CHICAGO, Ill. – For many small business owners, especially those in the business of living off grid, social media is at best a necessary evil. But if business owners want to see their profits grow, social media may be the best route for attracting more customers and a larger bottom line.
Our friends at FierceRetail always do great work when it comes to evaluating the business world, and this piece is no different. Laura Heller, one of the nation’s top reporters and experts in the retail field, published this story about the potential for social media to help businesses grow.
Here is her report:
Social media’s impact on shopper behavior has long been questioned, and a new study indicates that social interactions are having a greater impact than traditional sources.
Roughly 86 percent of women shoppers say they are more likely to buy a brand for the first time when they begin interacting with that brand on social media, according to a survey by Influence Central. And 87 percent are more likely to buy a brand more regularly if they engage with them on social platforms.
Influence Central queried 400 female shoppers with an online questionnaire, and while the sample size is small, it serves to paint a picture of how women shop today.
Approximately 82 percent of women said that insights and recommendations gotten through social media channels have changed how they gather information, 81 percent are influenced by product reviews, and 72 percent said the ability to check social media recommendations takes the guesswork out of buying a new product.
Recipes, images (photos and videos), testimonials and comments all had value with more than half the respondents.
But the value of traditional media is on the decline, according to the survey. Just 1.9 percent of these consumers said seeing a TV ad impacts their decision to buy the product, while just 2.2 percent decide to buy a product after seeing an article or mention of it in a newspaper or magazine.