Marketers are well aware that social media sites can play a role in influencing consumers, whether it is through product endorsement or building customer loyalty, for example. However, research by Christian Hildebrand and Tobias Schlager suggests that the effect of Facebook on consumers is both more subtle and powerful than commonly realized. They demonstrate that merely browsing this social media site has a significant impact on subsequent consumer decision making.
The vast amount of data produced today provides business with significant opportunities to improve the consumer experience. For businesses and consumers to benefit fully, however, we need new ways of processing this information in its many forms.