A recent report from NPD Group, a market research firm, found that mom shoppers are using social media friends and followers to help with their buying decisions. The study finds that 79 percent of mothers with children younger than 18 are active in social media – an impressive statistic. Of those active in social media, one in four said they purchased items on the recommendation from a Facebook friend, Twitter fan or other social media connection.

“Social media has become an enormous influence on purchasing,” said Anita Frazier, analyst for The NPD Group. “But many marketers have yet to fully realize the potential of social media and the power of peer group recommendations.”

To Frazier’s point, perhaps the reason many marketers “have yet to fully realize the potential of social media” is that the majority of marketers do not yet believe that social media can drive actual purchases. It has been widely written across the Internet that social media is not a place where people make purchases. That might be true, in the literal sense, but at least this study shows that social media can indeed influence a decision greatly and, for all intents and purposes, help click the “buy” button. People have trusted their friends more than corporations for eons. Why would that change online?
The fact is that it hasn’t. And for that very reason, social media exposure for your e-commerce business has become one of the most important tools you can utilize to attract attention to your offerings. And we think you should be seriously considering the following:

Search Engine Optimization: IF your web specialist is making – at a minimum – a weekly evaluation of search engine results, i.e., where you fall on a Google search, and adjusting your SEO appropriately, you are doing well in one facet of the social networking phenomenon. The trick is to have your website fall in the top third of the first page displayed and to keep it there. Potential clients that do not see your website are not going to visit it and you’ve lost the war, not just the battle.

Just finding your page, though, is no guarantee of sales. When a savvy client becomes interested in a product you sell or a service you offer, he or she is bound to do some research regarding how the product has been received by people he knows. So, did you know that the number of internet searches on Facebook are now higher than the number of searches on Google? Did you know that the number of tweets on Twitter are now higher than the number of first class mail pieces than the USPS delivers on a daily basis – and Twitter is free and seven days a week.

If your web specialist has not put your company on these, and other, social networking sites, you are losing the potential of upwards of millions of opportunities for potential clients to view your company – and, unlike search and view on Google, to talk with their friends online about what they see there.

IF your web specialist has not done his or her job about SEO and Social Networking, perhaps it’s time you came over to webSURGEnow.com. We provide all our clients with this service (and more) as part of our service to them!