The Importance of Your Brand Experience on Social Media
73% of customers view brand experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions, behind price and product quality.
Put yourselves in the shoes of your consumers.
When you think of a brand, you don’t just think of its products and services. Often, you also think about how the brand has impacted your life, how it made you feel, and sometimes even how it changed the way you think. Essentially, you think about the overall experience you have had with the brand, which simply highlights just how much influence brand experiences have over a consumer’s perception of your brand.
But what exactly is brand experience?
A study conceptualized brand experience as ‘sensations, feelings, cognitions, and behavioral responses evoked by brand-related stimuli'.' Through data, technology, audience participation, and tangible branding material, brands can show their customers not just what the company offers but what it stands for.
In a time where everything you need is at the touch of a fingertip, experience is everything. Not only does it set your brand apart from others, but it could very well be the differentiating factor to convert prospects into customers.
Whether it is through guerilla marketing or organizing pop-up events, there are plenty of ways brands can bring full brand experiences to their customers. Unfortunately, while some are willing to pay more to receive greater experiences, the majority of consumers feel that companies have lost the human touch to the experience. On top of that, Covid-19 may have made marketing campaigns on the ground a lot harder to get approval for from decision-makers, with physical footfall more uncertain and a risk to employee safety.
It is no excuse to say that in this age of social media, digitalizing any brand experience has become inevitable. However, brands need to find the best way to complement both digital and human elements together in order to truly make a long-lasting impression on their consumers. So how can brands achieve that? Here are 3 ways you can establish a stronger brand experience on social media.
Digitalizing Event Experiences 🎡
Without a doubt, events are a great way for brands to win over their audiences’ attention and loyalty. Through sensory appeal and exposure, consumers would be able to truly educate themselves on what the brand stands for. This is a critical factor as it is a chance for them to resonate with the brand before they are able to build a stronger connection and trust for the brand.
Events allow brands to reach a broader audience in a short amount of time.
The key to taking full advantage of an event is to complete the consumer’s journey, directing them back to social media post-event. What this means for marketers is to leverage post-event opportunities by extending their engagement beyond in-person conventions, offering ways to share and document personalized experiences online.
Depending on the objectives of your brand and/or event, this can be done through Instagram stories of the event or even conversations about the brand or product. For example, some of the more common tactics brands take are through “Insta-worthy” booths and social media contests or sweepstakes that are exclusive only to the event attendees. Given that 49% of consumers create videos with their mobile devices at branded events, it gives even more reason for brands to incorporate social media into their experience.
Be it a live or virtual event, exclusive giveaways, and initiatives not only encourage your audience to participate but also give them a sense of appreciation and value to take away. Through these tactics, every attendee becomes a brand storyteller and advocate as they share personalized event highlights, weaving them into their own unique narrative.
Leveraging Corporate Social Responsibility ♻️
Besides appealing to consumers through physical means like events and products, brands can also appeal to consumers emotionally. One way to do so is through your brand’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices. Some causes that brands commonly support include sustainability, social welfare, as well as the acceptance of diversity.
It is now more important than ever for businesses to be transparent about their CSR efforts. Especially with 77% of consumers saying that they are more willing to purchase a company’s product or service if the company demonstrates a commitment to addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.
On that note, branded campaigns should focus on larger issues that the consumers are also concerned about instead of solely focusing on selling a product or service. This provides a common ground for your audience to connect with your brand. When a consumer finds that a brand shares similar values to his/her own, the likelihood of gaining their trust increases. On the other hand, if they find a brand that violates their personal values, they would not hesitate to boycott the brand entirely.
Consumers want brands that can help them make a difference in society.
Sharing your brand’s efforts and consideration for these causes would reveal a more compassionate side to your brand. As a result, this adds a human element to your brand personality, influencing a consumer’s neutral perception of a company into a positive one.
In this digital age, where consumers consistently search for information online about a brand’s overall reputation, having this data available online could be the key to winning consumer trust. Having said that, CSR should not be treated as a box to be checked on a list of corporate activities. So, rather than starting from scratch in search of a cause to support, brands need to identify the initiatives that they are already doing and expound on them.
Personalizing Online Experiences 🤹🏻♀️
By now, we should all know the value of personalization in our strategies, be it for marketing or product, or branding. However, personalization doesn’t stop at addressing your customers by their first names. While this does give a personalized touch, the impact is short-lived and may even seem superficial compared to other strategies further explained below that could seem more thoughtful.
Despite the rise of e-commerce and independent research conducted by our customers, the consumer journey remains to be high-touch. As brands, we need to go where the consumers are and design our tactics around it. The key to this is understanding that no business has a single consumer journey so there is no such thing as an “average customer”. Thus, building a strategy that focuses on several consumer personas and their corresponding journey is the ideal way to go.
Personalization is important to consumers, and they are willing to share their data for it.
So what do personalized online experiences look like?
To put it simply, it can be advertising on your consumers’ favorite pages, sharing highly relevant content that they care about, or even the configuration of your website. Between online chatbots and product recommendation quizzes, there are many artificial intelligence (AI) tools available that can help you create a personalized experience for your customers.
Ensuring a cohesive tone across all brand touchpoints, from the website to marketing materials and product packaging, can often be overlooked, even by something as fundamental as selecting the correct color palette.
Colors have the power to evoke certain emotions and can influence a customer's perception of a brand's personality, values, and identity. Setting a proper brand color palette is crucial for customers to perceive positive brand experiences. By considering the psychological meanings behind each color and how they align with your brand values and messaging, it can project a memorable brand identity in your customer, leading to increased brand recognition and loyalty, as well as positive associations with the brand.
According to a research piece by Gartner, companies that successfully implement customer experience projects begin by focusing on how they collect and analyze customer feedback. Thus, it makes sense to invest in research in order to generate relevant insights to help you design the best strategies for your brand as well as its consumers.
Reevaluate Consumer Journey with Social Listening 👂🏼
Your consumers’ data, like social media activity and online conversations, are some of the metrics that can provide you with useful insights. It will not only help you get a deeper understanding of your customer’s purchasing behavior but also give you an idea of which of your marketing efforts are most effective.
Social listening is one, if not the most, important aspect of data collection. With the right tools to fit your brand’s marketing objectives, gathering actionable insights can be made simple. Furthermore, in this digital age, it’s all about keeping up with consumers’ ever-changing needs in the most effective way possible.
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Written by Ardini Insyirah
With a background in writing and public relations, Ardini's passion for stories drives her journey in marketing and communications. After hours, you can find her chasing sunsets, staying active, or socializing.