Numbers don’t lie and the effect of social media on buying behavior is hard to miss.
Overland Park, KS (PRWEB) November 05, 2013
According to Clientrax CEO, Kevin Varnon, numbers don’t lie and the effect of social media on buying behavior is hard to miss. A recent infographic on the site Mashable backs the theory that even B2B marketers are reaping the benefits of social media marketing.
According to Varnon, even traditional market venues have seen how online research makes a major impact on its sales – and not just online sales. Social media drives roughly equal amounts of online and in-store purchasing. An astounding 70-90% of shoppers, a majority of them women, in almost every segment do at least some research online before going to a store. Much of the research is still done via search engines, but a growing number rely on social sites for references and opinions. Studies show that people value online reviews with the same weight as an in-person review. Everything from financial services to travel to retail is influenced by references found on social media.
Many shoppers still conduct traditional search engine research. As a result, a company and its product has perceived worth relative to its position on the results page. Use of social media can be instrumental in landing a company or its product near the top of the result page with the major search engines. Kevin Varnon of ClientTrax CRM: “Search engine researchers target the top of the results page. Social media traffic facilitates a back-and-forth movement across the internet from social media sites to a company’s site and back. The more that happens, the higher a search engine will rank your page. When those customers who did some research have a positive experience, research shows that 81% of them will talk about it online, thereby increasing the chatter. As chatter increases, you move further up the results page. It feeds itself.”
So how do you get in on the social media revolution? According to Varnon, just get started. “You’d be surprised at how fast you can create a following, especially when you connect your social media properties. A blog post can feed your Twitter account which can be connected to your Facebook account and then on to LinkedIn, if you want. With one post, you’ve covered a lot of territory.” You should think of social media marketing as more of a long-term effort. Keep sharing relevant information on you various properties and people will engage. If you use e-marketing, as many companies now do, it is easy to share each e-mail blast and campaign step with you social properties for added impact.
Before you start, however, you need a plan. Think about what you want to do. You should focus on at least four key areas:
1. Create more brand awareness.
2. Drive traffic to you website.
3. Create brand and website visitor loyalty
4. Convert relationships to sales.
Does it matter which form of social media you use to build your brand? Let’s look at one, Facebook, to get a feel for the impact. More than 95% of Facebook users log into their accounts every day. With more than 1 billion users, that’s 950 million opportunities a day to influence your brand.
Here is a look at some of the players on the scene so you can make a decision about where to start with your business:
With its enormous user base, chances are, if your customers are on a social network, it’s this one. Facebook makes it easy for businesses to create a page for their business. Once your business page is created, keep it updated with promotions, blog posts, etc.
With over 100 million users worldwide, Twitter is another important social media player. Businesses on Twitter engage users by providing links to interesting and relevant content, offering promotions, and providing support. Beware: Twitter can be time-consuming and requires daily engagement.
LinkedIn is the professional in the world of social media. Designed for networking, LinkedIn still gives businesses some interesting opportunities. Keep your business page up to date with new releases, promotions, job postings, etc.
4. Google +
Google finally released their own social media platform. It’s important to consider getting your business on Google+ because they plan to include Google+ results in their normal Google search results. Some experts think that Google+ will eventually trump Facebook for businesses.
If your company produces informative videos, you should have a YouTube channel. YouTube videos often appear in search engine results and can be posted or shared on websites, via email, on other social media sites, etc.
Pinterest is a new player in the social realm, but their numbers are staggering. It has grown 4000% in the past 6 months and attracts 11 million+ hits per week. Essentially a digital cork board or idea board, Pinterest is quickly becoming a major player, especially with women.