How to win with social mediaOctober 8, 2012
Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn. Get used to learning how to leverage them, because there’s no going back to the way things were before they came into existence. More than ever, your customers are using those and other social media sites as major communication platforms to spread the word about their experiences with your products, your stores and your websites.
The Consumer Electronics Association’s recent Consumer Perceptions and Expectations of CE Accessories report shows word of mouth from social media, search engines and online reviews are the most important sources of information consumers have for researching electronics.
Learning how consumers are using social media and how it drives purchase decisions is one of today’s most important elements for successful selling. How do you gain control in this dynamic environment? Although the majority of social media buzz is out of your hands, it’s wise to create a buffer for these activities and to engage with current and potential customers online.
State of Social
Consumers are spending more time than ever online. According to CEA’s 2012 study, How Social Media Influences Purchase Decisions of Consumer Electronics and Accessories, U.S. adults who identify themselves as social media users spend on average 32 hours a week on the Internet, 8.8 hours of which are spent on social media sites themselves. There are few other places you can guarantee consumers will spend such a large portion of their week. Furthermore, consumers are engaged in these networks, with 74 percent of social media users classifying themselves as having medium or high levels of social engagement.
For CE accessories, social media can be especially important in the purchase decision. In fact, 19 percent of consumers say they always or almost always refer to social media websites before they purchase a CE accessory. Additionally, 84 percent of consumers who researched CE accessories prior to purchasing report finding social media websites useful in the purchase decision. This creates the opportunity for CE accessories retailers and manufacturers to connect with current and potential customers through social media.
Know the Basics
At this point in the game, your company must have active social media pages. In the United States, adults visit an average of 2.4 social media sites a week. This doesn’t mean you need to be active on every social channel out there, but you must figure out your company’s bandwidth and focus on the channels that are most meaningful to your target customers. Narrowing your activity allows you to engage on the sites—not just pushing information, but responding to valid comments and concerns quickly and accurately. That is essential to the overall credibility and reliability of your channels.