You probably think social networks rule the internet now… well, the latest Technorati research shows that “consumers are turning to blogs when looking to make a purchase”…
which proves my point that social sites are mainly for hanging out, and killing time. People like bloggers’ opinions, especially if they are proven to know what they talk about. If you haven’t started a blog yet, or you have one that you haven’t loaded forever, now it is time to put some effort into blogging and impacting your potential customers.
Here are some interesting findings from the Technorati Report:
1 Blogs Influence Consumers’ Purchasing Decisions
The report found that blogs are now the third most influential digital resource (31%) when making overall purchases, behind retail sites (56%) and brand sites (34%).
Why do you think this is?
In my opinion consumers turn to blogs when searching for a viewpoint, mainly because bloggers are honest and very precise when it comes to writing reviews and expressing opinions about products. They tend to list both – the negative and the positive features of a product/service which is what would help a buyer the most.
2: Consumers Say Smaller Communities Are More Influential
Over half of consumers surveyed agreed that smaller communities have greater influence on a topic than larger ones.
The real value of online communities comes from discussing ideas, sharing information and learning from one another. Rarely does value come from the size of a community.
People realize small communities are more influential, yet big brads confuse influence with popularity. There are too many popular people out there, who are only popular, while others are not that well-known, but are trusted by people in their communities.
Meaning most times it is a lot better to hire a blogger with a small, but loyal reader base, than a popular blogger who is just popular, yet not that trusted. It is a well-known fact that trust drives action, and popularity doesn’t necessarily translate into trust.
The key to becoming more influential is offering value to readers, plus being real and straight to the point.
3: Brands Rely More on Facebook to Influence Customers
Even though brands are devoting only 10% of their total digital marketing budgets to social media, Facebook is clearly the preferred platform, taking 57% of the slice.
Facebook is where the world hangs out and brand marketers know how important it is to be successful on this platform. In fact, the report shows that when metrics from earned media goals for brands were ranked, Facebook likes were at the top.
This means brands are not only using Facebook for ads, but for page development as well. The key to getting your share of all that Facebook traffic is to post interesting content that attracts commenting, liking sharing and tha like. Although it is not very easy to do, it is worth it and will bring in massive results.
4: Top Social Media Influencers Blog for Themselves
According to the survey, 86% of influencers blog. Of these, 88% blog for themselves. Moreover, a majority of influencers (59%) don’t produce much content outside of blogs.
This is something I have always been referring to, when we talk about blogs and how to develop them. This statistic is clear proof that to be able to develop an influential blog and get people to trust and like you, all your energy have to be pointed that way, meaning you have to produce extremely compelling content to publish on your blog, rather than waste time on Squidoo lenses, or such free platforms that will only distract you.
5: Brands and Influencers Measure Success Differently
When it comes to gauging the success of their campaigns, brands and influencers think differently. Brands see success as increased activity on Facebook, Twitter and their websites, while influencers rank blog or website page views as the best measure of success.
6: Brands and Influencers Have a Different Understanding of Influence
Brands are always looking for the “right people” to connect with on social media. They believe that effective influencer outreach can help spark valuable word-of-mouth campaigns that increase brand visibility and ultimately drive consumer action.
The problem is how brands define influence. The Technorati report says that brands are using comScore or Nielsen rankings to identify influencers, yet these metrics do not represent influencers very well. Meanwhile “real” influencers (those people whom consumers trust and rely upon for advice) are hanging out mostly on their own blogs creating tons of content.
If you’re a brand marketer trying to connect with influencers, remember that having a large social media following doesn’t give you influence, it simply gives you an audience. Try looking for influencers who have very close ties to their communities, or bloggers who are relevant to your brand even if they don’t have worldwide fame.
This article originally appeared at http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/
To sum up:
Blogs are the ultimate selling platforms… not only that, but they tend to be the best way to expand a brand, even better than social media sometimes. This is why blogging is essential, not only it is free and will get you traffic forever, but it will also built you authority and make a trusted source where people would go to make a decision to buy.
This whole process takes time though, it will never happen over night, which is why the most popular bloggers have been online forever. Yet again – Blogs outperform social sites for customer impact.