How online feedback impacts consumer behavior and why it’s critical for sales success
Most likely, you’ve purchased at least one item in your home or office because you saw it on social media. You may have bought gifts for others or shopped for items for yourself based upon Instagram photos or a friend’s glowing Facebook post. Within this purchasing process is an important behavioral evolution.
Once upon a time, consumers looked to friends or family members for recommendations on products or services. Their feedback held maximum weight. Today, online reviews from strangers provide insight that has become absolutely critical to the success or failure of a brand. A key public relations takeaway is that authentic feedback is critical to business success and, therefore, should be a focus of every communications program. But, how can a brand generate more feedback as well as increased shares, likes, posts and fans?
- Take and share amazing photographs.
A once-smallish burger joint called Black Tap NYC now maintains a steady two-hour wait courtesy of spectacular gravity-defying milkshake images, which took Instagram by storm. The visual appeal and massive sharing of the photos incited such desire that people travel from all over the country just to try one.
2. Make video a part of your PR and social media strategy.
With the limited time and attention span of today’s consumers, communications has shifted from pouring over the daily newspaper to headline surfing via smartphone. You can easily share videos across any platform to introduce or reinforce concepts. Businesses can even leverage Instagram’s Boomerang app to deliver short snippets in lieu of more involved and lengthier videos. The more authentic and brief the video, the better. Intrigue frequently gives way to greater research, click-thrus and, ultimately, sales.
- Encourage industry influencers to act as your mouthpiece.
Have you wondered why the fidget spinner suddenly seems to be everywhere? This item, frequently used by individuals who struggle with ADHD, ADD and anxiety, has recently gone mainstream courtesy of influencers. Famous gaming YouTube sensation DanTDM purchased a multitude of fidget spinners and posts daily videos about them. Not surprisingly, his audience (predominantly Minecraft fans) is now equally as obsessed. Fundamentally, influencers “talk the talk” for your business and generate authentic feedback from which others make decisions. Learn who your industry influencers are, whether bloggers, YouTubers, reviewers or analysts, and introduce your company to them.
Consumer feedback provides a valuable touch point as to how the public is receiving your business (or product). Positive insight typically results in positive action (purchase, additional insight), while negative input can stall the buying cycle. Through its ReviewMaxer service, Axia Public Relations tracks your online feedback to help you learn what customers are saying about your business. To learn more about how to effectively manage your company’s online reputation, download Axia’s Online Reputation Management Guide, which outlines the various fundamentals to successfully keep your business, product and brand in the limelight.
Wendy Bulawa Agudelo has nearly 20 years of experience in technology, business, consumer and nonprofit public relations. She serves on the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress PR Task Force and is a culinary enthusiast and champion for the special needs community. Wendy has worked for Axia Public Relations since September 2014. Learn more about Wendy Bulawa Agudelo. Connect with Axia on Twitter @axiapr or tell us what you think in the comments below.
Featured image credit: 123rf.com