WHY CONSUMERS FOLLOW BRANDS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
It's official: The line between brand and bestie has blurred. Brand ambassadors and company CEOs alike are opening up their homes and hearts to fans, airlines are dropping formal protocol by responding quickly to casual tweets from customers, and retailers are relying on Instagram influencers to promote their products via real-life representation rather than polished ad campaigns.
Social media is still primarily a way to stay connected with friends, but users also accept – and welcome – interaction with brands. Case in point: 66% of Facebook users "Like" a brand, 90% of Instagram users follow a business, and 80% of Twitter users have mentioned a brand in a tweet. Why? Because these brands feel like friends, too.
Social media makes it possible for brands to truly connect with customers – and vice versa.
ANALYZING COUNTERINTUITY'S SOCIAL CIRCLE
At Counterintuity, we spend a lot of time thinking about business/consumer relationships (because we're marketers). We also spend a lot of time on social media (because we're human beings). Which made us wonder:
What can our own favorite follows teach us about what consumers expect from brands?
To identify the C! team’s go-to social accounts, we did a quick lap around the office.
Our Social Media Manager, Jaclyn, told us she keeps her finger on the pulse by following fast food corporate accounts. “They’re unafraid, snarky, witty, and always the first to start trends.”
Amy, our President, follows Amy Schumer because she shares relatable, genuine posts. In fact, Amy wasn’t even a fan of Schumer before discovering her Instagram. “She's blunt, honest and sincere. She even has her cell number in her bio – her real cell number – and people call her when she asks for advice.”
Jonathan, our Director of Client Strategy, enjoys learning new things from the Dodgers’ profile. “They take a ‘we know you know the big stuff’ mentality and do a great job of showing the deeper, smaller, more subtle things related to the team and the franchise that are super interesting to die-hard fans.”
Our senior designer follows fashion accounts to stay on-trend, our account manager relies on influencers for home decor tips, our content writer favors photography feeds to inspire her hobby, our marketing assistant can't resist Starbucks' seasonal beverage announcements.
At the end of the day, we realized all our favorite social accounts have a few common themes: They're unique, authentic, and offer something of real value. Much like our fellow consumers, we follow brands because we feel passionate about their product and connected to their content...but creating this content takes time, effort and even money.
So what's in it for the brands?
HOW SOCIAL MEDIA BONDING BENEFITS BRANDS
Happily, consumers aren't the only ones benefiting from brands being on social media. Here are a few perks brands can expect from effectively engaging customers on social media:
- Improved customer relations. When a brand responds to a tweet, 77% of Twitter users report regarding that brand more positively.
- Free publicity. Forbes notes that 71% of consumers who have had a pleasant social experience with a brand are more likely to recommend it to friends.
- More business. Nearly 60% of consumers say social media directly influences their purchasing decisions.
- High return on investment. Influencer marketing campaigns can see a ROI of up to 520%.
- Brand loyalty. More than half of Americans who follow brands on social media are more loyal to those brands.
Establishing a social presence has so many advantages we can't possibly list them all here – but we can help you achieve them!