Social media is popular, we just don’t know how important it is to the purchase process and therefore we don’t know how much time, effort and money we should be spending on social media.
Here’s another report that indicates that social sites are important to online purchase decisions.
Search is important by itself, I think we all understand that process and certainly must play in that arena.
The Search and Social is still confusing.
How does it work? Do consumers learn about a product on a social site, then search for it, then buy it? Sounds reasonable. Or, do they search, see a link to a mention on a social site, go there, then purchase? Sounds plausible.
But we still don’t know how it really works yet. And, that confusion may be because consumers are still finding their way through the process themselves and because social is so popular, it at the very least touches the process.
We do know that retailers are building their own business social pages and they believe it’s important enough to spend time keeping it current.
I think it’s logical and important for brands to provide content for these pages to help retailers populate their pages with good information. Then track everything that happens.
Social may not be ready for prime time just yet, but it’s important enough to be a part of your marketing plans in 2011.