Truth is, social media is helping businesses grow. The more positive people think and feel about your business, the more likely they will actually purchase your products and services. The question is, how likely will they? According to the AMI study, Social Media Marketing Best Practices Report, social media drives revenue in the SMB market. However, it is best if one understands how a typical customer thinks and what would drive them to buy.
The first is the customer's awareness of your brand. There are many brands in the market and the competition to reach out to customers are fiercer than ever. Social media plays a big role in this factor because it raises people's awareness that, "hey, there's a product like this run by this company." So by using social media, you get to advertise what you're offering.
The second is consideration. Being active on social networking sites does not necessarily mean sales would be generated instantly. Naturally, you would need to build rapport. How to do that? You need to engage with your network. If you market your business to your target base enough to build credibility and trust, they would be more likely to consider whether they would buy from you or not.
And the third is the actual purchase. You have to remember that before deciding on whom to purchase, customers check with their peers. It all boils down to whether your business is reputable or not based on what others say about your company. An actual purchase is not done unless there's an evaluation of your products and services. The key here is to engage, help out and deliver. Social media in itself has a high influence. You would just need to decide on various ways how to use that to your advantage.