Social media is a preferred channel for many consumers because it is a place where they can feel free to express themselves, to research a brand’s products and services informally, and even to get in touch. with a brand and its leaders. For brands, social media is a place where they can learn what their customers really think about their products and services, reach customers more personally, and even find out what customers think of their competition. This article will examine the importance of a brand’s social media presence for the customer experience.
Why social networks?
SmartInsights research indicated that as of October 2021, 57.6% of the world’s population (4.55 billion people) were using social media. The main social media are Facebook with 2.8 billion users, YouTube with 2.2 billion users, WhatsApp with 2 billion users, Instagram with 1.3 billion users, TikTok with 732 million users, Pinterest, with 478 million users, and finally Twitter, with 397 million users.
A GlobalWebIndex report found that up to 50% of social media members use social media to research a brand’s products and services. More importantly, a report from Statista showed that 33% of people surveyed in the United States said they used social media to complain about a brand or its customer service.
Brand culture and social media
According to Morgan Canfield, who manages social media accounts for CSI, a fintech, regtech and cybersecurity service provider, social media is the first place many consumers seek to better understand how a brand is positioned and what it is. ‘she provides exactly. “While some may downplay the importance of social media for B2B marketing, people remain the decision makers in these businesses. And it’s important that they have a seamless experience in every interaction with your brand, including social media.” , Canfield said.
Conversely, social media offers brands the opportunity to create two-way relationships with their customers while continuing to build trust and loyalty. “Brands need to consider the customer experience when developing their social media strategies, striving to show customers a complete view of the organization and what it does,” Canfield said. . “Many consumers want more than just information about products and services; they want to know the values of a brand and its involvement in the community, as well as informative non-commercial content. Social media offers a unique opportunity to provide this, and brands should make it easy to access this information with a steady rate of posting, consistent messaging, and responsive customer service. ”
The culture that a brand espouses can take the form of useful or entertaining content for customers, often provided by management itself. “For CSI, improving the customer experience through social media means sharing useful content and thought leadership articles from industry publications,” Canfield said. “We also share photos of employees giving back to the community, which serves to showcase our service culture to both customers and potential employees.”
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Leadership must also be social
Social media is a two-way channel that facilitates direct communication with customers and, as such, makes it a key aspect of the customer experience, said Gerard LaFond, SVP, Head of Digital Practice at TEAM LEWIS, a communication and public relations agency. Beyond that, when CEOs have a strong social media presence, companies rank higher in overall brand performance. “Despite this, the TEAM LEWIS 2021 Marketing Engagement Tracker (MET) of the world’s top 300 brands revealed that CEOs are still largely absent from social media,” said LaFond. “Only 6% of Global 300 CEOs have social media accounts and actively post company information. ‘Recent work for the United Nations HeForShe has shown that 66% of Gen-Z cohorts believe that it is “extremely / very valuable” for the CEO to be involved in a societal cause, and 47% of Gen -Z follow CEOs on their social channels. ”
A brand’s social media presence has become one of its main points of contact with its customers. As such, it’s more vital than ever that customers have positive experiences when visiting a brand’s social media channels. “A TELUS International survey found that when a company engages with its customers online (such as liking or commenting on their posts), it has a significant positive effect on their relationship, with more than half (53 %) of US consumers saying it would make it more likely to buy from the company again, ”said Jim Radzicki, chief technology officer at TELUS International. “With 44% of Americans surveyed said they’ve posted on a brand’s social media sites, investing in content moderation is an important part of any social media strategy. ”
Contrary to popular belief, negative experiences have more impact on customer buying habits than positive experiences because customers tend to remember negative experiences for longer. “A negative experience on a brand’s social media sites can seriously damage the customer-brand relationship,” Radzicki explained. “This is especially true when consumers are exposed to false or harmful User Generated Content (UGC). According to the results of the aforementioned survey, 40% of consumers will disengage from a brand after a single exposure to fake UGC and 45% will lose all confidence in a brand. For brands, the increased proliferation of toxic UGCs since the start of the pandemic has created additional pressure to rapidly deploy content moderation strategies that protect their customers.
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Social networks facilitate community
Maria Pergolino, CMO of ActiveCampaign, a customer experience automation platform provider, explained that a brand’s social media presence or a social media ad can be the initial point of contact. that customers have with the brand. “Which means what you post on your social media can be the difference between connecting with your best client or never meeting them at all. They will make instant judgment on the design and content that will determine if they review what your business is. This is why a strong brand presence on social media is critical to the success of any business, regardless of size. ”
Pergolino said that social media makes it easier to create a community of people who will rally behind a brand, whether for better or for worse, which in itself is an incredibly useful mechanism. “Social media is a great place to cultivate and nurture such a community. Not only can you do this with fun and creative content on your major social media channels, but you can also create Facebook groups to engage consumers more intimately and answer questions. “said Pergolino.” At ActiveCampaign, our Facebook community group is full of customers discussing the product with each other and with our team. It’s great to see all the creative ideas and feedback we get from them. A great customer experience is about being where your customers are and not forcing them into the silos created by your brand. ”
Plus, have no doubts that when customers aren’t satisfied with a brand’s products, services or representatives, they come together to let everyone know on social media. As long as a brand has a customer support team that can respond and resolve these issues, social media remains a positive connection to a soon-to-be-satisfied customer. “Another big reason for having a strong social media presence is the fact that you will never make everyone happy. Often times, if consumers are not happy with a product or service, they will turn away. instantly to social media to complain, making it essential to have a dedicated support team to provide instant customer support, answer questions and deliver the best possible experience. Not only does it help the unhappy consumer, but it shows others that you take customer feedback seriously and are ready to help when needed, ”said Pergolino.
According to Michael Osborne, president of Wunderkind, a provider of personalized performance marketing engine, social media has become a place where consumers discover new products and then become the channel for them to buy those products. “It’s important for brands to see how every touchpoint in a consumer’s shopping experience can generate revenue. By offering consumers a personalized message through modern communication channels such as email, SMS and DM, which evokes an experience consistent with the retailer’s brand itself, “says Osborne.” The real trend today ‘ hui is to adapt to the consumer and the way they want to communicate with a brand, always keeping their interests and needs in mind. Becoming a brand that a consumer can rely on and to which they are loyal, matters more than just having great products or active social channels. ”
Social media has become the de facto channel where consumers feel comfortable hanging out, sharing their thoughts and opinions, and now researching a brand’s products and services. By providing customers with a place where they can interact with leadership while continuing to be themselves, brands are able to reinforce a positive culture while encouraging more social and relaxed conversations with their customers, which leads to a more positive emotional customer experience.