Impact of Social Media on Consumer Behavior

Kunal Arora

Karishma Borkakoty

May 9, 202410 min read

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In the digital age, understanding consumer behavior is central to business success. It directly shapes decisions, from setting organizational goals to marketing strategies. This understanding becomes dynamic and ever-changing with the increasing interactions of consumers on social media. 

This is why, in today's tech-driven environment, businesses that grasp the intricacies of consumer behavior have a competitive edge. This understanding not only influences organizational strategies but also fosters innovation in product development, aligning offerings with consumer preferences.

As online interactions on social media platforms continue to surge, staying attuned to evolving consumer behavior is not merely advantageous — it's a necessity for sustained growth and relevance.

In this blog, we’ll be exploring the intricate link between social media and consumer behavior, offering practical tips and valuable tools to navigate this evolving landscape. So, let’s first begin by unravelling the meaning of today’s topic.

Table of Contents

What is social media consumer behavior? 

Social media consumer behavior is the study of how individuals and groups use social media platforms to discover, evaluate, purchase and advocate for products, services or brands. It's essentially about understanding the choices consumers make in the digital world that are driven by the interactions, content and influences they encounter on social media. 

Something worth noting is that the introduction of new platforms, features and technologies continuously reshapes the way consumers engage with brands and make decisions.  

A few examples of how social media continues to redefine consumer behavior are given below: 

  • Augmented reality 

  • FAQ chatbots for instant product inquiries  

  • Immersive 360-degree product showcases 

To thrive in today's business landscape, it's essential to not just follow current customer experience trends but also anticipate and adapt to what lies ahead. This forward-thinking approach not only helps businesses in staying competitive but also positions them as thinkers and innovators in the ever-evolving realm of digital consumer behavior.  

Learn More: Future of Social Media: Top Trends to Watch for 2024 

How does social media impact consumer behavior? 

Now, let’s explore the multifaceted impact of social media on consumer behavior. By delving into these insights, we'll uncover the intricate web of connections between social media platforms and the choices, decisions and preferences of today's digital consumers. 

1. Product discovery 

Social media acts as a massive virtual marketplace where users discover new products or services through posts, reviews and recommendations from their connections. The ease of access to a wide array of offerings makes it a prime platform for product discovery. 

Engagement strategies: You can leverage this by creating engaging content that showcases your brand's products or services. This approach encourages customers to share their experiences, transforming them into brand advocates.   

These advocates will not only endorse your brand but also become your vocal supporters, sharing their positive experiences with their own social circles, thereby amplifying the brand's reach and credibility. 

Related Read: 9 Ways to Boost your Brand's Share of Voice on Social Media

2. Influencers

Zeb Powell snowboarding at a Red Bull event

Source 

Influencer marketing has the potential to sway consumer choices and behaviors. An influencer's endorsements and authentic reviews on social media can heavily influence purchasing decisions. When an influencer vouches for a product, their followers often listen.  

Engagement strategies: You can collaborate with influencers in your niche to promote your products. For this, you can provide influencers with products or services in exchange for honest reviews or endorsements.  

This influencer marketing strategy will help your brand tap into the influencer's dedicated and engaged audience, expanding your reach and gaining credibility within their target market.  

 Find Out: Social Media Engagement: What You Need to Know! 

3. Social proof 

An Instagram post from Swarovski showcasing user comments and appreciation of a product

Source 

Social media platforms are a hotbed of social proof, where consumers gauge the popularity and credibility of a product or service based on likes, shares and comments. Positive social proof can significantly impact purchase decisions. 

Engagement strategies: You can encourage customers to leave reviews, share their experiences and rate products on multiple platforms. These positive social proofs could potentially influence consumer choices and patterns, as buyers often rely on the opinions and feedback of their peers when making purchase decisions.  

Additionally, by actively engaging with customer reviews, companies can build trust and loyalty among their customer base, fostering lasting relationships that go beyond individual transactions. 

Read This: A Definitive Guide on Review Management 

4. Feedback and reviews 

A review rating aggregation of the Apple iOS

Source 

Consumers take to social media to share their experiences with products and services. These candid reviews and feedback serve as valuable resources for potential buyers, influencing their choices. 

Engagement strategies: You can actively engage with customers by responding to their queries and complaints on social media and addressing both positive and negative comments on your posts. This shows that your brand values customer opinions and is committed to improving.  

This proactive approach not only addresses immediate concerns but also demonstrates transparency and a customer-centric approach. It further improves your brand's reputation by building a positive perception among both existing and potential customers.  

How to build a brand reputation management plan 

🔍Assess current reputation 

Conduct audits on all online channels. Monitor social media, reviews and forums for mentions and sentiments. 

🎯Set clear objectives 

Define what a good reputation means for your brand. Identify specific goals like improving review scores or increasing positive mentions. 

🎲Develop a response strategy 

Create guidelines for handling both positive and negative feedback. Train your team on consistent, brand-aligned communication. 

🤝Engage proactively 

Regularly post valuable content that reflects your brand’s values and voice. 

📈Monitor and measure 

Use social listening tools to track mentions, sentiment and engagement across platforms. Regularly review key social media metrics to gauge progress towards your reputation objectives. 

Worth Knowing: How to Maintain a Positive Brand Image on Social Media  

5. Fear of missing out (FOMO) 

Social media is a breeding ground for FOMO. Scrolling through posts of friends enjoying new products or experiences can spark a sense of urgency, driving consumers to make impulsive purchasing decisions. 

Engagement strategies: You can leverage FOMO by creating content that creates a sense of urgency among visitors, such as limited-time offers, flash sales or exclusive deals for social media followers. 

You don’t want to miss this: 10+ Ideas for Social Media Posts That Move the Needle 

You can strategically use persuasive language and compelling visuals to amplify FOMO, driving immediate action from their audience and fostering a sense of excitement and anticipation around your brands and products. 

Tips to influence consumer behavior to facilitate social selling  

In the world of social selling, where business and social engagement intertwine, the following strategies will help you influence consumer behavior. 

1. Leverage user-generated content (UGC)  

Encourage your customers to share their experiences with your products or services on social media. UGC acts as an authentic endorsement that resonates with potential buyers. 

Use the following to leverage UGC to make a social impact: 

  • Create dedicated hashtags: Craft branded hashtags specific to your products or campaigns. Encourage your customers to use these hashtags when sharing their experiences. This not only organizes UGC but also boosts brand visibility. 

  • Repost UGC: Share user-generated content on your brand's social media profiles. Reposting customer content not only acknowledges their support but also creates a sense of community around your brand. 

Example: A customer posts a photo on Instagram wearing your brand's clothing while using your branded hashtag. You share their post on your brand's Instagram account, showcasing their positive experience. 

Dive Deeper: How to Leverage User-Generated Content to Drive Engagement & Conversions on Social Media 

2. Build trust through transparency  

Be open and honest in your interactions on social platforms. Social media transparency builds trust, and trust is the foundation of consumer loyalty. 

Use the following tips to build trust among your social audience: 

  • Share behind-the-scenes content: Offer glimpses behind the curtain. Showcasing your workspace, production processes or even employee stories can humanize your brand. 

  • Highlight values and your mission: Regularly communicate your company's values and mission. Explain what you stand for and how you're working toward a better future. 

  • Address customer inquiries openly: When customers have questions or concerns, address them openly and promptly. This demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction. 

Example: If you run a cosmetics company, you can build trust by regularly posting videos on YouTube and showing how your products are made, emphasizing the use of natural and sustainable ingredients. This transparency resonates with environmentally conscious consumers. 

3. Harness the power of social listening

Strategically investing in advanced social listening tools like Sprinklr rating and review management can be a game-changer for your business. Such tools offer a comprehensive view of what customers are saying about your brand and your competitors, providing invaluable insights that can drive better conversions and customer satisfaction. By harnessing the power of social listening you not only gain a deep understanding of consumer sentiment but also uncover opportunities to refine your products, services and marketing strategies.

A Sprinklr dashboard showcasing voice of customer data

 

Use the insights you gain from social listening to tailor your content and engagement strategies. Address customer concerns, answer questions and pivot your content to align with their preferences. 

Example: Your social listening tool alerts you to a trending conversation about the need for more sustainable packaging. In response, you announce on Twitter that your company is transitioning to eco-friendly packaging, which will align with your customers’ values. 

4. Create engaging content  

Craft content that resonates with your target audience. Engaging, relatable content not only grabs attention but also encourages sharing, which will expand your reach. Use the following tips to create engaging social media content: 

  • Use multimedia content: Incorporate a variety of content types including videos, infographics and interactive posts. Visual and interactive elements can captivate your audience and convey information effectively.  

  • Provide value or entertainment: Your content should either offer value, such as informative articles or helpful tips, or entertain through humor or storytelling. Engaging content adds to your brand's personality and appeal. 

By leveraging solutions like Sprinklr's social media automation platform, you gain the ability to seamlessly plan, manage and measure your brand's content performance across 30+ social media platforms. With such comprehensive control over your social content, you can create a cohesive and impactful social media strategy that resonates with your diverse audience.   

Example: You manage a food blog on Facebook. Instead of just posting recipes, you can create short cooking tutorial videos that not only showcase your recipes but also provide step-by-step guidance, making it easy for your audience to follow along. 

Now, let's explore the tools that can aid you on your journey to track and understand customer behavior on social media. 

Looking for more social selling strategies? 

Look no further than our comprehensive e-book “Accelerating Social Selling with Conversational Commerce” that covers: 

  • The basics of conversational commerce 

  • Goal setting for customers in different journey stages 

  • Strategies to leverage AI in driving conversions 

Go, grab the eBook and multiply your social selling revenue now 👇 

Social media tools to track customer behavior  

Social media keeps evolving, and it is therefore important to utilize tools to keep track of the changing social media trends in your niche, considering the startling number of people who use social media. Here are some essential tools to help you keep track of changing consumer behavior:  

Social listening tools  

By utilizing social listening tools, you can effectively monitor social media platforms for brand mentions and relevant keywords. These tools provide valuable insights into what people are saying about your brand, industry or specific topics. 

You can create alerts for specific keywords, industry trends or relevant topics to stay updated on conversations that matter to your business. Additionally, social media listening allows you to:   

  • Identify shifts in consumer preferences and behavior in real time 

  • Adapt your strategies 

  • Create relevant content 

  • Engage with your audience effectively 

 This strategy ensures your brand remains at the forefront of industry developments. 

Social monitoring tools

Social media monitoring platforms offer a streamlined way to manage and monitor multiple social media accounts from a centralized dashboard. This simplifies the process of tracking customer engagement, responses and overall online presence. 

With these tools, you can: 

  • Keep a close eye on engagement metrics including likes, comments and shares, to assess the performance of your content   

  • Swiftly respond to comments, messages and inquiries, fostering a sense of community and trust around your brand   

  • Address any issues or concerns promptly, enhancing customer satisfaction  

Find Out the Difference: Social Listening vs. Social Monitoring 

Analytics tools

Every major social media platform provides its own set of analytics tools, such as Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics. These tools offer valuable data on post-performance, audience demographics and engagement metrics. 

Dive into the data to understand which types of content resonate most with your audience. Utilize social media demographic insights to fine-tune your targeting strategies and deliver content that speaks directly to your audience's preferences.  

Basic analytics tools no longer suffice! So, check out Top 7 Social Media Analytics Tools [Best Rated 2024] 

Hashtag tracking tools 

Hashtag tracking tools serve as valuable resources for tracking the performance of hashtags relevant to your industry or brand. These tools enable you to identify trending topics and optimize your content strategy accordingly.  

You can experiment with various social media hashtags and closely monitor their performance to determine which ones yield the best results. Thereafter, you can incorporate trending and effective hashtags into your posts to increase visibility and engagement.  

Final thoughts 

To thrive in the current social media era, businesses must not only adapt but also actively engage with evolving consumer behavior. Staying relevant to the changing trends and patterns in consumer behavior is one the most important aspects of business success.  

AI-driven tools, such as Sprinklr Social, help you in effectively managing your content on multiple platforms, and they provide strategic insights to convert your users into advocates. With this particular tool’s robust features and findings, you can optimize your social media marketing strategies on the go and create a compelling and influential presence in the digital landscape. Not convinced? Take a free trial and watch the results first-hand 👇 

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