What Engenders Brand Loyalty on Social Media?

Social Networking and Brand Loyalty: A new report from eMarketer.com tells us that most marketers think a Facebook “like” designation is an endorsement of content, while Facebook users more often view it as a sign of loyalty. Brand loyalty programs have been long been popular with the average American consumer—he or she belongs to 18 loyalty programs according to loyalty marketing publisher Colloquy—but it is a matter of conjecture as to whether these members are active, is another story. “Points, coupons and freebies are great for grabbing initial attention,” said Krista Garcia, eMarketer analyst and author of the new report, Social Loyalty: From Rewards to a Rewarding Customer Experience. “But in the long run these promotions can’t make up for a lackluster customer experience.”

 

Through the use of social media, retailers and brands can identify and interact with their most profitable Internet users. Says Garcia, “Loyalty can be won through encouraging word-of-mouth and creating advocates, by raising a user’s social status, by surprising and entertaining shoppers in unexpected ways, and also by listening to customers’ needs and suggestions and responding in a mutually beneficial fashion.”

 

Best Ways Companies Can Build Consumer Loyalty

According to U.S. Internet Users, March 2012

(Percentage of respondents)

Way of building loyalty

Percentage of survey respondents

Providing exceptional 24/7 customer service

34%

Rewarding me for purchases, feedback, referrals

20%

Sending me exclusive/relevant offers and specials

13%

Providing personalized products, services

12%

Knowing me when I visit or call in

10%

Other

11%

Source: ClickFox, 2012 Brand Loyalty Survey, April 2012/eMarketer.com

 

 

Reasons that Facebook Users Worldwide “Like” Brands on Facebook

vs. What Marketers Think “Like” Means

(% of respondents)

Reason

What marketers think

What Facebook users say

Content is agreeable

57%

30%

Want to be heard

41%

26%

Want to track news on the brand and products

40%

46%

Looking for incentives/rewards for engaging with the   brand

33%

46%

Looking for special savings or events

27%

43%

Loyal customers

24%

49%

Want to engage with other customers

24%

17%

Want to contribute and help customers

14%

24%

Want to connect or recommend my friends to favorite   brands

19%

Source: CMO Council, Variance in the Social Brand Experience, in partnership with Lithium, Dec. 8, 2011/eMarketer.com

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