For many people, scrolling Facebook, chatting over Twitter, and surfing Instagram is now part of the daily routine. Our social media today is a result of all twists and turns we’ve endured over the pandemic. It has forced businesses to rely more readily on social media channels to communicate and engage with their customers. Today, social media apps are some of the leading tools making up a relevant portion of income streams from both large and small businesses. Moreover, social media statistics reveal that social media has the ability to influence consumer behavior to a brand’s advantage. How? In this article, discover how consumer behavior relies on social media today and how you can leverage your residential home service business to consumers on social media apps.
A Social Media Dependent Society
Deep down, underneath the calm exteriors, people are driven by one inextinguishable desire to belong. Social media, in one way or another, appeals to the inherent desire for belonging by enabling people to create an online persona that projects their ideal self. Through social media sites, you can be up-to-date with the latest trending news. You can also upload posts and stories that entertain your target audience, aligning your brand identity with their personal identity, and giving them a sense of belonging with your tribe (brand). On the flip side, we cannot downplay the negative effects of social media. It has created a window to access and covet other people’s lives, breeding an even stronger desire to keep up with the Joneses. This is a big reason why businesses thrive on social media. Social commerce allows businesses to meet consumers where they already are, at the peak of their whims and fancy. For this reason, social media today is no longer merely about connections but also conversions. Businesses have infiltrated social media networks because of how fast the market grows within each platform. A company that doesn't include social media in its digital marketing strategy is ignoring an inexpensive, practical, and quick way to reach half of humanity. Calling society social media dependent is a bold claim but current data indicates it’s a hard truth. Let’s explore the numbers below:
How many people use social media today?
Compared to previous years, 2022 has marked the era where more than half of the world’s population uses social media. According to Datareportal, 58.4 percent of the world’s population is on social media today. That number accounts for 4.62 billion people around the world. Within only a year, social media users have bumped up by a staggering 424 million who spend two hours and 27 minutes daily across seven social media platforms, on average. With that in mind, it’s likely that the majority of your prospects in the residential home service industry belong to those numbers. According to Deloitte, 40 percent of users utilize social media to find home improvement providers. That accounts for 1.8 billion people worldwide.
How do social media users connect with brands?
In many ways, social media is comparable to TV and radio. First of all, it doesn’t cost a dime for consumers to watch or listen to commercials in your social media feeds. Secondly, it’s the brands that want to be featured who shoulder the heaviest advertising costs. The real trick to winning on social media today is entertainment. Entertainment is the currency of a too-busy public, and on social media, people are looking to decompress from their busy lives and have a chuckle. This makes social media advertising particularly important when it comes to your overall marketing strategy. Social media sites are governed by patented algorithms that control the information every user receives. Brands can use advertisements to reach out to their market. Alternatively, you can use behavioral retargeted ads to recapture the attention of users who expressed interest in your products and services but didn’t convert. This is helpful because SproutSocial says one in three customers prefer social media to learn about brands moving forward. The numbers make it clear that social media has become a pillar in today’s society, not only for social circles but even for businesses. If you want your residential home service to dominate social media today, Wizard of Ads® has the chops to make that happen. Book a call.
Generational Consumer Behavior in Social Media
Social media today offers countless opportunities to tailor-fit your products and services to the right customers. However, comprehensive demographic data is required to define your target audiences. Every generation has its respective nuances that determine how people will interact with your brand and it’s imperative to know these subtle details if you want to maximize your social media advertising efforts.
Born: 1997 onwards Age range: 18-24**Who are they?**Generation Z, otherwise known as Gen Z or Zoomers, are the most digitally native among all generations. Given their youth, most of the people belonging to this category have had social media interaction for almost half of their lives. For this reason, they are tech-proficient, 66 percent say social media is a vital component of their day-to-day living. However, unlike other generations who prioritize connecting with family and friends, Gen Z primarily uses social media platforms as a pastime. Despite that, I do urge residential home service businesses not to sleep on the tech-savvy generation. They will be the huge drivers of the social media landscape in the years to come.**Consumer Behavior in Social Media?**Given Gen Z’s proclivity to social media today, they expect brands to be in step with them. It’s very important for this generation to have initial online interaction before storefront transactions.
According to the SproutSocial findings, 76 percent of Gen Z say that social media allows them to interact with brands. Seventy-eight percent report that social media helps them discover new businesses. Unlike other generations on the list, Gen Z people are fully aware of how businesses use their personal information. For this reason, 64 percent expect businesses on social media today to craft more personalized experiences to appeal to them better. They suggest that companies should analyze their posts, activities, and previous interactions to create a “level of familiarity” with them. In other words, the majority of Gen Z’s are relational buyers who value affinity prior to purchase.**What does this mean for residential home service businesses?**The best way to appeal to Gen Z is through ads or posts that spark engagement or interactions. Your aim is to involve them in relevant conversations surrounding your niche. This may not be so easy in the residential home service since you’re selling a grudge purchase. Nevertheless, maintaining active interaction with this group is the key to winning their loyalty. Work on your buying experience by being more active in responding to questions, comments, or messages. Make this the forefront of your strategy and you will win Gen Zers over.
Born: 1980-1996Age range: 25-40**Who are they?**Although Millennials are born the closest to Gen Z’s, their consumer behavior varies significantly when navigating through social media today. Most information regarding them is plagued with obsolete stereotypes, so don’t be confused. The majority don’t primarily use social media to kill time like the tech-savvy bunch. Rather, 61 percent use social media today to reach family, friends, and colleagues. Only 51 percent use social media platforms as pastimes, while 47 percent use it to discover new trends. Forty-three percent use it to know the latest news. The best way to describe Millennials is that most are starting to navigate through adulthood. This includes every nitty-gritty detail that comes along with it: work milestones, parenting, property-owning, household management, etc.**Consumer Behavior in Social Media?**Since Millennials are slowly dipping their toes into adulthood, they value businesses to be instrumental in their major life decisions. Compared to other generations, Millennials approach their careers, family, and future differently and it shows in their social media behavior. Since they prioritize making the best choices, they’re keen to join online communities and interact with other customers or with your business to know they’re in the right hands.**What does this mean for residential home service businesses?**A Millennial, say, with a new property, will be particular in selecting the business they’ll trust for their HVAC installation. Assurance also matters so much for Millennials and this can be challenging for residential home service providers. The best course of action to appeal to Millennials is to build your own online community via social media today. I see this benefiting your brand in three ways:
- Previous customers can share their past experiences working with your business. They can post pictures, upload videos, and testify to how your brand has helped them. In other words, free word-of-mouth marketing.
- You gain a free space where you can present the newest services or limited-time offers to encourage your previous customers to repurchase.
- You get a higher chance of tipping the scales into a sale once non-consumer Millennials part of your community validates the legitimacy and effectiveness of your services.
Born: 1965-1979Age range: 41-56**Who are they?**Have you heard of Gen X before? Not too many have, but we are the small group in between the Boomers and Millennials. Don’t sleep on us just because we’re small in number. We may be the best customers you can get for your residential home service business. Despite our small size, Generation X accounts for a large proportion of users in social media today and we’re not slowing down. According to research, 74 percent of Gen X users see social media as a vital pillar in their daily lives. Among the social media platforms, Youtube and Facebook are their most preferred apps through and through. This means they are likely to stick with these social channels for years to come. With that in mind, casting your net over these sites will give you better odds with Gen X prospects.**Consumer Behavior in Social Media?**Compared to Millennials, Gen X’ers use social media platforms more habitually. They average around six hours and 58 minutes of social media usage per week. The latch key generation is also known as the counter-culture generation because of their penchant for independence and smart purchase decisions. Gen X’ers are more likely to fall under the category of Transactional Shoppers. This means they care about the ROI, logic, and product research to make their final decision. According to studies, 56 percent of Gen X consumers discover new brands through social media. **Sixty-eight percent base their purchases on online reviews. What does this mean for residential home service businesses?**If you wish to target GEN X’ers, the best course of action is to acknowledge what motivates them the most– independence. Allowing them to dive deep and learn more about your residential home service business will help them develop their final purchase decision. In other words, whatever educates them, excites them. Keep their excitement at an all-time high by providing resources, videos, tutorials, and in-depth explanations that illustrate how your brand can solve their felt needs (money, energy, and time). You will want to cover your solutions’ features and benefits too, and how these elements can give them the advantage they’re looking for. Convincing customer reviews are another method for capturing the hearts of Gen X’ers. Similar to Millennials, fostering an online community where they can interact with other customers will facilitate them to choose you over competitors. Moreover, work on your local SEO strategies to ensure better odds if they decide to check your Google Business Profile listing. Finally, DIY videos that explain how users at home can troubleshoot, say, a minor plumbing problem demonstrate your care for customers. You can use videos like this to your advantage when targeting Gen X’ers. Edutainment is the name of the game.
Born: 1946-1964Age range: 57-74**Who are they?**Baby boomers were the slowest to adopt social and only 40 percent believe that social media today is a relevant component of their lives. Nevertheless, the recent social distancing brought about by the pandemic led this generation to embrace social media as a means to communicate with family and friends. Similar to Gen X’ers, Boomers prefer established and popular platforms like Facebook. Experts project that this group will increase its usage of social media in the next 3 years. This is following the nearly doubled number of Boomer Facebook users in 2012 and 2019.**Consumer Behavior in Social Media?**Baby Boomers share similar similarities with other older generations when it comes to social media behavior. According to research, only a measly 35 percent of Boomers use social media today to discover new brands. That’s even though 48 percent report that social allows them to interact with companies. That said, Boomers are likely to stick with the social media platform they’re accustomed to, primarily Facebook as a brand discovery and communication medium. Taking Boomers beyond the awareness stage will take up time since data suggests that only 20 percent have finalized a sale from a social media platform. Most will choose physical interactions over online shopping.**What does this mean for residential home service businesses?**Social media today is still useful to provide Boomers with information when finalizing their final purchase decision. However, it’s not ideal to push them down the sales funnel online. You can make the biggest impact with your residential home service business when your campaigns complement their brick-and-mortar preferences. What this means is strengthening your local SEO performance through local SEO tools. You can win Boomers by publicizing your address, and contact details, and dominating the Google Map Pack and Google Local Service Ads ranking. While you can use your online presence to share timely store updates, offer value stacks, and post new products that will motivate Boomers to visit your office.
How Many Sales Are Made Through Social Media?
Social media influence can never be underestimated especially when we’re talking about sales. The reason why social media has become one of the frontrunners in sales is because of its accessibility and the unspoken mental gymnastics that push people to buy your products and services. In recent social commerce research from Business of Apps, they revealed that a whopping 82 percent of social media users made a purchase after seeing a product on social media. Another report from The Influencer Marketing Factory found that more people now prefer online shopping (40 percent) over in-store shopping (13 percent). E-marketer predicts that social commerce sales will grow to $56 billion in 2023 and boom into a staggering $80 billion industry by 2025. While the information above covers eCommerce more than residential home service businesses, we can infer that online transactions generally matter more in social media today. What this means for your residential home service industry is that you must pace up to meet your audience where they’re at. While the best sale you can make is an appointment, your first goal should be to endear yourself to your target audience so they feel they know, like, and trust you before they even need what you sell. It’s hard to imagine a life without social media, but eventually, the main competitive field could very well be within the social media platforms.
The Impact of Stories on Consumer Purchase Decisions
Social media is but a singular piece in the myriad of tools businesses use to sell their products and services. We have to keep in mind that using social media today as a means to leverage your businesses will not always reap rewards. The truth is, it’s just a medium — a communication channel. Roy H. Williams once said: “The media doesn’t make the message work. The message makes the media work.” Media platforms will remain platforms until you put them to work for you. If you want to influence your customer’s purchase decision, you need to craft impactful and moving stories and not ephemeral content. You heard it right, stories. Most consumers, even the radically ROI-driven Transactional Shoppers, like to think logic is what drives their purchase decision. Here’s the thing: it isn’t. We like to think we’re logical beings that weigh all relevant information prior to purchasing. However, research shows that all of our decisions, both major and minor, are made subconsciously with emotions, only being justified by logic once the decision has already been made. Persuading consumers to use your solutions means speaking their language. Focus on developing stories, high-quality content, and ads that make your prospects FEEL your products’ benefits. You also want them to EXPERIENCE how your solutions can give them the advantages they desire. Why? People make ALL their purchase decisions from the area of their brain that EXCLUSIVELY FEELS. A part that doesn’t listen to logic and doesn't have the faculty for words. That’s why helping your clients imagine your solutions through persuasive stories is your key to sales success on social media today. Your prospects are ripe for the picking, but sometimes, you need expert advice to show you the tools for the harvest. Book a call with Ryan Chute of Wizard of Ads® if you want your residential home service to dominate social media today.