Social media marketing is different from traditional marketing. For one, it’s cheaper. A carefully thought out social media strategy can reach thousands of people with just the click of a button. But as you’re creating your strategy and brainstorming ideas as to how your brand can reach its target market, it’s important to understand what consumers expect from brands using social media platforms.
Below, we look at three things consumers expect from brands on social media.
Not on Facebook? You’re Doing Social Media Wrong!
HubSpot’s study, The Social Lifecycle: Consumer Insights to Improve Your Business, reports that consumers expect companies they interact with on social media to be using at least three to four social media platforms. In addition, over 80 percent of all consumers expect brands to have a presence on Facebook, and more specifically:
Over 60 percent of consumers over the age of 60 expect brands to use Facebook
Over 70 percent of consumers between 45 – 60 years old expect brands to use Facebook
Over 80 percent of consumers between 30 – 44 years old expect brands to use Facebook
Over 90 percent of consumers between 18 – 29 years old expect brands to use Facebook
Based on the data above, there’s no doubt that as a business, your company needs to be using Facebook to interact with customers.
Provide Customer Support
The above study from HubSpot also claims that consumers are increasingly relying on social media as the primary method of communication with a company. In fact, 52 percent of consumers said they have praised a brand on social media, while only 35 percent said they have complained about a brand on social media.
Take the time to respond to customers on social media.
Unless you’re a large brand (e.g. Nike), chances are your company’s social media accounts may not have an overwhelming amount of customer interaction. So responding to customer inquiries, questions, or feedback when appropriate builds customer rapport and builds brand personality. Did you know that 51 percent of customers said that a response from a brand on social media gave them a more favorable view of the brand?
Direct evidence of this actually working? I’m pretty sure Blue Corona’s content marketing manager hasn’t bought any shoes other than Steve Maddens ever since they featured her photo (in Blue Corona’s old Gaithersburg office, to boot—pun intended) on their Instagram account:
Actively Engage with Consumers
The 2014 State of the American Consumer, released by Gallup, supports HubSpot’s claim that, “Social media sites are highly personal and conversational…consumers who use these sites do not want to hear sales pitches…This content should be original to the company and not related to sales or marketing.” Now, should you really never throw in a sales pitch or two? No. But, so long as your business’s social media updates are not all a sales pitch you should be in the clear.
“Social media sites are highly personal and conversational…consumers who use these sites do not want to hear sales pitches…This content should be original to the company and not related to sales or marketing.”
As part of the study, Gallup asked consumers what influence (if any) social media had on their purchasing decisions. The results were as follows:
3% of consumers said they “don’t know” the influence social media had on purchasing decisions.
5% of consumers said social media had “a great deal of influence” on purchasing decisions.
30% of consumers said social media had “some influence” on purchasing decisions.
62% of consumers said social media had “no influence at all” on purchasing decisions.
So what can we learn from the data above?
Consumers expect brands to actively use Facebook to post and engage with clients.
Consumers expect brands to interact with customers in conversational tone
Customers expect brands to provide customer service and/or support via social media
FREE Social Media Analysis
At Blue Corona, our social media experts can help your brand build a social media strategy that is engaging and successful. Fill out the form below to receive a free social media analysis of your company today!
About The Author: Brandon works in Blue Corona's small business division, Rank First Local. Outside of SEO and analytics, Brandon’s interests include NBA and college basketball, tweeting, and playing with his dog Jax.
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