Do customers buy from brands they follow on social media? Source: Shutterstock

Do customers buy from brands they follow on social media? Source: Shutterstock

New 2020 survey reveals how social media engagement impacts brands

ORGANIZATIONS are often advised to invest in developing their profile on social media and on engaging with existing and prospective customers — but does it really help?

According to a new survey by Boston Digital, a brand’s presence on social media makes a huge difference, not just to its perception but also to its revenues.

The survey found that a majority of people tend to follow a brand on social media to either collect helpful information related to their hobbies (26.35 percent), gather product information (25.63 percent), or discover funny or interesting content (21.3 percent).

While discovering ‘insider deals’ was a low priority when deciding whether or not to follow a brand, promotions (50.9 percent) and exclusive deals (48.74 percent) on social media seemed to be quite effective at motivating followers to purchase a product or service.

However, offering informational content (46.93 percent) on social media also emerged as an important way to motivate followers to make a purchase.

The lack of informational content, fortunately, might only trigger followers to ask questions — 58.66 percent of respondents to Boston Digital’s survey said that they often contacted a brand on social media to ask questions about products/services.

Paying attention to comments and posts by followers mentioning or tagging the brand on social media and responding to them in a timely manner, therefore, is key to building a positive influence online.

The only other major reason for customers to make contact with brands on social media was to make a complaint about a product or service (51.99 percent) — and a majority of those expect a response.

Of the total number of respondents, 28.34 percent said a response was extremely important, 33.39 percent it was very important, and 25.63 percent said it was somewhat important.

Combined, that is 87.36 percent of customers who want a response when they provide feedback to a brand via social media. Companies, therefore, should make it a priority to look for and respond to feedback on social media, whether it is provided on the company’s social page or on a post simply mentioning/tagging the company or its brands.

Interactions with customers on social media and creating content that provides information about the brand actually goes a long way in the digital age.

Split between extremely likely, very likely, and somewhat likely, a total of 83.58 percent of respondents said scrolling through a brand’s social media pages was important when researching a product/service.

More interestingly, a whopping 65.34 percent said that they were more likely to purchase from a brand that they’ve followed on social media for more than a month.

Obviously, brands can therefore no longer ignore their presence on social media. Creating content regularly and focusing on engagement are definitely bound to pay off.

To get the most out of social media, however, brands must re-think their social media presence and explore how tools and solutions that can help fine-tune their presence online.