Your Brand on Social Media: Making Connections or Just Making Noise?

An article in today’s Wall Street Journal revealed an interesting statistic: 60% of US consumers choose not to engage with brands online because they think they have “ulterior motives.” That leaves 40% of US consumers who DO want to engage with brands – still a massive audience.  Naturally, this leads us to question: who is the 40% and what do they want?

Nielsen recently released research about the reasons why US consumers follow brands on social channels like Facebook and Twitter.  The results showed that 45% of consumers wanted to receive discounts/special offers, 33% wanted to show support for the brand and 9% wanted to be among the first to get news or updates. This means that if your brand has a follower, that follower is most likely already an actual fan needing little further incentive to buy your products or services for the first time.

Understanding the relationship followers have with brands, what can brands do to take that relationship even deeper, as you can’t give them a coupon on every post?  The WSJ article stressed that the differentiator between a pushy sale and engagement is “actually having a value exchange.” This means that it is best not to sell to your audience, but rather to entertain them, amuse them, inform them, and enrich their lives. For example, we worked with Clairol to create a weekly live chat on their Facebook wall with influential women in the beauty world. The content was not about buying more make-up, but rather a discussion of what it meant to be a women. You can watch a clip in the video player below.

Given that your followers are already brand fans, make them proud!  A great campaign that inspires your followers has a high chance of being re-shared, which will drive more followers and foster relationships with non-followers  – i.e. your potential new customers. Essentially this is digital word of mouth, and it has exponential potential.  Of course, that’s only possible if you create and deliver content that your followers actually want to see.

What do you think?  Feel free to share your perspective in the comments section below.

- Sean Wilson