In today’s world, social media has become an indispensable tool for online consumers. It’s no wonder that businesses of all kinds have turned to social media to locate and engage with their target customers.

Social media is a tool for providing customers with a  voice. Companies are trying to raise brand awareness, engage present clients, divert traffic to other marketing properties, and escalate the number of mediums available. Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are examples of dynamic social media platforms that help connect people online. 

Changing Consumer Behavior

Brands influence customers’ choices, and these customers affect other buyers—these events impact repurchases, which in turn affect future revenues and the company’s long-term feasibility.

One of the essential areas that have arisen from social media is reviews. Customer reviews for products and services are widely available, beneficial for both the customers and the businesses. Reviews are a primary source of information for shaping attitudes, thoughts, and expectations of brands, products, and services; and affecting all customer decision-making stages. Consumers are encouraged to give their feedback online. As a result, social media can assist consumers in making informed decisions about the pros and cons of a particular product.

Social media can develop brand attitudes that can influence the buyer’s purchasing choice. A positive brand image generally leads to more purchases. Because most consumers use social media to look for and buy items, brands and services use this opportunity to promote their products.

Facebook and Instagram have become favourite spots for users, influencers, and brands to collaborate. With more than 400 million Indian Facebook users, social media links people during this time of social distancing and allows businesses to connect with their customers.

Many people have joined groups on social media that excite their interest. When the users see promotions, discounts, and deals on these social media platforms, their purchasing behaviour is influenced.

When consumers get a recommendation from someone they adore, they are more likely to buy that particular item. Celebrities and influencers stimulate their audiences and have an impression on their purchasing decisions.

 An influencer market can help a business flourish by attracting new customers. Many marketers prefer YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat influencers in place of celebrities. Customers admire these online stars because they give unbiased product reviews.

Increasing Use of Social Media by Indian Consumers

India has one of the world’s largest populations, and it has expanded its digital infrastructure over the years. As a result, India is rapidly growing into a prominent digital communications market. It is the world’s second-largest telecom market, with 1.2 billion users, and the third-largest internet market, with over 500 million consumers.

With technological advancements and societal shifts, the use of social media as a means of communication and as an information acquiring tool has increased. A huge surge in sharing of Love Status and Sexy Photos in social media such as Instagram and WhatsApp is at its peak. Also, the COVID-19 pandemic has expanded the use of the internet to search for information related to a product.

When a need arises, a consumer seeks information on how to meet that need. At this point, the consumer needs knowledge about a relevant product. Compared to business communications and advertisements, social media is seen as a more reliable source of information.

Indian consumers are sensitive to the price of a commodity. They prefer high-quality items that are also inexpensive. With the pandemic refraining people to go outside, more Indians are purchasing stuff at home.

Benefits for Marketers

Social media has undoubtedly narrowed the gap between brands and buyers. Given this, firms are putting forth every effort to make the customers feel connected to the brand. 

Social media has enabled marketers to access and monitor consumer thoughts by participating in online discussions and observing what people discuss in blogs, journals, and online groups. With so much information freely available on social media platforms, it is up to businesses to use it effectively in improving their products, enhancing customer relationship management, and escalating earnings.

Also read | Significance of sustainable development in Northeast India

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