People are more likely to buy from brands they follow on social media. A study conducted by Sprout Social reveals that 75.3% of people purchase something because they saw it on some social media channel, proving that a good social presence can lead to brand loyalty.
This shouldn’t be surprising as 2.34 billion people worldwide are on social media and use these platforms to be informed about the world and the brands they like most. They also use it to connect with friends and spread the word about things they enjoy. According to CrowdTwist, 43.5% of millennials use social media to share content about products and services they like.
With such an opportunity available on social, it’s time for you step up your game and use social media to generate brand loyalty. But first, let’s understand what brand loyalty means and how you can benefit from it.
What is brand loyalty?
By definition, brand loyalty is the tendency of some consumers to continue buying one brand of goods rather than from competing brands. In a study conducted by Facebook back in November, they found that 77% of people are considered ‘brand loyal‘. When it comes to social media, a loyal customer is one who is more likely to comment, like or share posts from a specific business account.
It’s important to keep in mind that brand loyalty does not always translate to consumer loyalty, which pertains to the overall spending power of customers. Rather, it’s how a customer perceives your brand, as having better services or higher quality.
Fifty-three percent of Americans who follow brands on social are more loyal to those brands. That being said, customers see social media as a channel to communicate with their favorite brands. They expect responses and they expect them in a timely manner, within 30 minutes to an hour.
The reality is that seven out of eight messages sent to a brand go ignored. And when that happens, 1 in 3 customers will go to a competitor. It’s no longer about only pushing content out. People feel brands need to be interactive and engaging.
Since social media now plays a large role in influencing the purchase process, you’ll want to take a few necessary steps to increase your brand loyalty through social.
To maximize your results, we suggest that you use social media advertising to promote your most relevant content and have a bigger impact in your target audience.
- Find your voice – It’s essential that you establish your own voice through each of your social media accounts. A good example of this is Apple’s Get a Mac campaign which ran from 2006 to 2009. Without defining who you are, you give your competitors the chance to do it for you.
- Be an avid listener – Customers expect brands to respond to their problems, inquiries, complaints and reviews the same way they communicate with friends and family over social. Pay attention to what people are saying and don’t be afraid to like, retweet, share and thank the people talking about your brand. Beyond that, use your listening skills to understand what your audience values the most and what can increase engagement on your page. What type of content do they like? What topics do they want to talk about? What are they looking for?
- Tell a story – You can’t assume that your customers know you’re experts in the industry. It’s important to be able to creatively illustrate to them that you’re a trustworthy figure in your market. What’s better, is telling your customers’ stories. Taking user generated content to share on your social channels illustrates the level of trust your customers have with your brand because they shared this content across their channels to their friends and followers. Once you learn what they like the most, you can also increase engagement by sharing more of the content they like. Use social media ads to boost your most successful content and engage with new customers that share the same tastes as your current loyal customers.
- Put your C suite on social – The majority of people (81%) have more confidence in a brand when their executives are active on social media. By having them actively using social media, it provides customers with a sense of trust and communicates what the company or brand values.
- Build a community – Interacting with your social followers creates a sense of community with them. Having this community allows you to reward loyalty with discounts, special offers or advanced access to content. Use paid social to promote these offers and attract more people to your page. Your customers will appreciate being rewarded and will give back to your brand.
When advertising on social media, it’s important to remember all you did to your accounts directly and consider how your ads will contribute to those efforts. Matching the voice of your ads to the voice of your social media accounts will allow your brand to be more recognizable to customers and help attract the right audience to your page.
When creating your ads, keep in mind what captions or photos your customers respond to and incorporate them into the ads themselves. Promoting user generated content with your ads will also improve your brand loyalty because you can target people similar to your current customer base.
This article originally appeared on Strike Social.