Social media is a preferred channel for many consumers, as it is a place where they can freely express themselves, research brand products and services in an informal way, and even reach out and lead the brand. For brands, social media is a place where they can find out how their customers really feel about their products and services, communicate more personally with customers, and even learn how customers feel about their competitors. This article will look at the importance of a brand presence on social media to customer experience.
Why social media?
Research by SmartInsights indicated that as of October 2021, 57.6% of the world’s population (4.55 billion people) use social media. The most important social media outlets 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 revealed that up to 50% of social media members use social networks to search for brand products and services. Most importantly, a report by Statista showed that 33% of those surveyed from the US indicated that 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 services provider, social media is the number one place many consumers look to to gain a better understanding of how to brand themselves and exactly what they have to offer. “While some may dismiss the importance of social media to B2B marketing, people are still the decision makers in B2B. It is important that they have a seamless experience in every interaction with your brand, including social media,” Canfield said.
Conversely, social media offers brands opportunities to create two-way relationships with their customers while still building trust and loyalty. “Brands should consider the customer experience when developing their social media strategies, and strive to show customers a comprehensive 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 brand values and community engagement, along with non-sales media content. Social media offers a unique opportunity to deliver this, and brands should facilitate this to access this information at a rhythm. Regular posting, consistent messaging, and responsive customer service.”
The culture espoused by the brand may come in the form of content that is useful or entertaining to customers, often provided by the leadership itself. “For CSI, improving customer experience across social media includes sharing helpful content and thought leadership articles from industry publications,” Canfield said. “We also share photos of employees giving back to the community, which is a way to showcase our service culture to potential customers and employees alike.”
Related article: What social media trends will emerge in 2022?
Leadership should be social too
Social media is a two-way channel that facilitates direct communication with customers, and as such, this makes it a key aspect of the customer experience,” said Gerard Lafond, Senior Vice President, Head of Digital Practice at TEAM LEWIS, a communications and public relations agency. Moreover, 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) LEWIS 2021 of the Top 300 Global Brands found that CEOs are still largely missing from social media,” Lafond said. “Only 6% of the world’s 300 CEOs have social media accounts and actively post information about the company. CEOs’ social media engagement and active voice on ongoing social issues are important to recruiting and retaining younger workers. TEAM LEWIS SHOW Recent work by UN HeForShe shows that 66% of Gen-Z groups believe it is ‘extremely/extremely valuable’ for a CEO to commit to a societal cause, and 47% of Gen-Z follow CEOs on their social channels.”
The presence of the brand on social media has become one of the most important points of contact with customers. As such, it is more important than ever that customers have positive experiences when they visit a brand’s social media channels. “A survey conducted by TELUS International found that when a company engages with its customers online (for example by liking or commenting on their posts), it has a significant positive impact on their relationship, with more than half (53%) of American consumers saying they It will make it more likely that they will buy from the company again,” said Jim Radzicki, chief technology officer of TELUS International. “Given the fact that 44% of Americans surveyed said they 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 a greater impact on customers’ buying habits than positive ones, because customers tend to remember negative experiences for longer. “A negative social media experience for a brand can seriously damage the relationship between the customer and the brand,” Radzicki explained. “This is especially true when consumers are exposed to false or harmful User-Generated Content (UGC). According to the above survey results, 40% of consumers will disengage from a brand after only one exposure to false UGC and 45% will lose all trust in the brand. For brands, the increasing prevalence of toxic UGC content since the beginning of the pandemic has created additional pressure to rapidly deploy content modification strategies to protect their customers.”
Related article: Is Social Media Marketing Dying?
Social Networks Facilitate Society
Maria Bergolino, chief marketing officer of ActiveCampaign, a customer experience automation platform provider, shared that a brand’s presence on social media or social media advertising may be the primary point of contact that customers have with the brand. “Which means what you post on your social channels can be the difference between connecting with your best client or never meeting them at all. They will make an instant judgment based on the design and content that will determine whether they are looking at what your company offers more, or just keep scrolling. This is why having a strong brand on social media is critical to the success of any company, no matter how big or small the brand is.”
Bergolino said social media makes it easier to create a community of people who will rally behind the brand, for both good and bad, which itself is an incredibly useful mechanism. “Social media is a great place to grow 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 interact more intimately with consumers and answer questions,” Bergolino said. At ActiveCampaign, our Facebook community group is filled with 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. Part of the great customer experience is where your customers are and aren’t forced into the silos your brand creates.”
In addition, do not suspect that when customers are not satisfied with products, services or representatives of the brand, they will gather to let everyone know about it on social media. As long as the brand has a customer support team that can respond to and resolve these issues, social media can still be a positive connection with the soon-to-be satisfied customer. “Another important reason for having a strong presence on social media is the fact that you will never make everyone happy. Oftentimes if consumers are unhappy with a product or service, they immediately return to social media to complain, which makes getting personalized support an order A critical team to provide prompt customer support, answer questions and provide the best experience possible. Not only helps this unhappy consumer, but shows others that you take customer feedback seriously and are willing to help when needed,” Pergolino said.
According to Michael Osborne, President of Wunderkind, a provider of a single performance marketing engine, social media has become a place where consumers discover new products, and then becomes the channel that leads them to buy those products. “It is important for brands to see how every touch point in a consumer’s shopping experience can lead to profits. By delivering a personalized message to consumers through modern communication channels such as email, text and direct messaging, which evokes an experience that aligns with the retailer’s own brand, “The real trend today is to adapt to the consumer and how they want to communicate with the brand, always keeping their interests and needs in mind,” Osborne said. Becoming a brand that consumers can depend on and be loyal to is more important 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 brand products and services. By providing customers with a place where they can engage with leadership while still being themselves, brands are able to foster a positive culture while encouraging more social and relaxed conversations with their customers, resulting in a more positive emotional customer experience.