For marketing professionals, the task of developing a social media strategy is nothing new. In fact, many marketers have even made a career out of it, with every mid to enterprise-level company having a social media manager, if not a whole team. However, many brands are still unable to keep up with the ever-changing social media landscape. 

We recently conducted a survey of over 500 consumers, to learn how and why they interact with brands on social media. This survey is the first of four, in our 2020 survey series, where we will be gathering insights from today’s consumers on the largest trends in marketing. The results of our research will help strengthen our dedication in bringing evidence-based best practices to our clients.

Social Media

We’ve compiled our five most significant findings to help you craft an effective and streamlined social strategy for 2020. 

 

Takeaway #1: You need to think about how consumers use your product

… is it for a hobby or activity they value? Chances are they want to hear about it. 

According to our recent survey, the top reason consumers follow a brand on social media, is for helpful information related to a hobby (26%), followed by product information (25%) or funny or interesting content (21%).   

It is important to connect with your audience on a personal level and provide them with information that goes beyond your product, and touches on the values they are signaling are important.  

For example: Companies that sell hiking gear, shouldn’t just feature new hiking boots, they need to be posting articles on best local trails, mental health benefits of hiking, how to hike with your dog, etc.  

Reason to Engage Graph

 

Takeaway #2: Don’t be afraid to be funny 

            21% of consumers surveyed will follow a brand just for funny content. This number is only bound to increase as Generation Z, a generation known for its unique internet humor, gains more market share. Incorporating humor into your social media content has risks since a missed attempt at humor can come off as inauthentic, or in a worst-case scenario offensive. However, when done correctly incorporating lighter posts into your content can help you nurture a genuine connection with your audience, that will pay off when they decide to pursue a purchase. 

 

Takeaway #3:  Exclusive deals and product information are still important 

When consumers are directly influenced to purchase a product by social media, it should come as no surprise that the content they are persuaded by is closely tied to the purchasing process.  

The top three types of social media content that make consumers more likely to purchase a product are promotions, informational content, and exclusive deals. While building a community is important, companies need to also build reminders and incentives into their social strategy that will trigger their consumers to purchase.  

For companies that are resistant to having any product information on their social channels, think again. 54% of consumers are either very likely or extremely likely to look at a company’s social media while researching a product. 

 

Takeaway #4: Talk to your customers

Talk to Your Customers

It is important to engage with your customers, even when they are leaving negative feedback. The top two reasons a consumer will contact a company on social media are to discuss a problem with a product or service or to ask questions while researching an offering. In addition, 61% of survey respondents replied that it is very or extremely important to get a response from a brand after providing feedback on social media.

When a consumer reaches out to you it is important to show your social media is a two-way street. By responding to consumers at crucial points of the buying stage, you further entrench their brand loyalty. 

 

Takeaway #5: Build a community 

Make sure you understand your audience. 54% of consumers will unfollow a brand if they feel the content isn’t relevant to them, 38% will unfollow if they do not agree with a company’s values, and 34% will unfollow if the content is boring. 

It is easy for a company social media account to become bogged down with content when you are trying to reply to feedback, build a community, and provide exclusive deals. This is why it is important for your company to use every tool at your disposal to understand your audience including persona building, analytics, tracking consumer lifecycle, etc. Building this extensive social media strategy can be challenging, however it is worth it. 65% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand they have followed on social media for over a month. 

 

A great social media strategy should build a lasting community, inform followers, and reward insiders. When developing your social strategy this year be sure you are creating content that will encourage long-term follows, but also including promotions and incentives at key stages of the consumer buying cycle. 

 

To see more survey results, read this "How Brands’ Social Media Impacts Consumers" ebook.

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