People have always turned to friends, family and colleagues for advice – humans are fundamentally social and seek confirmation that what they are doing fits in with the crowd.
Over the last decade though, our capacity to connect with others to get feedback and influence over purchase decisions has increased rapidly.
While once we might have phoned a friend to get advice on buying a vehicle, or asked our spouse before making an important purchase, today there are a wealth of online channels to get advice as a cusotmer.
This includes social media which lets us quickly reach out to friends and other contacts for advice on products, as well as a whole online universe of forums, review sites, and shopping sites that now impact our buying decisions.
As Mashable has described, social media has infiltrated the purchasing funnel, helping consumers make informed decisions, from what to have for lunch to where to go on vacation. Depending on the decision, sometimes you turn to your social graph, and sometimes you turn to Google. So, as a brand marketer, you want to know what online channels you should be targeting in order to reach the perfect audience for your product.
But regardless of what kind of consumer you’re trying to reach or what you’re selling, your SEO better be top notch — search is the most important influence on the web.
The infographic below, featuring data from M Booth and Beyond, analyzes the differences between high and low sharers and various purchasing decisions, helping brands to understand how should be targeting consumers.