The impact of social media, particularly image and video-led applications, is rarely underestimated – but not often understood. The disconnect between user interaction with content from a business and website or store sales can be difficult to bridge without sales systems integrations and complex data analysis. So, how much impact does Social Media have on consumers, and businesses?
There is no doubt that the increased hours spent on social media has helped boost social content as a key marketing format that drives conversion. Indeed, according to new research from Stackla, nearly three-quarters of consumers admitted to spending a larger amount of their free time on social apps since the pandemic began, as well as increasing their frequency of online shopping. Whilst this increase has been driven by a change in living and working conditions for much of the world, businessess should expect to see these numbers largely maintained as digital services continue to accelerate.
It seems as though shoppers have also become more particular about the kind of social content they’d like to see when deciding to buy a product. Seventy-nine percent of survey respondents said user generated content also highly impacts their purchasing decisions, demonstrating the importance of creating brand content (as well as user experiences and high product quality) that encourages collaboration.
This highlights the increased importance of authenticity and real-life reviews amongst potential customers, favouring content produced by fellow customers, rather than sponsored key opinion leaders. In fact, 66% said they had been inspired to purchase from a new brand after seeing social media images of that brand from other consumers. A further 88% cited authenticity as a core factor when choosing which brands they were likely to support moving forward post-pandemic.
The results of the Stackla research also indicated that imagery and videos on social media have more influence on consumers’ purchase intent than they did before the pandemic; In a survey conducted of more than 2000 online shoppers from the US, UK and Australia, 56% of respondents said they are comparatively more swayed by images and videos on social media when making ecommerce purchases – demonstrating the high impact of social media on consumer behaviour.