Nothing beats using social media to get quick customer/consumer reviews and input on matters from people you know and trust.
This evening I posted the following on Facebook:
“I’m starting to look at phones to replace my HTC Evo when I’m up for renewal next month. I like what I see in the Galaxy S III. Anyone have any experience with it?”
I quickly got eight comments from friends who either use it or know someone who uses this or a similar model, and who are all very happy with them. I spent time earlier tonight perusing web sites, reading reviews, and even going to a nearby Best Buy to play with a few different models. One person mentioned her satisfaction with the Galaxy Note which led me to the Samsung website where I read up on the Note II coming out soon. That one appeals to me as well.
With a gazillion smartphone choices out there, you need a way to filter the selection down to a few standouts. Certainly, the opinions and experiences of people I trust will be a factor in my final decision, in addition to some basic wish list features I already had in mind.
While this is wonderful for consumers, it ought to be eye-opening for businesses. Why? Because my decision on whether or not to buy a product or service is now heavily influenced in a matter of minutes or hours by what the buying public has to say, and those opinions are quickly available to me in response to a single post or tweet. I no longer have to rely on the biased sales info of the business wanting me to make the purchase. I don’t even have to rely solely on my own research, although I will do a lot of it.
That’s a good change for the consumer and one that should drive businesses to do all they can to make sure their customers benefit from great products and services.
Leap year lesson #262 is Social media helps you be a smarter consumer.