Currently, social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. Social networks have revolutionized the way we communicate, connect, and share information with others. Currently, there are billions of active users on various social platforms. In this context, social networks have slowly but surely transformed into a critical source of information for companies that want to understand their customers’ behavior online and beyond.
Before exploring how we can use data from social networks to understand consumer behavior, we must first understand what consumer behavior means in 2023.
If you have only 3 minutes:
- Social media provides a wealth of data about consumers, both quantitative and qualitative.
- Observing behavioral patterns and the factors that influence users’ purchasing decisions is often an indirect process.
- The data provided by social media has a significant real-time component, which involves specific processes.
- More and more social media users are making direct purchases on social networks.
- A brand’s activity on social media is not unidirectional but involves direct interaction with consumers/audience.
- Social media can fulfill a multitude of roles, depending on the brand’s needs and the capabilities of each social network.
You are the data you share
The simplest definition of consumer behavior refers to how a person acquires products. Essentially, the concept involves much more than how a person buys tangible products:
- Using related services
- Engaging in activities and experiences
- Generating ideas or subscribing to them
- Deliberating and ultimately making choices as consumers
- The first step of the consumer journey or, in other words, what turns a social media user into a consumer, is the source of information/knowledge and emotions on which they base their decisions and choices.
The source of information usually covers all aspects that underpin the decision:
– Ability and opportunity
– Attention, perception, and understanding
– Memory and related knowledge
Social networks offer brands a unique opportunity to observe and analyze consumer behavior in real-time. However, observation is indirect, through the aggregation, analysis, and interpretation of the data collected by each social network.
I know how you are, and I know what you desire
In addition to directly using user data through available advertising options, companies can use this data to understand deeper factors that lead to certain decisions over others:
- general market trends can be identified
- the overall sentiment regarding a service or product can be tracked
- the needs consumers seek to fulfill can be understood
- customer preferences can be deduced
Action, interaction, review
Social media platforms also provide companies with the opportunity to interact directly with their customers:
- conducting surveys
- collecting feedback
- customer service
Create. Measure. Analyze. Optimize. Repeat
Brands can access information about consumer behavior as it happens. This allows brands to quickly react to changes in consumer preferences and market trends:
- common themes and customer preferences can be identified
- trends and patterns can be noticed, contributing to the development of more effective marketing campaigns
According to a recent study by Hubspot, data from social media is highly relevant for informing the creation of new and relevant content because it provides valuable insights into the types of content that resonate with the target audience.
By leveraging information about content creation and updates, marketers can improve the effectiveness of their content marketing campaigns and generate more engagement and traffic to their website.
Consumers make direct purchases on social networks
By monitoring mentions on social media, companies can gather information about what people are saying about their products or services.
It is also worth noting that customers can perform the same monitoring process.
A study on mobile users shows that conversions can increase by 133% when mobile buyers see positive reviews before making a purchase.
Additionally, consumers are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on recommendations from social media.
For example, if a company observes that a large number of people are talking about a specific feature of their product on social media, they can decide to highlight that feature in their marketing campaigns or even make improvements in that direction.
On the other hand, if customers consistently complain about a certain aspect of their product or service, the company can use this feedback to make improvements and address the issue.
Consumers expect brands to react
Through social media, consumers now have various ways to interact with businesses:
– liking posts
– following accounts
– sharing content
– expressing appreciation
– asking about products
Today, it is no longer enough for a brand to exist on social media solely to sell products or services.
Consumers expect more from your social activity
A study conducted by SproutSocial concludes that eight out of ten consumers expect brands to interact significantly with their customers. Social networks humanize brands and help highlight their characteristics and “personality.”
It is certain that social networks have revolutionized the dynamics between companies and customers, offering a new level of interaction for both parties. Brands are no longer perceived as distant and anonymous entities that we only encounter through publications or on Google. By exploring a brand’s social network, you can relatively quickly understand their values, the latest news and promotions, and their relationship with their audience.
Social media is not just about conversations or interactions; as mentioned above, it plays an increasingly important role in the buying process itself. This should convince us that resources and attention are worth investing.
Effective content in social media
Last but not least, understanding the type of content that customers interact with the most is one of the keys to a brand’s social media strategy. Consumer preferences constantly evolve, influenced by trends, events, contexts, which keep things in constant motion.
Content analysis on social media reveals a great need for entertainment and meaning for consumers:
- Funny content: 49% of consumers say that funny content is interesting and memorable. To take advantage of this type of content, brands can create funny videos that have the highest probability of going viral. Video content, especially short-form video, has proven to be the format with the highest ROI for social media marketing.
- Content that reflects the brand’s values: any content that communicates the brand’s ideals and principles beyond the products offered, such as commitments to environmentally friendly production methods, fair treatment of employees, or support for specific causes.
More and more customers attach greater importance to the values and beliefs supported by the brands they frequent.
User-generated content is any content created by a brand’s audience, not commissioned or sponsored by your company.
It is a very effective type of content because it conveys the idea that people use and appreciate the products or services, providing real proof of their value.
For 79% of social media users, user-generated content greatly influences their purchasing decisions, much more than brand-generated content or influencer-generated content. (Hubspot Study)
Other types of content that marketers can use to improve their marketing strategy in 2023:
- shoppable content, which allows consumers to browse through products on your accounts
- educational content that provides useful information to the audience to help them achieve their goals and needs
By analyzing data from social networks, companies can obtain valuable information about consumer preferences, attitudes, and behavior.
This information can be used to develop (much) more effective marketing campaigns, improve customer engagement and retention, and develop products and services that better meet consumer needs.
As social networks continue to grow in importance, diversify, and optimize their offerings, algorithms, and mechanisms, companies that professionally utilize social media data greatly increase their chances of success in a market that, at least in numerical terms, is becoming increasingly competitive.
If you want to have access to experienced professionals in social media, give us a sign at firstname.lastname@example.org.