The best choice: How social media influences consumer purchases

Believe it or not, social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube play a huge role in your final choice to buy a product or not.

Usually before people want to buy something, they will do a little research first. Such as, watching YouTube videos, looking up hashtags of the product on Instagram, and much more. But why do we do this? Most of the time we do this because we want to make sure that what we are wanting to purchase will be worth our money. Often times people will also watch an unboxing video of the product they want to purchase just to see what it will look like from the box, so they have a better understanding on what to expect.

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An average of 54% of online users browse social media to research products before making a purchasing decision. And, 81% of consumer purchasing choices are influenced by their friends posts on social media.

If you follow people on social media who are constantly advertising either the same product or different products, you are constantly being exposed to whatever they are choosing to share.

It’s amazing to see how much social media affects our decisions on whether we are going to buy the product or not.

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When you watch a video of a product you want to purchase and the person is saying really good things about the product, it gives you peace of mind and confidence that if you purchase it, you would also like it – a lot! I

In my personal experience, watching review videos on YouTube, and doing additional research, before I make a purchase – especially a big purchase – makes me a confident online shopper. It’s always better to get familiar with a product even before you buy it. This way, you will already know what to expect if you purchase it, and won’t risk being disappointed.

In conclusion, buying things is more than just clicking checkout. Its about researching the product to find out if the product is right for you and if you would like it.

How has social media influenced your online purchases? Share in the comments.

Virtual poison: Making social media less toxic

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Social media is a great place to share your experiences with your family and friends. However, there is a toxic side to social media platforms.

There is no shortage of negativity on social media such as, cyber bullying, people having arguments in the comments, and more. This can lead to losing friendships and negative online attention. This isn’t what social media is supposed to be about. There are a couple practical things you can do to keep the negativity of social media at bay.

Be intentional

Before using a social media account, set your intentions. Why do you want to use social media? What will you use it for? what will you post? This is important because if you are intentional about what you are going to use social media for, then you will have less of a chance of getting involved in negative things.

One way you can stay clear of toxic things on social media is to not post things that are opinionated, offensive, or that will spark an argument. Posting negative things will fuel negativity that will most likely make you upset or get your feelings hurt. Many people can quickly lose the respect of others with one comment.

Do not engage in posts that will lead to arguments, etc… just keep scrolling. Do not give your opinion, even if you know you have a good point to share. Arguing on social media never leads to anything positive, and chances are, you will probably post something that you would never say to a person’s face or regret posting.

Keep your social feeds positive

Keeping your social media feed positive and free of negativity is a good place to start. Start by following people who inspire you. By filling you feed with posts from people who share the same interests, will keep you engaged and interested in what you’re reading. For example, I enjoy playing the drums, so I follow other drummers and companies that make drum gear. This helps keep me inspired to do what I love. Because I am constantly seeing posts about drumming and my other interests, the negativity in my feed is at a minimum.

Choose to be a positive influencer on social media by avoiding negative posts and negative comments. You’ll save yourself a lot of frustration and drama. So, what will you do differently the next time you’re scrolling your social media feeds? Comment below.

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Social Media: What your followers don’t see

Social Media is a great place to share cool things that are happening in your life with your friends and family.

What your followers don’t see is what goes on behind the scenes, and the sometimes drawn out, stressful process to finally posting. All the preparation such as taking the pictures, editing them, adding filters, writing a caption… you know what I mean. There is so much time and effort put into a simple post to try and make everything just right and seem perfect.

Things aren’t always as they seem

If you look at social media accounts, mainly those with a lot of followers, you will see many of their posts make their lives look perfect and everything is going perfectly well. This can foster feelings of insecurity.

Some viewers who look at someone’s social media feed and see nothing but good things can become sad about their own life, and begin comparing themselves to that person. It’s sad to think someone is comparing themselves to another’s life, especially when they make everything appear as if it is always good. This can cause some to question themselves and say, “Why is my life not like that?” The truth is, the person with the perfect social media feed also has their own issues. Life isn’t perfect for anyone. Yes, we all have ups and downs, but in the end no one lives a perfect life. So when you see someone who posts on social media as if their life is always perfect, just remember they are human too and they also make mistakes and have bad days too.

The truth is, if everyone started posting about the good and the bad about their life, most people would probably not like it. So, because of this, much of social media is fake.

In my opinion, It’s good to be real and authentic with your followers. For example, If I had 500,000 followers, I would share about my personal struggles (to an extent) because I think it is good for people to see that life isn’t perfect and we all struggle with similar issues at various stages in life. Do yourself a favour and next time your scrolling your feeds, take it all with a grain of salt and open perspective. Life is beautiful, but it’s not perfect.

FAKE NEWS – The social media effect on the pandemic

Social media has played a key role in the sharing of information during the COVID-19 pandemic. The power of social media allowed for key messages and important information to reach a global audience in a fast and effective way. However, the effects have not always been positive. According to the World Health Organization, the spread of misinformation is proving to be as much a threat to global public health as the virus itself.

The issue with social media is its ability to instantly spread information, good or bad, to any part of the world. In the past, the reach of misinformation or conspiracy theories would only reach a small group of people connected closely to the individual who initially shared the information. Now, with just one click, anything can be shared to anyone in the world, regardless if we are connected to them.

Social media giants try to crack down on misinformation

“We’re helping millions of people stay connected while also jointly combating fraud and misinformation about the virus.”

Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit and YouTube

How are social media companies trying to stop the misinformation? In a joint statement, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit and YouTube said: ‘We’re helping millions of people stay connected while also jointly combating fraud and misinformation about the virus, elevating authoritative content on our platforms, and sharing critical updates in co-ordination with government healthcare agencies around the world.’ So, what does this mean exactly? Below are just some actions taken by social media giants during the onset of the pandemic.

  • Tweets which promote fake treatments for the coronavirus or deny expert guidance will be marked as harmful and removed, the social network site has announced.
  • Facebook put a coronavirus information centre at the top of the News Feed in the United States and other countries around the world.
  • Reddit hosted sessions with medical professionals, health organizations and authoritative voices on coronavirus and its impact.

Continuing the misinformation fight

Today, with COVID-19 vaccines readily available and administered, the misinformation continues to spread. Misinformation has affected COVID-19 vaccine confidence in some.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states catching misinformation early helps to develop and release accurate information addressing concerns and questions ahead of time. This can help close information gaps before they are filled with inaccurate information. You can read some tips from the CDC on how to address misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines here.

Although social media has helped many stay connected throughout the pandemic lockdowns, it’s evident there have been negative effects, too. It’s important to use the power of social media to share accurate information.

How has social media shaped your viewpoints and decisions throughout the pandemic? Share in the comments.