In a recent survey conducted in the US, 81% of consumers said that they are influenced by their friend’s posts on social media when making purchasing decisions. But that shouldn’t be a surprise – friends influencing friends is nothing new. It is as old as conversation. People are naturally going to be influenced by the people they care about and this is never more true than when there is so much choice, as there is today.
It may have been the case in days gone by that people would be influenced by their friends about whether to by a product or service. But now the emphasis is as much on which product or service to buy as whether to buy one at all.
And the influencing is not passive. It is not just that people are seeing their friends posting on Facebook, twitter, Instagram or Pinterest and responding to them. People are actively seeking the opinions and thoughts of their friends, colleagues and family. The big difference now (as opposed to say 5 years ago) is that social networks mean that people are reaching tens, hundreds and in some cases thousands of people with a tweet or Facebook status update.
So what does that mean for you? Well for one thing, this is a huge opportunity. If you can convince even a few people that your product or service is the one they need, then they may well start to influence their friends by posting about what you make or do on your timeline. And if they are well connected with a tribe – trail runners or OCRers for example – they will respond to their questions about the best kit or services by recommending your products or services.
Obviously the mechanics for how you reach the right people and then, once you have identified them, what you do or say (or in fact don’t do or say!) are complicated, time consuming and sometimes frustrating. But if you are able to get important people on-board, they have the potential to do your marketing for you in completely authentic, honest and personal ways. Sounds pretty good, right?