Let’s start with a scenario. You are in the market for a car, as a result, you spend subsequent hours on social networking sites and dealer websites, researching the best deals in your area, the benefits of one car brand over another and the best options in your price range, among many other decisive factors. Afterward, you ask family and friends about their car buying experiences to gather insight that will eventually sway your vehicle purchase. But which is the bigger influence on your decision making: internet surfing or word of mouth from trusted sources?
According a recent survey conducted by by Starcom MediaVest Group, people in the United States talk about their auto purchases 30,000 times a day on social media. The survey — which assessed more than 10 million automotive conversations over a 12-month period on popular sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter — found that social media indeed has an influence over car buying purchases and consequently has a strong effect on consumer behavior.
Nevertheless, these findings do not rule out word of mouth as an effective marketing tool in 2013. Why? Because social media is word of mouth! Social media gives internet users a platform to intermingle with others, vent about their frustrations, divulge personal information, and update friends (as well as followers) about their daily activities.
Social media is essentially a virtual mecca for interaction conducive to the growth of any business. For that reason, a social media presence is a vital component in engaging consumers and cultivating positive word of mouth.
As a consumer, has social media influenced any of your purchasing decisions? As a dealership, are you invested in the conversations about your brand, products or services that take place in the social arena?