It’s often said that online search and social media go hand in hand. And it’s true, according to new research from Group M search and comScore, which found that consumers are more frequently using social media in addition to online search to make purchase decisions.
The study shows that buyers who convert online are just as likely to use both search and social media as they are to use search on its own, with 48% of consumers using a combination of resources. The study also reveals that when consumers were exposed to branded search results and information about the business on social media, search click through rates went up by 94%. The study also found that the top four social media resources consumers consider when making purchase decisions are: review sites, Facebook, video sharing sites like YouTube, and Twitter.
This research validates the need for local businesses to focus a portion of their marketing efforts to social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, as well as online reputation management, in addition to just search engine marketing . This combined tactic will help them create a total web presence and reach more consumers online. Recent data from BIA/ Kelsey and Comstat confirms that nearly 50% of small businesses are already using Facebook to reach local consumers, and nearly 20% are using Twitter. In fact, Twitter use by small businesses has doubled in the past year.
Is your local business taking advantage of social media and reputation tools to help potential buyers make purchasing decisions? If so, how are you integrating social media marketing with your other online marketing efforts? We’d love to hear about your experience – leave us a comment!