Branding has always been vitally important for any product or company. Branding through social media has just become the latest fad. Of course that depends on the understanding and imbibing the new media as an effective branding medium which is more or less based on the organization’s culture and the region its present in. But it’s a given fact that branding using Facebook and Twitter has gained a steady momentum.
Understanding that the online medium is quite different from the traditional medium is quite imperative to the understanding of its target audience. Companies are still traditionally stuck on the fact that they want to reach their ‘audience’ without realizing that branding through social media reach people with their own personal agendas. This divides the social media audiences into fans, followers and friends which narrows the brand reach effect and value.
Therefore it would be seemingly wise to differentiate the online target groups based on the varying social consumption i.e. influencers, decision makers, peers, advisers, idea generators, adversaries, advocates and customers. Business promotion using the social mediums requires the conversion of the 3fs i.e. friends, fans and followers to the 4As i.e. action, advisor, affinity and advocacy.
In a recent study by ExactTarget, differences between the 3Fs were discussed keeping in mind the unique attributes of consumers using Facebook, email and Twitter. The study also includes the customer loyalty that each influence.
Two questions were put forward by the study:
– Are internet users more likely to purchase from a brand after becoming a subscriber, fan or follower?
– Would you recommend a brand or product after connecting with the company on Twitter, Facebook, or through opt-in email?
Analysis on the first question revealed that on Twitter 37% said yes, 31% were indifferent and 32% said that it was unlikely; Users on Facebook revealed that only 17% agreed, 34% were on the fence, and a staggering 49% disagreed; while analysis on email users revealed that 27% agreed to make a purchase, 41% remained on the fence and 32% stated they wouldn’t purchase.
The second question analysis came up with a much closer set of statistics. On Twitter users revealed that 33% agreed to promote the company products after becoming subscribers, 35% were unsure while 31% refused to recommend the products. On Facebook 21% users were ready to promote, 32% were on the wall, and 47% were against the idea of promotion. Email user analysis revealed that 24% would promote the company they liked, 40% were unsure and 36% stated their disagreement to promote.
The study of the two questions reveal that though Twitter has a much smaller group of subscribers as compared to Facebook and email, Twitter subscribers are more likely to turn influencers compared to the other two mediums. Influencers it should be noted are ideal targets of all companies looking to advocate their product. Twitter has started that business.twitter.com which offers information regarding Twitter features, tools and promoted products which will enable companies to optimally use Twitter.
The study concludes that social consumers require information, direction and unique incentives which will influence their viewpoint on a product.