Shoppers Defer to Social Media

Another super interesting article by my friend Brandon Engel, entertainment blogger extraordinaire.

According to MediaBistro, a recent survey conducted in the United States found that 38 million youths (ages 13 to 18) said that social media directly informs their shopping decisions. The same article also said that 75 percent of Facebook users polled reported consulting their friends before finalizing purchases, and a whopping 81 percent said that posts from their peers on Facebook influence their personal consumption choices. 

In some ways, this is just a new manifestation of trends that have subsisted for a very long time. Certainly, it’s not a new phenomenon that groups of friends go to the mall and offer each other shopping advice. Social media does operate in a slightly different way, though. Say you’re out at the mall. If you see someone with shoes you like, you could snap a picture with your iPhone, post it on Instagram, and ultimately have another user point you towards the online retailer with the most competitive price -- and you can finalize the purchase with the phone itself. 

It’s closing the traditional advertisement gap, too, by allowing customers to directly purchase items through their smartphone or computer. This is great news for tech savvy brands, who have embraced digital media as a means of engaging customers. 

ViralHeat is a useful tool for monitoring social media feeds -- particularly for bloggers and fashionistas who want to keep track of what brands and products are generating the most buzz on Twitter and Instagram. For instance, one company which has been doing exceptionally well in the age of digital media is Frye:

 

It’s all the more astonishing because the brand has existed for over 140 years, and they still manage to stay current within the collective pop cultural consciousness. They are a brand that customers trust, and part of what’s so astonishing about the social media buzz surrounding Frye Boots is that it seems to be mostly user-generated! They are experiencing a sort of “best case scenario” for internet branding, where the users and fans are not only engaging one another (and therefore, boosting brand visibility considerably for Frye) but is also allows for a situation where users can begin to directly engage retailers through Twitter:

 

So for every inconvenience and petty annoyance that we have to deal with on a regular basis in a tech-dependent society, you should at least be able to derive some level of satisfaction knowing that virtually any object that you can see and covet you can now also research and purchase at the most reasonable price. After all, we are living in a material world.

Author Bio:  Brandon Engel is an entertainment blogger with ViralHeat.com He's written a number of articles on highly important subjects, including: vampires, werewolves, cartoons, and snack foods made out of novelty cereal. Brandon lives and works in Chicago.


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