How Social Networks Help With Purchasing Decisions

Summary

  • Social media usage is on the rise and social platforms are influencing the global market
  • Social media algorithms are influencing the way people think by learning their interests
  • Businesses can utilize social media algorithms to expand their reach

The Rise of Social Media

It’s no secret that social media has become one of the most common ways that people connect, communicate, and sell or recommend goods and services to one another.

In a 2019 marketing study conducted by the social media publishing platform Hootsuite, researchers found that there are almost 3.5 billion active social media users — that’s a 202 million increase from 2018. With user numbers rising every year, industries are beginning to realize that social media plays a key role in expanding their global market.

As a result, companies like Netflix, Tesco Mobile, and Denny’s — yes, even Denny’s — are creating their own social media accounts to reach potential clientele. Almost every brand’s social media account operates differently, and some company’s social media strategies are admittedly more effective than others.

However, this doesn’t change the fact that now more than ever, social media is playing a huge role in how everyday internet users make purchasing decisions.

Social Media Algorithms: Learning Users and Influencing Behaviors

What do Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook all have in common? No, not your mother trying to add you on all your personal accounts. All of these sites use something programmers call “social media algorithms.”

These algorithms are essentially just little pieces of computer code that shape the way many users experience the internet. While every platform’s code is a bit different, they all make calculated assumptions about the kind of content people want to see. These calculations do more than just curate news-feeds. They play a significant role in influencing the way users think.

How so? By learning what users are most interested in.

For example, say Cindy is scrolling through her Instagram newsfeed when she comes across an advertisement for a vintage-style dress that she’s been wanting for ages. She hovers over the ad for a bit, then double-taps the photo to like it. BAM. Just like that, Instagram’s social media algorithm learns that Cindy likes vintage-style dresses, and will populate her newsfeed with content similar to that advertisement she liked.

How Your Company Can Harness Social Media Algorithms

When it comes down to it, advertising on social media isn’t much different (at its core) from advertising on any other platform. No matter what, companies are always going to need to find their target audience, and create compelling advertisements designed to draw in that specific market.

The most critical factor that sets social media advertising apart is that users are typically only seeing what they actually want to see. According to Hootsuite’s recent study, social media algorithms do a pretty good job of filtering out unwanted content.

So what does this mean for your company’s advertising strategy? Well, it means that statistically, purchasing social media resources — such as likes and followers on Instagram — is one of the most effective ways a business can expand its reach.

Researchers at Hootsuite reported that in April of 2019, the potential reach of advertising on Instagram was 802 million individual users. However, that reach is largely inaccessible if your company’s posts do not receive enough activity from users.

High rates of Instagram activity provide a kind of feedback effect for popular posts: the more people see it, the more popular it becomes, and the more popular it becomes, the more people see it.

Because of this, it is more vital than ever for individuals who want their profile to gain more attention or businesses who want to put their products or services in front of a broad audience to buy Instagram followers (either by purchasing instant followers or automatic followers over time) to boost their profile’s visibility.

This is a wise move, since building an impressive follower count takes time and effort. This allows you to get the followers you need in a much shorter amount of time.