People use social media to connect with people, not brands. When people do connect with brands, they do so more often than not because they’re a regular customer and connecting with that brand communicates something about them to their social connections. “Liking” a brand is like wearing a t-shirt or a hat with a logo on it. They’re communicating something about themselves through the brands they follow.
Following a brand across social channels can be a superficial action. People are not looking for relationships with brands or to have a one-to-one dialogue in most cases. Associating with a brand simply serves as a social signal. The brand is a means to an end, not the end itself.
What’s a brand supposed to do with this? Social media often serves as an engagement and re-engagement platform. Brands use it to curate their most loyal customers and regularly activate them to spread information to their social connections. When a brand plays a superficial role, it can be a challenge to have that ongoing connection and dialogue with consumers.
It Starts with the Path
Being present and being active is just the beginning, and in a more crowded social landscape in which a brand finds itself competing with not only its competitors but customers’ friends and families, having a presence isn’t a enough.
Understanding how a brand can get people’s attention and continue to earn that attention day after day starts with understanding the path a customer takes to purchase, including the questions they ask and the information they seek at each stage.
A brand’s role in the social space lives at the intersection of consumer need and brand story, and finding that intersection requires having a deep consumer understanding and full-picture of the conversations they are having. That’s where a brand can start to identify the problem it can solve and then define its purpose and the value it can bring to the conversation.
Brands become relevant to consumers in the social space when they make their lives better. Does your brand presence meet that threshold?