January 25, 2012
“Despite the proliferation of corporate Facebook pages and Twitter accounts during the last couple of years, most businesses still effectively remain on the sidelines.”
Here’s why it’s time to put social media to work.
When I read the latest research from Bain & Company on social media engagement, I felt a sense of relief to see that online customer engagement is being carefully measured and truly delivers a huge impact on the bottom line. This is what my gut always told me, but it’s nice to see it verified through research.
At first glance, the results of the report seem obvious when examining those who are engaged with their brand, but when the study looked at passive or even disgruntled customers, a surprising result was uncovered.
The findings show that people who engage with brands via social media demonstrate a deeper emotional commitment to those brands, and they spend between 20% and 40% more than other customers on the products and services offered by the brands. No big surprise.
Interestingly, social media engagement appears to drive the highest spending lift among ‘passives’, or unenthusiastic customers.
Moreover, unhappy customers who can damage a brand and impede growth via negative word-of-mouth generated a 20% lift in spending through social media engagement, according to the report.
Welcome to the emotional world of customer service.
It makes total sense that customers engaged in social media are more loyal to their favourite brands. If you take the time to put positive things “out there” about brands and products via social media, you are inherently more emotionally invested in those brands and products.
When you are emotionally invested in a brand, you are more loyal to that brand and you will be more profitable to the company that owns that brand, including those that were at one time unhappy.
So here’s my take away… companies must learn to really engage customers (and employees) emotionally in their products and services. Companies that only engage in a practical or feature-focused presentation usually miss the emotional connection, and that can be costly.
People buy and make decisions on emotion, and they justify with logic. Loyalty and customer satisfaction relate to how the customer feels (and is made to feel) in connection with their interaction with the company.