Decision Making- Learning How Consumers Are Utilizing Social Media Before Making Purchases

Hotels, restaurants, hiking equipment, mobile homes, you name it, consumers are turning to social media to make their final purchasing decisions. 

Android or Apple? Let’s head to YouTube, Mashable, SnapChat, Instagram, Facebook and see what people are saying about the most recent release. Is it worth the money, is it worth switching from Apple to Android? All these questions and more are being answered on social media.

Reviews are driving the ship. And everyone is obsessed with hearing what others have to say about products and establishments. There are influential reviewers, blogs, social media accounts and then there are mass review platforms: Yelp, Trip Advisor, Facebook. Both play a significant role in purchasing decisions.

So what’s the most important aspect? Well this depends on whether you have a brick and mortar business or a product.

Let’s say for the sake of argument you have a brick and mortar business. The first things someone will look at is your overall review score. Let’s say it’s 3.5 of 5 stars (anything lower and your toast without butter and jam) Now a 3.5 in many instances gives the user enough faith to believe that the business is good enough for them. But the second thing they will look at is your most recent reviews. Consumers don’t care so much about your 5 star reviews in 2013. They care about your reviews over the last 1-3 months. These are the most accurate reviews. So even if your business got off to a shaky start you still can start fresh and redeem yourself.

How can you do this? The answer is simple. Incentivize customers to leave more positive reviews. If you’re a hotel this might mean offering a free cocktail in exchange for a review, if you’re a restaurant, a free app on their next visit, a wireless retailer? How about utilizing a software that gives your customers a rebate if they choose to give their experience a rating?

Utilizing these strategies can be the difference maker in someone choosing your business or not. There are so many options in todays world and so much instant information. Word of mouth is losing its appeal. Why? Because it’s one person’s experience. And social media is a compilation of data that will show you the overall experience.

It’s your goal to make sure that when your customers are searching for a place to eat, shop, or stay that when they come across your social media pages and others that have spoken of you that those reviews push them over the right side of the edge. It makes a difference on your bottom line, and you can make small improvements to gather big results.

We’d love to help you get a handle on your reviews and help you learn how to boost positive ones without having to do much. 

Brianna Figucia