passing the message with the help of various available social media tools. This information serves very useful to consumers in a large scale. It acts as a guideline for their future purchase. It influences consumer’s decision making. Companies are now reducing their budget for paid advertisements and concentrating on social media advertisements.

SURVEY AND ANALYSIS

I conducted a survey and got to learn about the perspectives of 72 PEOPLE and how social media affects their buying decision.

The following charts shows the age groups and gender of the people who took an active participation in my research.

social media demographic

The following charts further makes it clear the number of people active on social media and their buying preferences.

are you an active social media user

DOES SOCIAL MEDIA AFFECT YOUR BUYING DECISION?

social media effect on business

HOW DOES SOCIAL MEDIA AFFECT YOUR BUYING DECISION?

The data collected shows the various reasons of how social media affected the buying decision of the people who participated in the survey.

social media affect on buying decision

CONCLUSION

Thus, I can conclude saying that consumer behaviour depends highly on factors like recommendations and reviews. It is not only the price of the product but also the negative or positive views regarding the product which comes into play.

The merits and demerits are highly dependable on the marketer as compared to the consumer since it’s upon him of how well he or she is interacting with the consumer. A consumer gets a high satisfaction only if he is served well both during and after the sale, this helps in creating a reputation for other consumers who will now totally depend on the review of the other consumers. This helps other consumers in deciding whether he or she should be investing in the product or not.

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