How and why consumers consume content on social media

How and why consumers consume content on social media

Why should brands have consumer insight? How does content work in social platforms? Read more to find out!

We live in a device plural world where everyone uses a variety of different devices and assigns them a different task or level of accessibility. These connected devices may have a screen and/or voice functionality.

Consumer habits have changed over the past decade alone, consumers have domesticated digital platforms. Younger generations - including Millennials - no longer buy things the way their parents did.

The fluid nature of social media makes it the perfect platform for creative storytelling, product launches, and initiatives. As we continue to move towards a new phase of e-commerce and publishing, it’s evident that social media marketing isn’t a choice anymore. It’s an important part of all your strategies.

Whether it's selecting an image for your social media platforms, native ads, or paid ads, insights are key. You need to know where your consumers stand to work your social media strategy and this has significantly changed over time. Consumers have changed the way they consume data on social media and as a brand, you need to have insights on the same.

Social media and consumer behavior

Social media has occupied an important position as a communication tool across the globe. People use the platform to connect to other people, local committees, or brands.

Netizens have started to use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to share their personal experiences. As customers, people share product reviews, information about a service provided, advice on food or health, tips on using certain products, and much more.

People have a lot of ‘connections’ on social media, therefore information is consumed by a web of people. This information becomes a source of influence on consumers and their buying/reading behavior - often causing virality of content or products.

Consumer insights

A consumer insight can be described as an interpretation used by brands to get a better understanding of how the audience thinks and feel about a certain message. Analyzing the human behavior on social platforms helps understand, as a brand, what it is that the consumers want and how they want it to be delivered. It also throws light on the “why” aspect of it allowing brands to strengthen their relevance through active feedback.

Insights also include important demographics like age, gender, and location. Along with - topics of interest and sentiment towards certain messaging. The goal is then for content creation, branding, and marketing based on this knowledge.

As consumers increasingly consume, share content, and engage with brands online, digital channels are important sources of consumer insights. Many of these have been around for over 2 decades, but we still usually think of them as new and somewhat mysterious due to the changing trends. Here are some ways to understand consumer behavior:

  • Website behavior

  • Web search patterns

  • CRMs and databases

  • Social media conversations

  • Forums, blogs, and online reviews

These sources often have two distinct advantages over traditional techniques: they can be done on a global scale, and the information is available instantly to publishers.

The availability of such information makes it essential that brands make conscious decisions to cater to their users on digital platforms. Ignoring the web and social media would be missing a large part of the consumer insights puzzle which is why it’s crucial to add to your checklist.

3 ways social media influences consumer behavior:

More buyers are now on social media networks than ever before. Consumers are looking for reviews and recommendations and actively using them to make decisions. The same is the case with content, you see larger engagement with content on social media. Therefore, it’s essential to have a prominent online presence on various social media platforms.

The latest trend in marketing is the introduction of social media. Social media has the power to influence potential customers from the start until the stage of a purchase.

To start off, consumers need awareness about your brand and what you offer. At a later stage, when they start to narrow down their choices, you need to have influencers or other users promote your brand to help new readers commit to your platform. Attractive and informative content can glue the customers to your brand. You need to further interact with your users and build a strong relationship through feedback and benefits.

1. Builds awareness

Social media is a huge influence on consumers when they are attempting to build awareness. When people face a problem, they start searching for a solution. But most of the time people do not know which product or service will solve their problems. Social media brings all available content to a single platform where it can then go to different lanes. Social media is a platform where people make statements, support causes, and have active discussions. It has huge relevance as each person influences their own little circle. You, as a publisher or brand, need to make sure you’re easy to find.

2. Social Proof - buying decisions

Social media has resulted in the evolution of social proof as a greater force for purchase decisions. Social proof has emerged due to the tendency of people to imitate the behavior of people they know or have an influence over them - classic bandwagon.

Happy customers usually tend to go about praising the products with likes, shares, reviews, comments, posts, or stories on social media. Marketers are making the social space more transparent by sharing reviews, comments, likes, tweets, and pins of their happy customers to generate brand trust and increase conversion rate.

Sharing testimonials, case studies, pictures, comments, and videos of happy customers will build greater trust and will work well on your landing page, consulting page, and social pages.

3. Social Media Influencers

Influencer marketing can work wonders for your brand by attracting more customers. The fact that you are validated by someone users consider influential is a great way to get your content going. It acts as a final step of trust, your content is the first. Many marketers are replacing celebrities with YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat influencers. These online stars are providing unfiltered feedback online, and consumers love it.

Content consumption 

Although the trust over news has significantly lessened during the pandemic due to fake news, it continues to be a popular platform for discussion of content. As more journalists have come onto the social platforms, there have been conversations around news in the social space.

Media publishers too have continued to increase enegagement over their social channels. Adding stories over upcoming interviews or even just to repurpose their older content - social media has been a platform that has favoured all.

As netizens carry on with the hype of social media and the platform it creates for discussions, content consumption will always be subject to the social channels. It's important for publishers to come up with new and interesting ways to hold their attention.

The likes of IGTV, Facebook lives, visual web stories, videos, snaps, infographics, cartoons, etc are dynamic ways to share content. As social media is an easy platform to expect vitality of content - ensure that your website is social friendly. How do you do this? We did a blog on social friendly CMS. Keep reading!

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How and why consumers consume content on social media