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Connecting with customers can’t be done without social media. With an estimated 5 billion social media users worldwide, according to Statista, brands use social to build modern relationships with their target audience. 

The Social Media Consumer Report by Hootsuite looks at how followers play a significant role in sales. Relationships are created, scaled, and realized on social, which injects money into your bottom line. Statistics from the report provide supporting evidence:

  • 70% of people who follow brands on social have explicit plans to purchase from them. 
  • 59% of people have already purchased from the brands they follow.
  • If Gen Z follows a brand, it’s twice as likely to signal intent to purchase soon compared to baby boomers.

Social behaviors that turn followers off

One of the key aspects of the report explores actions brands take on social that irritate followers. Here’s a look at the most common mistakes:

Sharing clickbait

What causes consumers to unfollow a brand? Clickbait. Seventy-six percent of consumers will hit “unfollow” if a brand shares content that intentionally misleads them. Clickbait, consumers say, erodes their trust and is a relationship killer. 

Behind clickbait, sharing boring, repetitive, and inauthentic content is a three-way tie for reasons consumers unfollow brands.  

Sharing content about charged topics

Consumers aren’t interested in brands’ opinions on controversial topics like political policies, religion and spirituality, and gender equality. 

While brands might assume that taking a stance on certain issues bolsters their credibility and sales, research shows the opposite. Sixty-four percent of consumers around the world will boycott a company based on its stance on politics or social issues, according to Edelman. 

Not engaging in two-way conversations

Consumers say too many brands use social media as a broadcasting tool to simply pop in and make announcements and then leave. You are missing the mark if your brand uses social media like this. Consumers expect two conversations, which means brands need to do a better job of listening to customers and engaging with them. 

Making assumptions about your audience

Brands often make assumptions about their core customers, which can have a negative effect. Many marketers use data to define their audience, but basic demographic information isn’t enough to create a full picture. 

Targeting women over 50, for example, doesn’t explain who your customers are, how they behave, or what they want. Consumers want brands to get to know them, which, in turn, leads to more relevant content.

What brands are doing right

While brands can improve their social media strategies, the report shows many companies are doing things right, such as: 

Sharing educational content

When asked what their favorite type of brand content is, fifty-six percent of consumers said they enjoyed posts that taught them (or showed them) something new. Think video tutorials, life hacks, and tips and advice. Consumers are drawn to this kind of content. 

Posting funny content

Don’t discount the power of entertaining memes, skits, or humorous content. Fifty-five percent of consumers say they prefer brands to share content that makes them laugh. Adding humor to your content can go a long way in connecting with customers. 

Commenting on timely events

Your followers like it when you share content related to timely events, such as sporting events and pop culture trends. Events like big movie premieres, for example, provide opportunities for brands to show that they’re “in the know” while subtly promoting their product or service.  

How brands can improve their social media presence

The report provides guidance on what brands are doing right and wrong, but what actions can brands take to make followers happier? 

Focus on authentic content

Prioritize authenticity over trend chasing. Social media content is about connecting with your target audience meaningfully. By sharing authentic content, you build trust and, in time, can build a loyal customer base. 

Many brands collaborate with industry influencers to promote authenticity. By collaborating with influencers, brands can promote products and services in an organic, relatable way. 

Engage, don’t broadcast

Think about how you’ll engage with followers with each post you create. Remember, your audience wants to be part of a conversation, not blasted with sales messaging. Ask followers questions, respond to comments, and host interactive events like giveaways and live Q&As. Make your followers feel like part of a community rather than a pool of customers. 

Prioritize after-purchase content

Social media isn’t all about customer acquisition. Yes, it’s a great tool to attract new people and subtly promote products, but consumers say too many brands are focused on making that initial sale. Make sure you post content that caters to existing customers. What are their continuing needs? How can you help them? 

The Social Media Consumer Report provides helpful insight for brands looking to elevate their social media strategy and connect with followers more deeply.

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Managed Services offerings

influencer marketing software Managed Services

 IZEA MANAGED SERVICES 

Strategy and execution from the company that launched the industry.

Request a proposal

Learn more about our Managed Services offerings

 IZEA MANAGED SERVICES 

Strategy and execution from the company that launched the industry.

Request a proposal

Learn more about our Managed Services offerings