Engaging with Consumers on Social Media — A Key to Influence Consumer Behavior and Augment Sales

In this age of technological advancement and disruption, social media has transformed the communication patterns of consumers as well as the marketing communications strategies of organizations by changing the dynamics of the relationship between marketers and customers. Though companies have started using digital marketing communication tools to promote their products in the competitive online markets, such marketing campaigns and promotions need to be streamlined to effectively utilize social media platforms apart from other internet, IT and digital methods to reach out to customers and boost business and profits.

For this, companies would need to restructure to a more suitable marketing communication mix.

In view of the constantly diminishing consumer attention-spans, holding ‘consumer engagement’ has become both challenging and an even more critical marketing requirement. It has become imperative for organizations to understand and learn how best to harness technology in order to engage with the consumers using the social media platforms, whose tremendous growth and presence has changed the way organizations have to approach and communicate with their stakeholders.

Sanjeev Kumar Sharma and Menka, in their paper titled Consumer Engagement through Social Media: An Imperative Factor to Influence Consumer Purchase Decision, presented at the International Management Conference organized at the Fortune Institute of International Business (FIIB), New Delhi, on 17th-18th December 2019, and later published in the Nepalese Journal of Management[1], have established that the influence of consumer engagement on social media platforms was tremendous on purchase decisions.

Their study was on the behavior of consumers of FMCG products in regards to their engagement on the social media, i.e. Facebook and YouTube platforms, using purposive sampling, online survey and correlation and regression hypothesis-testing techniques. As a result, the researchers recommended the marketers to encourage and enhance their engagement with customers on the social media platforms, especially through consumption-related chats and discussions, which would help them further in augmenting their sales by influencing the consumers’ behavior.

Moreover, the presence of, and access to other consumers’ online content including their feedback, has boosted the consumers’ online activities and increased their confidence in making more informed decisions to purchase and consume. As a result consumers are increasingly searching, comparing, reviewing, choosing and even buying online more and more.

The growth of social media has not only opened up new avenues for companies to increase interactions and engagement with their consumers; but consumers too feel that social media has given them a power to express themselves and engage with the stakeholders by socializing and sharing their perspectives. This development has in turn motivated the companies to engage with their consumers within the context of the consumer-to-consumer (C2C) conversations and augment information relating to the marketing of their brands and products on the social media platforms. Markets today are transformed, as consumers are spending more time on social media platforms using their mobile phones, tablets and laptops. So, the challenge for marketers is how to connect with them using all those devices in real time and how to create marketing campaigns that work effectively across social media. Digital marketing strategies by companies now increasingly need to synergize their business model and online presence from the perspectives of their target consumers’ social media conversations as much as with their online search behavior.

[1] Vol.7, No.1, January 2020.