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June 5, 2010 / Brandon Raper

Social Media Purchase Equation

It use to be that promotions or advertising were the only media used to create favorable attitudes, reinforce feelings or even try to change negative feelings and attitudes about products or brands.  This is the key goal for all marketers; being in the consumers evoked set.  But has the tide changed?

Social media has made the information for alternative evaluations of products much quicker, efficient, and emotional.  After comparison of brands and products, a consumer will weed out which choices don’t meet specific criteria.

More important than ever are the key criteria used to compare different alternatives.  Information like price, availability, and subjective dimensions like style and fashion are used frequently in comparison.

What if the World wants more information?  What if objective and measurable attributes like price and delivery time aren’t specific enough?

Social media has completely changed the equation for attributes used to reach a consumers evoked set.  The equation used to read

Objective Attributes + Subjective Attributes

Sale TagFashion Models

Now the equation reads something like this…

Objective Attributes + Subjective Attributes + Social Influence

Sale TagFashion ModelsTwitter Logo


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It’s becoming a necessity that extra non-biased information be available for alternative evaluations.  This new information has found a breeding ground within social media.  If consumers are already increasing the amount of word-of-mouth advertising through technological outputs, then why would a company need to get involved?

Word-of-mouth advertising through social media is growing at exponential rates, which means the probability of negative feedback is also increasing (hopefully at a lower rate if you’re doing everything correctly).

One of the key measurable social media strategies that company’s are using is reaching out to negative feedback and reversing or mending these negative attitudes through personal reach.  Not only does this reduce the amount of negative feedback about your product (which without social media would be near impossible), but it also provides potential sales and loyalty.

Social media is becoming the new “hot buzz word” around company’s World wide, but there’s still doubt on the reasoning and metrics.  Social influence through technology is creating a necessity for businesses to, at the very least, have a community with additional information and believable testimonials.
Do you feel that social media is a necessity in the purchasing equation?

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