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.

New Coronavirus Relief Bill

US Chamber of Commerce announces its Small Business Update to discuss the new coronavirus relief bill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On December 22, 2020, our team had the amazing opportunity to sit in on the US Chamber of Commerce (CO- by U.S. Chamber of Commerce) update on the new coronavirus relief bill and how it relates to businesses. Topics included: a second PPP distribution, updated tax information and loan forgiveness, and other items to help US businesses.

U.S. Chamber Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer, Neil Bradley, and Content Director at CO— and host of their Blueprint series, Jeanette Mulvey, discussed how Congress is zeroing in on a new coronavirus relief deal that will include a new round of funds for small businesses across the country and what the new bill could mean for businesses.

This opportunity was brought to us locally by Peters Township Chamber of Commerce. If you are interested in updated business news and educational series like this seminar, we highly recommend that you connect with your local chambers and with networking organizations like Women’s Business Network, Inc.

 

Here are some of their top takeaways:

– Businesses can apply for PPP loans if they didn’t before
– A new ‘second draw’ PPP will offer businesses additional aid
– Eligible PPP expenses have changed
– Paycheck Protection Program loans are not taxable
– Changes to the employee retention tax credit (ERTC)
– EIDL grants will reopen
–  A new grant program for live venues

 

Rewatch the US Chamber of Commerce event and see more details on their website here.

Social Media Networking and Business Referrals

Grow Your Business and Support Others

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are great places to grow your business and support others through personal referrals and shares. When you support your fellow businesses, they will remember and will hopefully reciprocate in the near future. We know that thousands of people ask for recommendations and share their results daily online. There is no way you can see them all. Make a habit out of tagging and mentioning businesses that you support and watch those businesses follow suit for you.

Share an event that can benefit or interest other businesses (and yours)!

Groups are Great!

Search your favorite social networks for groups that align well with your business or target market. People tend to ask for referrals in large groups of similar minded people to help them decide on their need. If someone tags a business that you might not have a need for now, but will in the future, like their page. See an event that someone shared in the group that is relevant to your business? Click interested even if you aren’t 100% sure you can make it because you may make a connection within the discussion threads. You never know where your next client may be! And remember, interaction is key. If you are in a group that your fellow business owners may find relevant, add them to it! Growing the group helps grow your potential business too.

Sharing is Caring

When you see a post, page or event that is relevant to your business, share it! Be sure you make your own comment when you share the post letting others know WHY you are sharing the post. Just think the business is a good idea? Tell them! Do you think your clients would like the page too? Tell them! Is the price point of the item awesome? Tell them! Is it a brand new product that others don’t have yet but you will? Tell them! People will see your text before they get to the original post so make the most of your time and make the post relevant for you too.

Do people ask for recommendations in the social media groups that you are in?

Tagging Businesses and Friends

When your business is tagged or mentioned for a referral or recommendation, it is like a green light for opening communication with that person. Recommendations and referrals from others is a win for you even if you don’t ultimately get the business from the post originator because that post will live on and be searchable in the future! When you see a post asking for a referral, even if it isn’t something that you personally can provide, tag someone or a business that you know who can. That person will appreciate the mention and will remember you when they see a similar post that might be right up your business ally!

Want More Social Media Networking Tips?

Our goal is to help you feel more confident in your marketing efforts. We want to save you from the stress of not knowing proper social media business networking etiquette to knowing where your marketing dollars are going and what your advertising is actually doing for you. Contact us to talk about a marketing strategy built for your business and not a cookie cutter plan built for your industry or business size.