Infographic by: AYTM.com
Branding for the Social Media Age
There are many uses for social media in business and amongst those is the important and cautious pairing of social media and branding.
Social media channels like Facebook and Twitter boast gigantic numbers of users, and the fact that each user is at the center of an interconnected network of other users makes both of these platforms perfect mediums to promote information, and possibly to achieve ‘viral’ status on some of this information. Before going in the wrong direction however, it is crucial to know the habits and preferences of social media users in order to use social media for your business in the most efficient way.
In a survey of 2000 US Internet users conducted for the purposes of this info graphic, it was found that 85% of respondents have a Facebook account, compared to 49% who have a Twitter account. This means two things. First: the large majority belongs to a social media network, which means that spreading awareness of your brand within social media is very high in potential. Second: as most users are connected to Facebook, prioritizing the development of a Facebook community for your brand is more logical, but this does not mean that other social media channels are not useful. For instance, and we will see this in more detail below, YouTube ranks in one of the least preferred channels of brand communication by customers. However, customers love to share content like links and videos on Facebook which means that if a Facebook-user finds your YouTube video, likes it and posts it on Facebook; this is when you have hit the jackpot so to speak.
There are different ways consumers like to interact with brands and this is valuable knowledge for companies wishing to develop the right social media-based branding strategy for their business. The survey results show that 29% ‘follow’ a brand on Twitter, 39% tweet about a brand, 41% have shared a link, video or story about a brand on Facebook, 42% have mentioned a brand in a Facebook status and finally, 58% of Facebook users have liked a brand. Thus, given these trends, a brand might want to focus first on being liked on Facebook, and then on having someone tweet about it on Twitter. A crucial piece of information complementing these results is that on either Facebook or Twitter, 57% have more than 100 friends and 11% more than 500 friends – thus, if you engage with one, you are likely to get noticed by many. Finding the ‘voice’, or those active online users with a very large community of friends or followers, is key to spreading the word about your brand, provided they like your brand.
In order for consumers to ‘like’ your brand, it is crucial to look at what customers like to receive from brands. First and foremost in the list are discounts and coupons. This preference covers 80% of the Internet population, which means it is by far the most valued piece of content a business can offer to its customers. After discounts and coupons and in order of preference are brand news, answers to Qs, How-To’s and lastly, interviews. These penchants can help companies devise what series of contents their branding strategy can be made of, depending on the type of the business. Finally, customers prefer to have short updates on Facebook and Twitter first, followed by emails and then traditional offline ads. YouTube videos, mailed flyers or podcasts come after. Thus, you are definitely better off reaching out to customers by using social media giants like Facebook and Twitter then traditional offline advertising.
To conclude, most people like to engage with brands through social media although they do have preferences as to what kinds of contents they like to receive, what kinds of contents they like to create and what channels they like to use to interact with brands. This information is really important when brands concoct strategies to spread awareness, reach out to customers and generate leads – definitely not to be underestimated in the age of the Internet revolution.