Currently, many businesses have realised that using social media can enhance their brand recognition and impact the decision-making of their digital audience.Social media is recognised as a crucial marketing tool by many business owners.
Some business owners may lack knowledge of the importance of social media for their online presence. They may not have a well-defined social media strategy or an expert to manage their accounts, hindering their ability to engage with potential customers and influence their decision-making process.
When developing a social media strategy, one needs to take into account a variety of factors.
Do your ideal customers use social media? If so, which social network do they prefer? How are they utilising these networks? How often do they access these sites? Are they incorporating social media into their decision-making process?
A social media manager or community manager can provide your organisation with essential information about your online community and how you utilise social media. This includes identifying which social media platforms your customers prefer and staying informed about current trends and research from sources such as Pew Research Center.
An infographic has been created to showcase how Facebook, X (Twitter), Instagram, and Pinterest can impact customers’ decision-making processes.
Before delving into the specifics, it is necessary to introduce the significance of social media and its role in the decision-making process.
Table of Contents
What Is the Role of Social Media?
Social media has emerged as a powerful tool for businesses to engage with customers, and creating valuable content encourages social media users to share it with others.
Social media connects customers and stakeholders and creates a community on many networks. This facilitates relationship-building with both current and potential customers.
According to a source, in early 2023, 94.8% of users accessed chat and messaging apps and websites, followed closely by social platforms at 94.6% of users.
In 2022, social media and search advertising spending made up roughly 55% of overall ad spending globally, says this source.
Why Is Social Media Important?
Social media serves many purposes, including facilitating connections among individuals with shared interests and providing businesses with a means to engage potential customers.
In 2022, social media users worldwide grew by 137 million, or about 3%.1 says this source.
According to this source, Gen Z and millennials were likelier to view news on social media than other generations. Social media plays a crucial role in businesses’ marketing strategies, given the time individuals spend daily on social platforms and apps.
For 80% of teenagers, social media allows them to feel more connected to peers, according to a 2022 Pew Research Center survey of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17.
Facebook has emerged as a popular social network worldwide, with over 2.8 billion monthly active users in 2021, according to Statista. Businesses can engage with their audience through various means on the platform, making it a powerful tool for connecting with current and potential customers.
Social media platforms/networks are popular and offer features businesses can utilise to reach their intended audience. This includes paid advertising options for promoting products and services.
It is common for companies with a social media presence to budget resources towards a dedicated team that provides customer service and technical support.
I recommend assigning a content creator or social media specialist in-house to manage the social media campaign. Outsourcing social media marketing to a reputable agency is advised if this is not doable.
The Consumer Decision-making Process
The decision-making process includes three stages: awareness, consideration, and conversion.
During awareness, individuals acknowledge the necessity for a specific product or service. In the consideration stage, they recognise possible suppliers for conducting transactions. The stage of conversion involves choosing the preferred vendor. Companies can use social media in any of these three stages to offer samples of their products or services to existing or potential customers.
The three decision process stages can be divided into five or seven stages. But we will refrain from doing so to avoid causing any overwhelm.This infographic highlights ways you can use social media platforms to influence your customer's decision-making process Click To Tweet
How Social Media Impacts Consumer Decision Making
Professionals with a more extensive network tend to seek opinions through online connections, beginning with reading blogs and querying X (Twitter) channels. Source: https://www.jeffbullas.com/12-key-findings-on-social-medias-impact-on-business-and-decision-making-by-ceos-and-managers/
The statistics show that a significant part of respondents (81%) claimed that recommendations from family and friends and social media posts from companies (78%) influenced their purchasing decisions.
According to Deloitte’s analysis, social media impacts 47% of millennials while only influencing 19% of non-millennials.
Next, we will examine the impact of particular social media platforms on decision-making.
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Facebook’s Impact on Decision Making
Facebook users have exceeded one billion, making it the largest social network. Its reach extends far beyond that. Users share personal and group content with friends on the platform, resulting in deep involvement in individuals’ lives. This also makes Facebook a valuable tool for businesses.
Facebook has the potential to shape people’s opinions and provides another means of acquiring information beyond one’s immediate surroundings.
Facebook is a powerful social media platform where many individuals express their opinions. Many people have at least one account on the platform and discuss various topics, such as churches, politicians, charities, sports teams, and celebrities.
Facebook is a prominent medium for communication and comparison. But users seem to engage more with products and services advertised on the platform than with each other. The quest for impartial information is ongoing.
Facebook helps you connect with your audience, receive feedback, and develop relationships. Still, it’s not the sole social network you should use, nor is it always ideal for all purposes. Each network has a specific role to play in online decision-making. While some networks offer a unique experience than others, it’s crucial to know which network to leverage when.
Facebook can control what content appears on users’ newsfeeds as a public platform. As a company, it strives to align its goals with user interests.
News organisations and people use Facebook to share opinions or support a cause. It allows interaction between different people, including opponents. Many people have their first experience with the outside world through this social network. Facebook exposure can be positive or negative, increasing your connection to others and products.
According to a study by the Pew Research Center, 64% of Americans believe that social media has a negative impact on the U.S. today, despite its potential as a platform for direct communication and bringing people closer together.
Facebook is a live-streaming platform that is accessible to all. It also allows for conflict resolution among followers. You can share your thoughts and opinions on Facebook, even if they differ from others. But not all posts will appear in your newsfeed, as many people use apps or mobile websites to access Facebook.
When Facebook events were first introduced, they created a lot of excitement. This was due to connecting with friends, family and colleagues in real time for support. But, instead of focusing on Facebook’s perspective, we should examine these interactions’ influence on users’ decision-making processes. Social media analysis can shed light on the relationship between Facebook and individuals’ decisions.
Facebook offers many benefits, including connecting with friends, contacts and professional networks. The social graph integration allows businesses to receive feedback from fans and followers about their products. Such input can persuade businesses to take action on customer opinions. Additionally, Facebook enables companies to keep track of competitors’ posts about offerings to gain an advantage.
People with internet access can view posts from their friends’ accounts on Facebook. This makes Facebook a valuable social media application for analysing other businesses’ performance and gathering feedback to help shape future marketing strategies.
Facebook is utilised during the awareness and conversion phases to expand the target audience’s knowledge about your brand, aiding consumers in making informed purchasing decisions.
X’s (Twitter’s) Impact on Decision Making
X (Twitter) is a popular internet site millions of people use daily. Sharing information about various topics, including politics and facts, is essential. News organisations use it to their advantage. X (Twitter) has created a hallmark of democracy worldwide, offering an online platform for public interaction with officials and government leaders. With emerging social media trends, citizens can access crucial information about local, state, and federal governments, businesses, and communications with those in power through X (Twitter). X (Twitter) users have enormous potential influence on policymaking and individual officers of cities and countries while also offering opportunities for free speech and vital information exchange.
According to a source, X (Twitter) had 192 million monetisable daily active users globally in Q4 of 2020. Additionally, as of March 2021, former U.S. President Barack Obama held the highest number of followers on X (Twitter), with almost 130 million.
X’s (Twitter’s) role in politics has grown, particularly in recent months, as candidates for the Nigeria presidency vie for the engagement of their X (Twitter) supporters. Public sentiment about these candidates is strong, and voting in elections has evolved past a personal decision. Awareness of how each candidate utilises social media platforms and which strategies yield the most success is critical in today’s landscape, where social media serves as a channel for political communication.
Many people desire to be known and find it attractive when others follow them, especially on social networking sites like X (Twitter). When you follow someone, their tweets will be viewed by many people. This creates social proof that your opinions are heard and gives you credibility in the marketplace. Such credibility can influence both B2C and B2B buyers.
X (Twitter) is used to distribute bite-size current updates about a company or an industry and to aid customers in the awareness and conversion phases.
X (Twitter) is a valuable social media channel and customer service tool. I recommend clients have a dedicated social media team or individual to create content for X (Twitter) and manage customer service inquiries. This person should also track social media trends and provide management with comprehensive reports on the company’s activities on social media.
Instagram’s Impact on Decision Making
Businesses find Instagram’s platform tempting due to its potential for free advertising, customer retention, and resource building. Many small companies, startups, and advertisers utilise it for diverse marketing purposes, such as injecting humour or engaging customers through fun photo interactions. They also add creativity to their storefront by incorporating colourful elements.
Instagram is a valuable tool for business marketing. It facilitates personal interactions with potential customers, enables product and service testing, provides a digital platform for sharing relevant information, and allows customisation of each post.
The increasing popularity of Instagram in higher education institutions has led to many companies utilising the platform for promotional purposes to reach students and their peers.
The following are some relevant statistics from Statista about Instagram.
Instagram has around one billion monthly active users, making it one of the most popular social networks globally. The app is top-rated in the United States and India, with about 140 million users. According to a source, the number of Instagram users in the United States will surpass 120 million MAU by 2023.
In July 2020, most of Instagram’s global users were under 34. The age group with the highest representation were users aged between 25 and 34. This information is from a reliable source.
Businesses use Instagram to broaden their audience reach. The platform enables casual engagement with consumers and cost-effective execution of marketing strategies. Unique techniques like proprietary filters are developed due to their success. Users can build personal connections that surpass borders and industries. With increased utilisation by businesses, Instagram is now considered a strategic tool for advertising decisions across various industries.
One billion people use Instagram, making it the largest social network. It is often used for consumer marketing and has advantages and disadvantages. Have you ever found product or service information on Instagram that you shared with friends later?
Instagram is very popular, with half a billion monthly active users. Quora has an Instagram account and exceeds all other companies with over 18 million followers. They post quality content, including thousands of questions and answers daily, which businesses can use to grow their business.
Instagram provides several benefits, including brand awareness, website traffic, and engagement. It is a unique social media tool to promote products, build customer loyalty, and improve brand recognition. This powerful platform is accessible to anyone with internet access. Given that humans are sight-oriented, businesses can learn how Instagram is used for marketing and advertising their business.
Instagram can be utilised during the consideration stage for brand promotion. Sharing behind-the-scenes stories and pictures of your brand can captivate your audience.
The Role of Pinterest in Decision Making
Pinterest has 459 million monthly active users worldwide, a popular social network. According to Statista, there were 98 million MAU in the United States during the fourth quarter of 2020. The platform allows users to save any image or video onto their boards, making it a valuable part of consumer decision-making. It also has 361 million monthly active users.
Many people integrate Pinterest into their daily lives because it helps with decision-making. Social networks expose users to things they might not have discovered otherwise. The information gathering, product/service comparison, and user review features of Pinterest make it a valuable resource. It also streamlines decision-making by providing all options in one place.
Pinterest is a popular and helpful website on the internet. It combines user-generated content with graphics and organises international them into categories and boards. Using Pinterest can help build a strong perception of beautiful things. Pictures are crucial when deciding what to buy from social media sites like Pinterest.
Pinterest has many benefits for inspiration and content sharing. One advantage is gathering content for your marketing strategy. It provides a reference for what you and others are doing, and exciting ideas for products people will want to buy if starting your business.
Pinterest is a social media platform that enables users to share images and showcase their creativity. Research conducted by Pew Research Center indicates that there is a notable difference between the number of women (46%) and men (16%) that use Pinterest.
Pinterest has gained widespread recognition, evident by the many results that appear with a basic Google search. Two categories of businesses are primed to profit from Pinterest: smaller enterprises lacking the resources to oversee their social media accounts and bloggers aiming to broaden their influence but uncertain about their target audience.
In the consideration stage, Pinterest can showcase your brand and industry trends by pinning relevant content. Creating separate boards for various products, services or interests is recommended to entice potential buyers.
Over To You
In what way are you using social media platforms to impact your customer’s decision-making process?
Schedule a marketing consultation if you need help with any platform of these platforms. Have you enjoyed reading this post? If you found this post and infographic beneficial, kindly share them with your friends. Thank you for your time.
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