Hi, Ted Karczewski with this week’s Content & Coffee with Brafton. Social media has grown into such a complex channel that its recent evolutions are sights to behold by even today’s most skeptical marketers.

From day one, brands with heavy offline presences looked at social with critical eyes. They claimed networks like Facebook and Twitter offered smoke-and-mirror results and were both wastes of time and money. A lot of this feedback stemmed from fear – business owners looked at social as their next great competitor.

However, recent studies show that social media marketing influences offline transactions just as much as it does online conversions. With so much research and innovation surrounding the emergence of social channels, consumers have adapted to their presences, and use networks in varying ways.

A study from Vision Critical shows that 26 percent of people engage in showrooming – the act of viewing products in stores, but buying online. But 41 percent of consumers perform the exact opposite behavior, browsing online and purchasing in stores. The source calls this “reverse showrooming.”

I, for one, am tired of hearing critiques against social media’s ability to inspire consumers to buy. Instead of finding flaws in social marketing, businesses should embrace new features and updates as ways to humanize their brands. People want to form relationships with the companies they buy from – it’s called brand affinity, and it’s more real than ever before.

I hope to see you online this week, engaging with your new and existing customers.

Catch you next week, and happy content marketing.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.