Social media has had a pronounced and measurable impact on the overall media landscape. A driving force behind the explosive growth of the Internet of Things, social media has fuelled digital culture, the pervasion of mobile devices, and altered our understanding of the relationship between consumers and businesses. While how social media impacts a brand is evolving, it is vital to understand how social media impacts a brand at present. A business’s overall branding, marketing, media, and customer relations strategies all hinge on an accurate understanding of social media’s role in brand development and identity.
Let’s begin with a look at how social media impacts how consumers discover the brands with which they interact. A composite look at research by Neilsen and other media research firms reveals the following:
- 60% of consumers researching products via multiple sources first encounter a given brand via social media or social networking sites
- Active social media users are more likely to draw guidance from online reviews
- 75% of active social media users are likely to write an online review for a product, brand, or service
- Consumer-generated reviews and product descriptions are the preferred source of product information for regular social media users
In addition to brand or product discovery, the pervasion of social media and mobile culture has reshaped how consumers understand brand interaction:
- 78% of Twitter users expect a response within the hour to a complaint to a brand via Twitter
- 41% of social media users who share brand reviews online say they do so to receive discounts
- 50% of Gen Z and 42% of Millennials say that social media is the most relevant channel for both advertising and brand communication
- 71% of social media users who have a positive experience with a brand or business are likely to offer positive reviews online
This is a departure from traditional understandings of customer service, consumer communications, and brand relationships. Combined with the vital fact that 58% of social media users who write bad online reviews say that they did so to protect others from a negative experience, a managed and effective social media strategy is a must for any brand seeking continued success.
Fortunately, there are several effective approaches to social media for businesses and brands on all levels. While the right approach must be tailored to the individual case, there are some good general guidelines available:
- Foster client/customer communication: By ensuring that your social media is consumer-friendly, responsive, and informative, you’ll promote client/customer engagement and positive feelings about your brand.
- Encourage positive online reviews: While there are many ways to build positive review encouragement into various aspects of your online presence, by making it easy for satisfied clients or customers to offer a positive review you’ll in turn make it easy for you to maintain a positive social media presence.
- Proactive social media management: Whether you’re actively growing the audience, creating a responsive community environment, or dealing with problems and negative reviews, proactive social media management means that your business and brand project a welcoming, interactive, and accountable image.
- Effective social media advertising: Your ad presence on social media is an important tool in creating brand identity and brand recognition, as well as helping you draw new clients and customers into your funnel.
While these guidelines are a starting point, ultimately the execution is what matters. Your approach to social media should be shaped by your business’s needs, goals, and unique identity. To maximize results and ROI, a deft professional touch that embraces the cutting edge of social media is a must.
In Wahha Design we offer that cutting-edge approach combined with the highest standards of client care. We understand both your industry and the effort you’ve put into your brand, and we’ll work with you to see your vision through to its greatest potential. Get in touch today, and let us enhance your success.