Social Media started as a platform for individuals to share photos of their friends and family and their daily activities but it evolved to become much more than that specially for business.
With the rise of social media people started to think differently about shopping, so much of retail and dining is now task oriented where we actually go to the mall or the shop and a restaurant to get what we need after browsing it on a social media platform and maybe get it delivered to us by the press of a button. Shopping used to be the event of going to that store and saying hey we are here let’s buy something, which was part of hanging out and socializing. This is an evolution of retail business. I can tell you how social media “ Instagram as an example “ is changing our shopping behavior, let’s take our dining experience as an examples; so much of that is influenced by the photos and videos we see on these platforms to decide what we are going eat and in which restaurant we go to or order a delivery from. I guess this makes decision making easier for us as customers where we are sitting in our place flicking through the pictures of food, clothes, presents in the company’s social media platforms and then decide which place we will go and buy what we saw on there, which is like doing a task as I mentioned earlier.
As for the companies where the brand was the store itself, their menu and hoping that the person who is serving us is someone who will give us a great experience while we are there to buy, hangout or socialize. Now the company social media platform has become the brand to attract their customers and prospects. So much of the marketing is no more on T.V, newspapers and magazine or word of mouth but instead its moved to Instagram and Facebook profiles. Now business are more focused on giving a virtual experience to the people out there and display what they offer before their potential customers even come to the store, by posting pictures of the products they provide or hiring a social media influencer who shares their thoughts on how they felt about dining in their place or buying the products and the services from one place and then post It on their social media to share with their followers.
This gives businesses a new opportunity and also challenge to reach those people who are using those social media platforms to bring them to the door and which makes me say that these businesses are driven to provide the WAW factor to those who are browsing on social media rather than giving this feeling in-house by making sure the pictures look stunning attractive maybe be not real just for the eyes to see before walking-in that door.
This makes me ask how much of our purchasing decisions are made by flicking through the pictures of the company’s social medial platforms or social media influencers reviews? and how much is it like the old school where we go and walk-in to the place and have the real experience and being surprised buy what we got without being influenced by any of the above?