How Social Media Empowers Consumers: Researching Products and Reading Reviews

In today’s digital age, social media has transformed the way consumers interact with brands and make purchasing decisions. No longer limited to traditional avenues of research, such as visiting stores, verbally talking to someone or relying solely on official product websites, potential customers now turn to social media platforms to gather information, read reviews, and make informed choices. From Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube, social media serves as a powerful research tool that empowers consumers in multiple ways. Let’s dive into how potential customers leverage social media for research and review reading.

Gathering Information and Insights

Social media platforms provide a wealth of information about products and brands. Potential customers often follow brands they’re interested in on platforms like Instagram and Facebook to stay updated on new releases, promotions, and company news. By following relevant hashtags or accounts, consumers can access a constant stream of content, including product demonstrations, tutorials, and user-generated content. This firsthand information helps them gain insights into product features, uses, and benefits, guiding their purchasing decisions. If a brand does not have a social media presence, it may lead to negative perceptions and missed opportunities for engagement and relationship-building with its audience. It is important to have a presence on social channels and to navigate them in a way consumers trust.

Reading Reviews and Recommendations

One of the most significant ways consumers use social media for research is by reading reviews and recommendations from peers and influencers. Platforms like Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook groups are hubs for candid discussions and user-generated reviews about products and services. Consumers trust the opinions of fellow users and influencers they follow, often seeking out reviews to gauge product quality, performance, and value for money. Whether it’s a detailed product review on YouTube or a thread of comments discussing personal experiences, social media serves as a valuable source of authentic feedback.

Engaging with Brands and Seeking Support

Social media enables direct communication between consumers and brands, offering a platform for inquiries, feedback, and support. Potential customers have the ability to reach out to brands via comments, direct messages, or mentions to ask questions about products, request assistance, or share concerns. Brands that are responsive and proactive in addressing customer queries and issues on social media can build trust and credibility among their audience. By observing how brands engage with consumers on social media, potential customers can assess their responsiveness, customer service quality, and commitment to customer satisfaction.

Comparing Options and Exploring Alternatives

Social media allows consumers to compare different products and explore alternatives effortlessly. Whether through curated product comparison posts on Instagram, unboxing videos on YouTube, or comparison discussions in online communities, consumers can weigh the pros and cons of various options before making a decision. Additionally, social media advertising often exposes consumers to alternative products and brands based on their interests and browsing behavior, widening their choices and encouraging informed decision-making. It seems these days if you even THINK of a product, it will magically appear on your timeline. You know this happens, don’t deny it!

Seeking Inspiration and Validation

Beyond practical research, social media serves as a source of inspiration and validation for potential customers. Platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are popular destinations for discovering new trends, styles, and uses for products. By browsing through curated content, user-generated photos, and influencer collaborations, consumers can visualize how products fit into their lifestyles and aspirations. Furthermore, receiving validation from peers or influencers through likes, comments, and shares can reinforce consumers’ confidence in their purchasing decisions.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, social media has revolutionized the way consumers research products and read reviews, offering a dynamic and interactive platform for gathering information, seeking recommendations, and engaging with brands and peers. By leveraging social media effectively, potential customers can make more informed choices, connect with brands authentically, and ultimately, enhance their overall shopping experience. As social media continues to evolve, its role as a vital research tool in the consumer journey is set to expand, empowering individuals with greater knowledge and confidence in their purchasing decisions.

5 Tips for Building a Content Calendar for 2024 with Your Marketing Team

A content calendar is a critical tool for your digital presence and is essential for planning and distributing content on social media. Think of it as a blueprint that directs your online storytelling efforts across various platforms. While a content calendar provides structure, it’s also adaptable. This flexibility allows us to respond to current events, industry trends, and audience feedback, ensuring your brand remains relevant and dynamic.

Here are five tips for creating a content calendar for 2024 with your marketing team:

  1. Align with Business Goals and Events: Start by understanding your marketing agency’s overarching goals and your business goals for 2024. Identify key business milestones, product launches, and events that are planned internally, and share them with your marketing team. Create thematic content around these significant initiatives, ensuring that your content enhances your overall marketing objectives. Also, consider which social media channels are best for each goal and event.
  2. Consider Seasonality, Trends, and Business Specific Dates: Take into account the seasonality of your industry and the target audience’s behavior throughout the year. Certain times may be more opportune for specific types of content or promotions. Incorporate industry trends into your content calendar to stay relevant and engage with current audience interests. Share employee birthdays, promotions, good news, business anniversaries, and other relevant news.
  3. Diversify Content Types: Plan a mix of content types to keep your audience engaged. Experiment with different content formats and distribution channels to see what resonates best with your audience. This diversity not only keeps your strategy fresh but also accommodates different preferences and consumption habits. And don’t forget to re-use the content that you have, just in a different way.
  4. Establish a Consistent Posting Schedule: Consistency is key in content marketing. Establish a regular posting schedule that aligns with your audience’s behavior. Your marketing team can use scheduling tools to plan and automate posts, but remain flexible to capitalize on real-time opportunities or address emerging trends.
  5. Integrate User-Generated Content and Feedback: Encourage user-generated content (UGC) to foster community engagement. Plan campaigns or activities that involve your audience in creating content, whether it’s through contests, challenges, or sharing their experiences. Monitor audience feedback and adjust your content strategy accordingly. Actively engage with your community to build a more dynamic and responsive content plan.

The Bottom Line

Remember to evaluate the performance of your content regularly and adjust your strategy as needed. Analytics and feedback should inform your ongoing content calendar refinement throughout the year, allowing you to continuously improve your strategy.

The Search To Find The Perfect Marketing Agency

So you’re interested in working with a marketing agency! That is great to hear. First off, simply because you are reading our blog post and we happen to be a marketing agency, but also because we want to make sure that you find an agency that is the perfect fit for your business. It may not be us and that is OK! But what we want to do is make sure you have the tools and resources to find that perfect agency. Here’s how.

What is a Marketing Agency?

A marketing agency is a company that provides various marketing services to businesses and organizations. These services can include:

  • Market research
  • Advertising
  • Branding
  • Video production
  • Photography
  • Social media management 
  • And so much more! 

Marketing agencies work with their clients to develop strategies and campaigns that will help them reach their target audiences and achieve their marketing goals. They should also provide analytics and reporting to help their clients measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. 

Some marketing agencies specialize in specific industries or types of marketing, while others offer a wide range of services to clients in various fields. Overall, the goal of a marketing agency is to help its clients promote their products or services and increase their brand awareness and sales and become one with their client’s brand.

How Working With An Agency Can Benefit Your Business

Working with a marketing agency can provide many benefits for your business. Since a marketing agency is a team of professionals who specialize in promoting and growing businesses through various marketing channels, you not only get one person but a whole team to work on your account. Here are some reasons why you should consider working with a marketing agency:

  1. Expertise: Marketing agencies have a team of experts who specialize in different areas of marketing, such as social media marketing, search engine optimization, content marketing, and more. By working with a marketing agency, you can tap into their expertise and get access to the latest marketing strategies and techniques.
  2. Cost-effective: Hiring an in-house marketing team can be expensive, especially for small businesses. By working with a marketing agency, you can get access to a team of marketing professionals at a fraction of the cost of hiring an in-house team.
  3. Save time: Marketing can be time-consuming, especially if you don’t have the expertise or resources to do it effectively. By working with a marketing agency, you can free up your time and focus on other important aspects of your business.
  4. Results-driven: Marketing agencies are focused on delivering results for their clients. They will work with you to set goals and create a customized marketing plan to help you achieve those goals.
  5. Stay ahead of the competition: A marketing agency can help you stay ahead of the competition by keeping up with the latest marketing trends and tactics. They will ensure that your business is using the most effective marketing strategies to reach your target audience and grow your business.

Where Do I Look to Find A Marketing Agency?

Finding the right marketing agency can be a daunting task, but with the right approach, it can be much easier. The first step is to determine your needs and goals for this agency. Then, you can begin your search by asking for referrals from colleagues or friends who have used marketing agencies before. You can also search online for marketing agencies in your area and read reviews from their past clients. Here are some top websites to start your hunt on:

Once you have a list of potential agencies, start by checking their website and social media networks to see if their style and expertise match your needs. It’s important to schedule a meeting or phone call with the agency to discuss your goals and evaluate their experience and approach. Be sure to ask about their pricing structure, timeline, and success rates with similar projects.

The Bottom Line

Overall, working with a marketing agency can be a great investment for your business. It can help you save time and money, while also delivering results and helping you stay ahead of the competition. Ultimately, the right marketing agency for you will be one that understands your business and can help you achieve your goals in a creative and effective way. Take your time and do your research to find the perfect fit for your needs.

Is Marketing Getting Lost In The Shuffle? Here’s How To Find It Again

A professor once said that marketing is fixing the problem with connecting the customer to the business. There is always a need, a want, a desire, and/or a problem. If you can figure out reasons for the customer to need your business, then you can easily market it to them. This seems like common sense, but getting back to the basics of marketing might be getting lost in the shuffle. Think about how many advertisements you see in a day. Whether you are watching TV, listening to the radio or a podcast, looking at something on the internet and so on…advertising is everywhere. So how can your marketing be found in the flood of advertising? 

What’s In It For The Customer?

The market is saturated with similar products and services. It can be very competitive depending on what your business is. The best thing to always remember when marketing is how does it help the customer? Constantly talking about the product or service can just get boring. But saying how it helps the customer right off the bat can encourage the potential customer to keep reading to learn more about it. Here is a great example from ContentFirst Marketing.

Is Marketing Getting Lost In The Shuffle? Here’s How To Find It Again

A great test to see if advertisements made their mark is with Super Bowl ads. Customers will remember the commercials, but will they actually remember what product was being pushed? Some brands have iconic imagery (Budweiser horses and frogs, Geico gecko, etc.) and others may have really great visuals, but the actual product just gets lost. Was the money worth the effort? 

Think about those old school infomercials. The ovens that cook turkeys in less time than others, the knives that can cut anything, or the ladder that extends higher than competitors but stores in smaller spaces. These always stood out because they were fixing a common problem customers could have. Potential customers saw value in the products. Stick to this way of thinking, and it will be a great way to build upon a campaign.

Stand Out Where Your Customers Are

Talk to any marketing professional and you will hear a different opinion of where your business should advertise or what platforms you should be present on. This also can depend on where you live and in what part of the world as some areas utilize mediums other areas just don’t. Think city fold versus country folk and how to market to people in each. It is different! It seems like everyday a new social platform is born. It is nearly impossible to be present on all of them with a marketing strategy. And of course there are thousands of ways to reach potential customers, but figuring out where your target audience obtains their information would be a great place to start.

According to Seth Matlins, Forbes Staff, 3 out of every 4 brands could disappear in an instant with no one noticing or caring. That is a lot! That means those brands are not meeting a need, want, desire or solving a problem for their customers or there are too many competitors in the market. Within the same article, Seth mentions that almost 8 of every 10 searches on Amazon are by category, not brand. Customers aren’t searching for Suzy’s Honey but instead are searching for honey. When that search happens, thousands upon thousands of results of honey show up and Suzy’s Honey gets pushed to page 6, which hardly anyone ever gets to.

Instead of running around trying to be everywhere all at once, focus on maybe a couple of different places and do your best on those to market your product instead of just doing minimal efforts on many.

Start With The Basics

Many business owners and marketers are confusing tactics with strategies and strategies with objectives. In marketing, while copying something a competitor has done is flattering, it likely may not wind up working for you. Just because we think that we can jump straight in and copy the tactics others are using we likely won’t get the same results. Why? Even if something worked for them does not mean it will work for you.

Start with the basics again, even if you’ve already had successful campaigns. Go back to the problems your potential customers have and understand why they are having those problems and how your business can help them. Decide which group you are going to really focus on. Doing this can help narrow down your marketing strategy and help determine which niche your products fits in for this particular campaign. And finally, take a look at how this group buys something. What is their buying pattern? From step 1 of having a problem to step 2 of where they go to research how to solve their problem and step 3 of actually buying can help when deciding what kind of marketing you should do. Do your potential customers like to read, listen or watch a video? Do they like reviews? Do they like to go to a store to make a purchase or buy it online (if it is a product)? Do they like to call and speak to someone on the phone about a service or would they rather set up a meeting and speak face to face? So many questions but these can help get back to the basics.

The Bottom Line

Fundamental marketing may seem super boring and it may seem like you are leaving a lot of potential customers on the table if you aren’t marketing everywhere. However, the power of finding the right target market and the ways they buy, can work. Even the greatest and most expensive tactics fail. It isn’t about the amount of money or the size of the target market. It is, and always will be, about finding the right product or service for your clients.

True Fit Marketing has been recognized as a 2021 Top 30 Best Branding Agency in Pennsylvania by DesignRush.

True Fit Marketing has been recognized as a 2021 Top 30 Best Branding Agency in Pennsylvania by DesignRush. 

DesignRush is a B2B marketplace that connects brands with professional full-service agencies, web design companies, digital marketing firms, and top technology companies.

Their platform lists over 9,300 agencies from over 50 different countries and is consulted by thousands of decision-makers looking to start a project.

“We are so excited to be honored with this award,” said Owner Arlea Hoffman. “Our goal is to build a brand that lasts as long as a business. We will always be a partner with our clients, so this award is for them as well. We work together to meet desires, wants and needs in an industry that is ever changing. Branding is a top priority for a business so it is important that we are on top of our game with knowing what is happening in the branding world. Special thanks to DesignRush for bringing together agency professionals and leaders to learn and collaborate with.”

True Fit Marketing is a full-service marketing advocacy firm powered by technology and grounded with foundational marketing. The agency has grown immensely over the past two years. From clients to staff, they are proud of their growth and the growth in the region.