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Social media has changed virtually everything about how businesses operate. And with social media users interacting with businesses and brands on a wide range of different platforms, it’s becoming more and more apparent that the interaction on social media will actually have a major impact on the buying decisions of individuals.

Data has shown that social media interactions can do a lot, including:

  • Attract new leads
  • Boost brand awareness
  • Build trust
  • Establish a company as an authority in a field
  • Convert followers to customers
  • And more

In short, the way that you use your social media accounts to interact with others is something that you can’t afford to ignore. There are numerous ways that this online social media brand engagement impacts your bottom line, and taking a closer look at some of the main ones is well worth doing. Here’s a look at seven of the biggest factors.

One – Connecting With Customers And Businesses
There’s no longer a barrier between brands and people. The internet and social media have created a climate that means that there is always a fast, easy way for people to get in touch with a business. As a result, some surprising numbers have shown up:

  • 74% of people now follow brands on social media platforms of some kind
  • 96% of those who follow a brand also interact with that brand on social media

What does this mean? Essentially, it means that more people than ever are using social platforms as a tool to reach out to businesses. This may be for feedback, questions, complaints, compliments, and more. It could also be to keep up with new products or services or special offers that you are providing. The bottom line is that people use social media to connect with brands and stay connected with them.

Two – Men And Women Use Social Media Differently
Gender does indeed impact the way that people use social media. As such, that usage also impacts buying decisions and interactions with businesses. For example, look at some of the figures:

  • Facebook influences women’s buying decisions by 56% versus just 45% for males.
  • Pinterest impacts men’s purchases by just 3%, but women by 14%
  • Twitter influences women at a rate of 3% but men at 11%
  • Instagram is closer, impacting men by 12% and women by 17%
  • YouTube influences women at a 7% rate, but influences men by 18%

However, this doesn’t mean that you should tailor every Tweet or YouTube post just for men. Buying decisions depend on individuals and on the products they are interested in. While social media will impact things, it’s not the only factor.

Three – Interacting Matters
It’s not enough to just put a post up on your Facebook page. Yes, 67% of people report that they made a purchase after seeing an ad on social media. But, it’s also important to remember that social media gives businesses the opportunity to directly interact with customers.

You can answer questions, showcase your social responsibility and caring culture, and much more. In short, by using social media correctly you not only market yourself, but create business and consumer relationships that extend a sense of trust to your potential customers – all while adding a human touch to your brand.

Four – Age Plays a Factor In Results
We’ve already discussed how men and women are impacted differently by different social media platforms. But it’s also worth talking about how the age gap can impact things as well. It’s common sense that Millennials are the group that spends the most time on social media every day and week, while baby boomers spend the least amount of time. That extends to how social media impacts buying decisions as related by age:

  • 77% of millennials are influenced by social media ads
  • 69% of Generation X users are
  • 48% of baby boomers are influenced by ads on social media

So what does this info mean to you, exactly? Basically, it means that you need to understand who your ads are going to influence the most and then target them accordingly. Marketers have always known that age plays a role in their ads – that applies to social media ads as well.

Five – Embrace Communication
51% of users interact with brands on social media by ‘liking’ a post. 22% will mention a brand on their own personal profile, and 20% will directly message the brand. 31% leave reviews.

Those numbers all represent a chance for businesses to interact with customers. It’s important to note that today, people regard online interactions with the same importance they do face to face interactions. That means that they value brands that actually interact with them on social media more than those that don’t. In short, be sure that you interact and converse with users on social media pages.

Six – Select Social Media Platforms Properly
Facebook dominates social media, and also dominates the online marketing space. People are more likely to make a purchase from a brand they follow on Facebook than on every other social media outlet combined.

That number may be impacted by the fact that far more people are actually using Facebook than other sites, of course. But still, it’s important that you cater your social media content to your audience and to the platform they use. Think about where your advertising will have the largest impact and base your social media interactions accordingly.

Seven – Maximize Your Potential From Followers
Whether it’s B2C or B2B, your business will be able to use social media to connect with customers and use your interactions to build trust. In order to really get the most from your online persona, you’ll need to take a couple of steps.

Identify your target audience, then focus on the social media platforms and posts that will appeal to those customers. You need to grow your brand’s online identity in the right way, and doing so includes things like personalized interactions, targeted ads, and more.

The bottom line is to continue to give attention to your social media profiles and interactions with customers or clients. In doing so, you’ll build a better foundation for success for your business.