Social media has radically shifted how consumers make buying decisions. Instead of looking to a select few industry experts, many now reach out to their online communities for input.
For example, a bride-to-be searching for a wedding planner could ask her Facebook friends for advice or post a general message on Twitter requesting others to share their experiences with a specific planner.
Positive reviews from these individuals can have considerable influence in purchasing decisions.
With the rise of social media, traditional marketing rules don’t always apply. Now, virtually anyone has the potential to build a strong social media presence. Instead of requiring large financial investments, social media requires an investment in time and know-how.
Moreover, blogs and social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, provide ways to have meaningful dialogues with customers, prospects and market influencers in real-time. Businesses have rarely had access to this level of insight into the behaviors, needs and desires of their target markets. You can now more easily stay in touch with the perceptions of customers and use this information to strengthen your brand, hone your message and refine your product offerings.