This posting briefly goes over how social networking affects our daily lives, especially shopping! Let me know what you think about it. Have you ever purchased, or not purchased an item based on what someone had posted on a social network? Have you ever written a review of a product?
This article focuses on how social medial has made the influences that our families, friends, fans and followers have on our buying decisions very powerful. KellerFay, a US word of mouth marketing research consultancy, estimates that there are nearly one trillion conversations about brands every year in the US alone.
The F-Factor – meaning consumers are increasingly tapping into their networks of friends, fans and followers to discover, discuss and purchase goods and services, in ever-more sophisticated ways. (www.trendwatching.com/trends/ffactor).
The most common influences of consumer behavior of the F-Factor are:
1. F-Discovery: How consumers discover new products and services by relying on their social networks. People are interested in what their friends and contacts think, do, eat, read, listen to, drive in, travel to and buy, because often this will be similar to how they want to think, act and buy.
2. F-Rated: How consumers will increasingly (and automatically) receive targeted ratings, recommendations and reviews from their social networks. While consumers enjoy finding the best of the best by discovery, they are increasingly able to access personalized recommendations and reviews on something they know they want to purchase.
3. F-Feedback: How consumers can ask their friends and followers to improve and validate their buying decisions. Consumers actively disclosing their purchasing intentions and reaching out to their friends and contacts for personalized feedback.
4. F-Together: How shopping is becoming increasingly social, even when consumers and their peers are not physically together.
5. F-Me: How consumers’ social networks are literally turned into products and services.
According to trendwatching.com, Facebook is currently dominating the F-Factor. Over 500 million active users spend over 700 billion minutes a month on the site; more than 250 million people engage with Facebook across more than 2.5 million external sites; and, the average user clicks the ‘Like’ button 9 times each month (source: Facebook, 2010 & 2011)
What I took from this article was how social media has made the influences that our families, friends, fans and followers have on our buying decisions very powerful. If there are good reviews posted on a social network or a shopping network people are more likely to purchase that product. But, if bad reviews are written, that product is less likely to be purchased. Its amazing how we can take the words of people we have don’t know and make a decision on how to spend our money. I know that I have personally skipped over products on HSN because of bad reviews.
Times have certainly changed for the average consumer! When it used to take all day to go shop around for a particular item or a bargain, you can now do that very same task from the comfort of your own home or on the go if you have a laptop or smartphone.