Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Social Sites Drive Business Purchases by Young Adults and Teens

I’m seeing an interesting social trend developing over the last couple of years……consumers are moving from the age old habit of impulse shopping and buying, where a catchy advertising campaign or display might drive additional sales, to focused buying driven by the internet.

Nice opening statement, right? But what does it really mean? Let me give you a personal example.

This year’s “Black Friday” shopping event was highly anticipated by retailers across the country. Typically, the day after Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday shopping season in a BIG way. After the Thanksgiving meal has ended, the kids run to the playroom to hit the video games, the men typically retire to the den or “Man Cave” to watch football, while the women frantically browse through the fliers in the living room, making note of the stores they want to visit when they open. Some stores open as early as 12:01am on Friday morning and there are hundreds’ if not thousands, of shoppers anxiously waiting to be one of the first “250” in the door to get the “Great Deal” advertised in the flier. More often than not, stories of how “I can’t believe I got there at 3:30am and there were no X-Box 3 games left. It’s ridiculous! I’m never doing that again” are heard later in the day when the Mom gets home, frustrated from the crowds and lack of product availability.
Well, in my home, my wife followed tradition and looked through the fliers with her sister, mother, and sisters-in-laws, planning the next day’s shopping excursion. The difference was they were intent on hitting the stores quick and getting out. My wife left at 6:00am and was home with everything she went for by 9:00am. Now that’s a successful, focused shopping spree.
So what’s the moral here? To be successful in today’s information age, retailers need to be focused on providing an easy way for a consumer to get the product they want. The best way to do this is via social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Digg, and hundreds more. A recent Pew survey       ( http://tinyurl.com/ya9mmzv ) indicates that nearly three quarters of teens and nearly the same number of young adults use social media sites. Today’s consumers are no longer visiting corporate websites, but rather social sites to see where others are getting great deals, and avoiding the places where people are having bad experiences. Some retailers have already embraced the social media craze, added their own social sites, and created “followers” by providing coupons, discounts, or special announcements of sales via their social sites. Other businesses have sat back wondering why their sales are down….?

Take a look at this example of a social media deal listed on Twitter by BestBuy......BestBuy is considered a leader in their social media strategy plan:

A good social media strategy is a necessity if you want to keep your business growing and attract the consumers you need to do this. We must remember, there’s a lot of competition for the consumers’ purchases these days. If you remain in your old ways, thinking ”I didn’t need social media to get to this point, I don’t need it now”, then you most likely have peaked your business’ revenues and should settle in for a period of declining revenues and, the ultimate reality of asking yourself “ What happened to my business?”. Remember my “1990's Sales vs 2010 Sales?” post a couple months ago?

If you’re interested in growing your business and realize it’s time to learn more about how a social strategy business plan can help grow your business and increase revenues and profits, then please click on the form below and I’ll be happy to provide you with more information….