As consumers grow distrustful of social media advertisements, businesses must become more shrewd in their online marketing strategies. This means tapping into the individuals that usually have the most impact on their target audiences’ decision making habits – the boy/girl next door also known as the inner circle. The inner circle is friends, family members and even other customers with similar interests to the business’ target audience. Consciously and subconsciously consumers tend to take action based upon the suggestion of those individuals who’s opinions that they value and trust the most. While the cool kids (the trendsetters) and the gossip girls (the informers) create buzz and interest it is the boy/girl next door (the inner circle) who actually influence decision making and customer action.

Killer Infographics highlighted the following inner circle trends in social media consumer habits :

  • 75 percent of people don’t accept advertisements as truth.
  • 63 percent of social media users feel consumer ratings are #1.
  • 90 percent of people believe brand recommendations from friends.
  • 70 percent of people believe consumer rating.
  • On average consumers discuss specific brands 90 times per week.

Accordingly in a study conducted by Burst Media, about 46 percent of social media users claim that friends’ recommendations influence their purchasing decisions. These recommendations came in the form of face-to-face interactions, product/service reviews on websites like Yelp and “likes”/”shares” on social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Overall, consumers find more value in user-generated endorsements versus company generated advertisements.

At JASE Group, LLC we use our inbound marketing model to draw customer interest, referral and feedback. What are your company’s strategies for maximizing the power of the inner circle? Share your thoughts below.

Visual Social Networkimage credit: Xericjames on Flickr

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