How Customers Expect Brands to ‘Behave’ on Social Media

“Do you want to stand out on Twitter? Start engaging, conversing, asking, and helping others,” – John Moneypenny

Modern businesses and brands have leveraged the wide reach of the global Internet to expand their business operations, reach out to new customers, identify customer categories, create an emphatic brand image, connect to their customers, and stymie the commercial competition. Every brand has a unique selling proposition and this has been reiterated through online media, especially social media. Crafting a competent social media presence is mandatory if the modern brand is to make its presence felt and carve its niche in increasingly crowded markets. We must note that modern customers expect brands to create and sustain a distinct brand identity that is in consonance with their own beliefs, value systems, and self-identity. It must be borne in mind that social media remains a key proving ground for every commercial brand because this medium is marked for its stark immediacy, its global reach, its ultra-high visibility, and a multi-way means of communication.

Brands can choose to boost their brand value by making it a priority to serve their customers. Questions, complaints, suggestions, ideas, and feedback should be promptly attended to because customers expect brands to be nimble and light-footed on social media. This behaviour also indicates that the brand (and the commercial organization that operates the brand) values the voice of the customer and is vigilant in terms of entertaining feedback. We must note that a brand may evolve over time, but its key values and online behaviour must remain consistent with its core philosophies and principles. Brands that maintain a presence in social media are also expected to pursue an ongoing dialogue with all customers. This interaction has the potential to yield useful information that can be harvested and used by the brand to further its commercial fortunes.

We note that a commercial brand must be the equivalent of a social person in social media platforms, wherein all inputs, appreciation, bouquets, and brickbats alike are assessed and evaluated solely on merit. Brands can also resolve to use their social media handles to expand their customer base as also the mind share of existing customers. An intelligent stewardship of a brand must include relentless publicity because customers expect brands to remain and perform in the public eye at all times. This is a critical aspect of brand behaviour on social media because visibility has everything to do with the success or failure of a brand. Carefully crafted brand messages can be broadcast through social media because this helps the brand to strengthen and sustain its image in these competitive times. The said brand must also encourage discussion among its followers: this remains a key tactic to maintain high brand visibility as far as social media platforms are concerned. Consider this: a high-speed brand of gasoline can ignite a social media-powered debate on the various aspects of the branded product and its key appeal among the brand’s core constituency. This can invite online participation from all brand followers and may yield multiple insights into the various performance aspects of the said brand of gasoline. Brand managers can moderate the debate and harvest information that powers the brand’s perception among its many users. The said brand can use the debate to promote safe driving practices and therefore score significantly in terms of its social commitments. We note that the high profile debate has the potential to attract extra traffic to the social media handle, thereby helping to brand to achieve the business goal of achieving high brand visibility on social media.

Business brands should use high definition product photographs and images on their social media handles. This stems from the well founded belief that customers expect brands to be picture perfect in their representations on social media. Top rate product photographs add significant brand value among social media followers. We could say this is equivalent to a social person dressing well in the company of his or her peers. A brand that takes its business seriously would be well advised to commission professional photographers to shoot product images. These should be digitally processed for an ideal representation on social media handles. These actions help to augment the brand image and can help to attract new followers and product users. That said, the brand must invest significantly to update its presence on social media within set timelines because customers expect brands to maintain a refreshed visibility. These actions will ensure that the brand remains relevant and popular among social media users.

Social media is an ideal platform for the unveiling and promotion of new products and services. Brands can use social media to undertake such activities to achieve maximum effect. This implies that legacy products of a brand can co-exist with the new products recently unveiled. This is important because customers expect brands to maintain the promise enshrined in legacy products, while infusing fresh energies into new products and services. The balance is critical for a brand because it helps to maintain its customer base, while making efforts to expand into new territories. Social media can also enable instant feedback from early bird users; this information can help the brand to assess the performance of its new products in the open markets.

Commerce can use innovation to connect the online medium to the offline world. For instance, a brand that is thriving in social media impressions can use its handle to offer free product demonstrations to customers at select retail outlets. This initiative is significant because customers expect brands to resonate in the real world. For instance, a cosmetics and fragrance manufacturer can choose to invite customers to try new products at certain destinations. This is a stellar marketing strategy made possible by the raw power of social media. The real world interactions can help to sustain social media comments for weeks as event attendees register their initial (and considered) reactions to the various aspects of their experience at the retail outlets. The information from such mixed interaction can be priceless for any business enterprise. We could say that the said brand would register flourishing business in the afterglow of the said campaign.

Social media handles can help a brand to broadcast business achievements. For instance, a brand that has recently won awards can use social media to highlight the fact. Similarly, brands that have completed many years in the public domain can use social media to highlight the mileage that has been achieved by the brand. These actions can be choreographed in tune with similar announcements in other forms of mass media, such as websites, newspapers, magazines, and television. We could say that social media competently holds its own in the face of the legacy platforms of mass media.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have outlined the various modes of behaviour that a brand must undertake on social media platforms. We note that a brand must remain very conscious of its image and presence in social media because customers expect brands to be paragons of commercial virtue. Every brand must try to attain the core values it represents. In addition, the various demographics of social media consumers should be carefully mapped by every brand in the interests of remaining accessible and relevant in this age of fickle customers.

Learn about a new approach to better customer service!

Interactive Guides for Superior Customer Service

Develop interactive decision trees for troubleshooting, cold calling scripts, medical appointments, or process automation. Enhance sales performance and customer retention across your call centers. Lower costs with customer self-service.

Interactive Decision Tree