Does Social Media play a pivotal role in dictating Consumer Behavior?
- The truth behind the vile grail of Consumerism
We now live in an era where consumer behavior is determined and influenced by Social media platforms and networking sites. Have you recently purchased a product just because it was recommended by your favorite Social Media Influencer? If your answer is Yes!, then you too have fallen into the rattrap of digital consumerism.
“All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.”
― Noam Chomsky
The present culture of consumerism is such that our desire graph is climbing up and the emotional well-being graph is coming down.
Evolution of Social Media: Then and Now
Initially, Social media was the medium for people to make and nurture personal connections. Online platforms like Facebook were merely a platform where one could share photos and reconnect with people.
But now the landscape has changed tremendously and it’s more of a virtual marketplace of sorts to buy and sell things, write reviews and gain brand visibility.
According to Global Web Index, 2018, 54 % of buyers use social media to research products.
Social Media -The new Digital Market Place.
Many factors are responsible for this sudden spurt in shopping in the digital space.
The first reason is advancement in technology. Now people have access to fast internet even in remote areas. There has been a rapid increase in mobile phone usage among Gen Z and Millenials. The hassle-free access has amplified the use of Social Media for a variety of things. The pandemic was also instrumental in also accelerating the shift towards e-commerce sites. There was a splurge in new customers in both rural and suburban owing to pandemic-induced lockdown.
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Power of Social Media
Brands have started acknowledging the power of social media and realized the importance of having a digital presence.
Brands these days go to any lengths to grab eyeballs. Take for instance the case of Sahdev Dirdo, who rose to fame overnight after a video of him singing the “Bachpan ka Pyaar” song went viral.
To cash in on his huge popularity, MG Hector a.k.a Morris Garages invited the kid to hand over the keys to their first electric car customer. Rapper Badshah collaborated with the internet sensation and released a new version of the song on Aug 11, 2021, which is currently trending at number one on YouTube.
There is one negative side to this power. Global beverage brand Coca-Cola was on the receiving end of negative publicity.The brand suffered a $4 billion drop in market value because of Cristiano Ronaldo’s ‘water gesture’ at a press conference during the Euro 2020. These two instances show the power of social media in the present age.
Influencers and social media play a crucial role in determining the brand visibility of a product as followers tend to trust their recommendations before making a purchase. This is evident in the manner in which Nike Air Force 1 UV started trending after the reel was posted by some influencers.
Click the link below to read about the clout of Influencer Marketing.
The Economy of Clout
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How to circumvent the vile grail
Yuval Noah Harari in his book ‘Homo Deus’ talks in-depth about the rat race and how despite all achievements, we feel a constant pressure day and night. A Deloitte report highlights that consumers influenced by social media are 4times more likely to spend on purchases. Algorithms will keep on changing and it will be reflected across the platforms.
“Customer is King” is an age-old mantra. At the end of the day, it's all about your choice. Let good sense prevail!
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