Social media is one of the most critical platforms that make connecting with other people much easier. With it, you get to relate with several other people from different parts of the world who most times have similar interests to you – and in some cases, you may even have differing opinions on issues.
These platforms also allow firms and brands to reach out to potential clients. Through social media marketing, many businesses have scaled greatly and established their presence in new markets and territories that they ordinarily wouldn’t have been able to penetrate.
While social media is responsible for creating and fostering relationships between individuals, and for brands and their clients, it also wields great power in that it is capable of influencing people’s choices and decision-making. For context, some people have never heard of blackjack games until they met a friend who has played the game in the past or a brand that is vigorously pushing it on their platforms. On many occasions, the opinions of these friends and brands have influenced the individual to take part in the games.
How Social Media Influences Our Choices
Social media has proven to be a platform that can greatly influence people’s choices. Here are some of the ways it has been doing so.
1. Other People’s Opinions
Social media platforms comprise millions of people with different ways of life. Everyone has different opinions about things, and social media platforms are one place where most people share these opinions. Viewing other people’s opinions about something related to you can easily influence your decision negatively or positively.
For instance, if you intend to buy a certain model of car and you visit a social media platform like Facebook to search for that model of car, the truth is that you will see what people have to say about the choice you are about to make. In a situation where several other people keep emphasizing the faults in the car, it will surely affect your decision since you won’t want to buy a defective product.
Many other industries have also been influenced by other people’s opinions on social media. This is even more prominent these days with the rise of influencer marketing. When influencers give their opinions on a product or brand, their followers tend to go with their verdict even when they had a different thought initially.
Advertisements are another way social media can greatly influence your decisions, especially your buying decisions.
You might randomly visit a social media platform like Instagram with no intention of buying any product, but suddenly, an ad pops up on your screen, and you discover you need that product. When this happens, especially if it’s a targeted ad, you might consider buying that item or even buying it immediately.
Also, social media platforms like Facebook have dual functionality for SNS games. You can be targeted individually with advertisements and campaigns that can influence your decision to download a game or invest in a service.
3. New Trends
This is another way social media can influence your decisions. Social media platforms are where you get to find out about current trends —this has to do with the general way other people do things, which could also affect your choices.
The latest trends and styles, such as; the latest fashions, hairstyles, cars, gadgets, etc., are always first noticed on social media these days. Since people have a sense of following the crowd, sticking to current trends so that they won’t be left out, these trends will most likely influence their choices in those areas. A prime example will be the worldwide acceptance of Yeezy crocs (footwear) after Kanye West first used them, and other fashion celebrities went with the trend.
4. Political Correctness
Many people feel the urge to be politically correct. When a movement is sweeping through the social media platforms, e.g., Twitter and many hashtags are flying around, many people who have no idea what such a movement is about may tend to join the bandwagon just to be viewed as politically correct.
Ultimately, the likes, retweets, and the urge to trend have made many users take stances they don’t initially believe in or understand. Along the line, they tend to stick with the narrative they have created so as not to be tagged confused, and this may end up being their reality.
Social media is a good platform where you can get the latest information on health, products, or even careers, and this could help you make the right choices that can help you in many areas of your life.
However, before going ahead and allowing social media to influence your decisions, you need to remember that social media can either make you or mar you. This is why you need to be very careful about the people you connect and relate with online. Following the right people can help you make the right decisions, and you already know what following the wrong accounts could do to you.