In the age of digital technology and social media, brands that don’t establish an online presence are the ones who end up falling behind.
Brand loyalty is all about a reliability, consistency, convenience and customer engagement. A wise consumer is one who scans the digital skies for product/service reviews and price comparisons, ensuring that they get the biggest bang for their buck. It’s a tough world out there for companies looking for build customer loyalty, but here’s one sure way to start.
Why is social media something that not even the biggest brands are willing to overlook? It effectively builds customer engagement.
A very recent and insightful infographic by GoDaddy revealed that:
- Ninety-seven per cent of customers do research on a product/service online prior to purchase
- The average consumer visits an average of 2.5 online sources before making their purchasing decision
- Seven out of 10 customers have a preference for patronizing businesses if they have a social media presence
Now remember what I mentioned earlier about wise consumers? They’re not as few and far between as you would imagine.
What can you do to improve customer engagement?
Be seen & heard – Make your brand values visible
Gregory Ciotti of HelpScout.net will tell you that, contrary to the popular belief, customers don’t care for relationships with brands. What they do care about is what your company stands for and how well these beliefs are in line with their own. Make use of social media platforms to give your brand beliefs and values visibility. This sense of belonging is what drives repeat purchases and creates loyalty.
Let’s take a look at how some brands use their core values to build loyalty:
Founded by actress Jessica Alba and Christopher Gavigan in 2011; the brand offers non-toxic, eco-friendly affordable baby and household products to mothers and families, and strives to educate and inspire people to live more sustainably.
The Honest Co. makes use of its various social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to provide readers with a mix of health and wellness tips, Do-It-Yourself projects, and healthy recipes. The brand also uses social media to document its tie-ups with non-profit organizations.
With more than half a million likes on their Facebook Page and 61,700 Twitter followers; The Honest Company isn’t just selling green products, they’re selling a lifestyle.
Since its establishment in 1998, yoga and athletic apparel company Lululemon is the Louis Vuitton of the yoga world, with sports bras and yoga tights retailing at close to $50 USD and $ 100 USD respectively. What marketers want to know is, how exactly did Lululemon achieve its cult-like customer loyalty?
Ask any Lululemon customer and they will tell you that you aren’t just buying a product of fantastic quality; you’re buying the Lululemon lifestyle. With regards to their social media activity, Lesia Dallimore, brand experience manager of Lululemon told strategy in an interview that “If our guest came to us on XYZ platform, we’d probably just jump in there;” where their customers go, the brand follows. Like The Honest Co., Lululemon uses it’s social media platforms to ‘inspire, motivate and challenge their customers’ to lead healthier lifestyles.
Stay tuned to find out more on building customer loyalty through the use of social media in Part 2 of this blog post![Image Source – The Honest Company] [Article by Kimberly Wong]