With the booming of the web especially after the emergence and spread of social media networks, people start to rely on these networks to make their everyday life choices including shopping and purchase decisions. For the great impact these online networks in shaping customers’ decisions and build their own views, it becomes crucial for organization to have a neat and significant presence on these networks and keep close to customers.
Whether in physical or virtual world, every organization aims at building a good reputation and reflects a positive image to their customers. Online, social media platforms offer great opportunities to spread the word of mouth about businesses worldwide. That’s why, social media networks become one of the important mediums on which brands are built.
A new study carried by researchers from Romania and Thailand has highlighted the impact of social media on a company’s image. This case study “was conducted to a 258 respondents, having the age between 18 and 41 years old.” To answer the question of how often consumers read or actively take part on discussions initiated in online social networks, the study finds that “2.44% never, 26.83% sometimes, 51.22% often and 19.51% always.”
Researchers investigated also if users on social networks pay “more attention to the online discussion related to the products/ services they are frequently using.” Then, 82.49% of the respondents answered the question positively and confirmed that they “are attentive to this kind of information.”
Social media networks then play an important role in shaping the company’s image and how it is perceived by customers. Researchers stated that the study result is giving insightful conclusion that “the company’s image is related to all three constructions: the users’ social influence, the organizational promotion and the perceived image in OSN (online social networks).”
Many other studies have stressed on the importance of social media networks for businesses. This research for instance has dealt with the importance of virtual communities and how they can influence trust of online shoppers. As stated by the study, “virtual communities offer several advantages to e-tailers and opportunities for the interaction with members of virtual communities consumers”.
Another study also tackled the issue and stressed on the importance of social presence of businesses and how this presence affect customers’ trust. The study stated that “social presence is a determinant of trust in a retail website.”
In order to build a god relationship with customers and win their trust, the online business need to maintain a good social presence so as the customer feels of “being present with a real vendor. This feeling comes from the emotion during the interaction with the website” researchers stated.
Social media use continues to grow in a significant rate. So, companies need to take advantage of prospects offered by these networks to reach and connect with their audience and customers. Businesses have to take this in consideration and include social media in their marketing and overall business strategy.
As social media has become an important way to boost business growth and enhance presence in the market, companies should not ignore it and profit of these networks to reflect a good company image.