Marketing August 19, 2015 Last updated September 19th, 2018 1,752 Reads share

How to Improve Brand Perceptions and Increase Customer Engagement Using Social Media 

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In some ways, the digital age has redefined not just how people engage with a certain entity, but also how they perceive it. In particular, the use of social media challenges traditional methods of engagement and contributes to a new volume of research that claims to exhibit exactly how it works on people.

At the simplest level,

The key is to use Brand Personification 

Brand personification is an extremely important segment of customer engagement systems. The rewards for corporate brand personification are multifarious – the primary one being that customers associate brands with some personality trait to be more relatable, in an anthropomorphic process.

Oreo at the Superbowl and Taco Bell are just some of the success stories for brand personification. For an example of a successful brand personification stint, just take a look at this advertisement from Wendy’s. On the other hand, to find out exactly how successful brand personification on social media can be, just take a look at these brilliant campaigns

Challenges faced by businesses which can be solved through social media use

There are two key challenges faced by businesses trying to put together a successful marketing strategy. While it is generally seen that the digital marketing segment is allotted a disproportionately smaller amount of the budget, it generally performs as well or even better than the traditional methods of advertising. The two segments where digital marketing can be more competent than any other forms are:

  1. Customer Retention
  2. Customer Engagement

The only con is that social media is so influential, one slip up and you could be on a sad downward curve. However, there are ways to effectively use social media, as we shall soon see.

Strategy of the social media for actively engaging customers

The best part about social media is that there are no restrictions on who can visit the site and who can’t. The landing page link in an email is applicable mostly to particular customers who have previously visited the website and signed up for newsletters, perhaps, but social media just throws open the dance floor and invites everybody for a spin.

Tips for effectively using social media for your website:-

#1. Using the social media that promotes your image as a brand

Considering that, according to the PWR Research Center, over nearly 74% of internet users are on social media, it is essential that you choose the social media website that reflects your brand values. LinkedIn may be popular with businesses, but it would hardly float if you’re looking to sell youth-oriented products like Xboxes. Facebook and Twitter, on the other hand, are more the people’s medium since they allow active engagement with brands (which is a good thing!) To give you an idea of the kind of popularity of these mediums, this infographic has the key stats you might need.

#2. Create quality content that can be shared very easily

Statistically, images have a better chance of being shared than text alone – unless we’re talking about Tweets which are a different ball-game altogether. However, infographics are a great way of providing quality content that both engages and attracts a customer’s interest, and Facebook is the best medium to use for it.

If your website is mostly image-rich, Instagram or Pinterest is clearly the way to go, while Tweets are a great way of promoting and leveraging influencer power over a particular community of connected individuals. Segment the content into parts like overview, features, how to use etc in the same way as Hi5software did for it’s Outlook PST Repair page. The kind of content you generate should be imminently shareable, and contribute to the brand perception as well.

#3. Leverage email marketing and promotional events

A newsletter delivered through an email may thus trigger the desire of a customer to re-visit your website, particularly if it’s a) addressed to them directly (and people with similar needs), and b) there are promotional events promised by the email.

You could do this manually, but who has the time or the energy? A proven effective service such as GetResponse can help target both those who’ve signed up for newsletters, and those who have connected on social media, simply by importing all the lists from social media sites. The automated marketing through targeted lists not only helps improve customer engagement with a product or brand, it also helps in customer retention and sales.

#4. Run campaigns on Social Media to generate interest

Much like email promotions, social media campaigns can generate awareness of both the brand, the kinds of products being promoted by the brand, as well as the brand consciousness. When combined with giveaways and incentives, they can lead to generous increase in sales and brand perception (video).

A campaign may cost you nothing, or you might pay for advertisements, but it’s important to remember that social media can have a big impact on customer loyalty, retention, and engagement: which is why we’d advise you to pay that extra premium.

A quick overview of the entire process

If you’re still confused, don’t worry because we shall summarize the process from start to finish for you in the form of a list:

  • Create a brand with a personality for your website.
  • Create social media accounts and link them to your site, particularly with easy buttons such as Pinterest’s Pin It option. Pay attention here to the Tips for effectively using social media for your website
  • Establish a list of contacts: we prefer doing this with automated list generators but of course, you can do this manually if you wish to expend the time and effort
  • Generate a newsletter and send it to your “followers”. Use an attractive “Call to Action” on the newsletter to lead to a beautiful landing page.
  • Provide sharing options, wish-lists, and buttons on the landing page and make sure the page leads to other different parts of the website.

In conclusion, we realize that the process is long, convoluted, takes time, and usually seems to be entirely cyclical. However, all this hard work eventually pays off – particularly when you see how influential this social media is. But here’s our final word of advice: less is more, even on social media.

Images: “Man writing a Brand strategy/Shutterstock.com

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Joydeep Bhattacharya

Joydeep Bhattacharya

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