The rules to social media brand engagement and follow through

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Social media Brand Brand management

The rules to social media brand engagement and follow through
Although a cosmetic brand might have a high level of social media engagement, ensuring that this leads to real advocacy of brands often means going that extra mile, a new SurveyMonkey study shows.

In the second of a two-part series that has already looked at the nature of social media engagement​, this second part goes into more depth about social media user behavior and points to the development of a more engaging strategy.

The study questioned over 5,500 people in 11 countries and took a look at how social media users interact and engage with brands such as L’Oreal, Nivea, Chanel and Dove, and showed some interesting contrasts between user behavior in the US and in developing countries.

The gap between engagement and brand advocacy

The survey findings showed that in the US in particular, although engagement was high, only a fraction of the users were classified as brand promoters.

The researchers found that the survey responders could be broken down into two groups: Sharers and Followers – the latter being the group that is far more proactive about brand promotion, while the sharer was more interested in social issues.

So how are these users using social media to promote brands? The SurveyMonkey study finds that of the followers on social, approximately half of them are already actively following brands on social media and readily identifying as brand promoters, compared to approximately one third of sharers.

Brand promoters more engaged in brand identity

Likewise, the survey results also found out that those who identified specifically as brand promoters in the US were more concerned with the reputation of a brand, and were also more likely to link a brand to their own person identity.

The trend for identifying as a brand promoter was also mirrored in the individuals social media ‘friend’ network, with 43% of those individuals stating that their network also regularly mentioned brands, compared with only 33% of sharers.

This also works for promoters having a greater propensity to share and interact in friends’ interaction with brands, with 35% of followers stating that they would purchase a brand mentioned by a friend, compared to 24% of sharers.

Challenges to look out for

But the survey results also come with a warning, specifically that while very high levels of social media users reported posting about good brand experiences, 71% of sharers and 47% of promoters also stated that they had posted about terrible brand experiences.

Likewise, social media users are also maturing and there is a trend towards individuals raising their security setting, culling their ‘friends’ list, and moving towards more private and closed means of communicating through social media.

5 ways to build a brand's relevance and trust in social media​ 

  • Moments of truth: Connect naturally with the right audience, in the right place at the right time
  • Inspire: Use culturally relevant storytelling that flows across platforms and markets, in real-time
  • Measure: Focus on harder business metrics, such as leads, sales, performance, loyalty  
  • Precision: Move from broad demographics to using behavior, interests and friendships
  • Bond: Move from community management to customer engagement

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