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Social selling is much discussed and often overused. People sending out endless tweets about your products gets tiring fast, and is unlikely to get anyone's attention. But if you can leverage the power of social media to influence your customers at the research stage of their buyer journey, it can be a very powerful tool.
A new study, which surveyed 2,017 people aged 18 and over, shows that 41% of people follow brands to see new product ranges when they launch and 35% use social to get ideas about what to buy when they next go shopping. This is somewhat higher for 18- to 24-year-olds at 47% and 40%, respectively.
Once someone knows what they want, organic social is no longer necessarily the best tool for targeting that person. By that point, email, on-site optimisation or remarketing via social or display networks may well be the best way to convert them. But at the discovery stage, social media offers a great way to influence your customers' priorities, and make them want what you offer. The research shows a majority of social media users under the age of 34 use social media to inspire purchases of all kinds of products, and over 60% are influenced by social when it comes to buying clothing or gifts.
Over half of those following brands on social media are there to see products, an interesting stat for any kind of retail business, and people are also interested at seeing new ranges when they launch.
People have also announced they would be interested in purchasing products directly through social networks, although the numbers here are not huge. 30% of 18-34 said they'd be interested in purchasing directly through Facebook, whilst only 15% of the same group said they'd want to purchase directly through Snapchat.
By Robert Allen
I am the Editor of Smart Insights. I manage the Smart Insights blog and write on a range of subjects- Marketing Technology trends and latest tech developments are a regular focus, as well as exploring key marketing concepts. You can get in touch with me on Twitter and connect with me on LinkedIn.
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