4 Ways Social Media Marketing Drives Consumer Behavior
Updated May 4, 2023.
Social media marketing, or social commerce, has the potential to drive consumer behavior thanks to the growing number of active users. According to DataReportal, around 4.76 billion people worldwide use social media. By using the right social media channels, you can create an emotional connection with your customers to influence and encourage purchases and brand loyalty. To help you tap into this potential, here are four strategies you can try.
1. Make Consumers Aware of Your Brand
Social media can help foster brand awareness and increase visibility across multiple platforms and through various online formats. However, the intense competition for attention can make it tough to get noticed. Some options include:
Leverage Influencer Marketing
Social media influencers can help boost brand exposure and promote your business. Try to identify influencers that match your niche audience, and leverage their creativity and authenticity to grow your brand.
For example, the fashion brand Princess Polly partners with influencers on Instagram to promote their products. By featuring the brand's products in curated looks and sharing them with their followers, these influencers can help increase Princess Polly's brand awareness and attract new customers.
Launch Hashtag Campaigns
Hashtags are another effective way to drive brand awareness via social media. Use a combination of popular, trend-based, and niche-based hashtags to maximize the visual discovery of your content.
For instance, premiere shopping and lifestyle brand CURATEUR uses hashtags that can help create a brand identity that's easy to discover online. Ensuring your content is easy to find across platforms can help boost reach and sales.
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Create Viral Content
Creating viral content like videos or memes can generate significant buzz around your brand. When content is shared by thousands, if not millions, globally, it has the potential to increase brand exposure and recognition.
BarkBox, a dog products subscription service, regularly shares animal-related memes on its social media pages, creating a strong brand identity and keeping its followers engaged.
2. Influence Consumers' Purchasing Decisions
Social media can play a crucial role in swaying customers' preferences toward a particular product or brand. By offering product information and social proof, brands can create a more informed and confident buyer. Consider the following strategies:
Display Customer Reviews & Ratings
Potential customers can read real feedback from others who have already purchased the product. This can create a sense of trust and credibility and lead to increased conversion rates.
For example, the handmade jewelry brand Made by Mary frequently features customer photos and reviews on its Instagram page, showcasing its products in a relatable way.
Offer Exclusive Discounts
Offering exclusive discounts or promo codes to social media followers can be a powerful motivator for purchase. By providing value to the audience, brands can increase engagement and loyalty.
For instance, fashion brand Steve Madden uses Twitter to promote exclusive discount codes for its followers, creating a sense of urgency and excitement among them.
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3. Build Brand Loyalty Among Consumers
Brand loyalty is a key driver of profitability. Customers who exhibit loyalty choose your products or services repeatedly and also advocate for your brand, often recommending it to others. Here are three strategies to help you build brand loyalty:
Create Personalized Content
Personalization can demonstrate an understanding of customers' unique needs and preferences. Brands can personalize content by collecting data, such as:
- Online browsing behaviors
Stitch Fix, an online personal styling service, collects data on its customers' preferences, style, and fit, then uses it to provide personalized clothing recommendations and styling advice. This personalized experience helps to build long-lasting customer relationships.
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Reward Loyal Customers
Offering exclusive discounts, early product access, or special promotions are some effective ways to show appreciation for loyalty.
For example, Fragrance Buy, an online fragrance retailer, gives its loyal customers points ("sprays") for specific actions they complete, which can be redeemed for discounts on future purchases. This gives customers a sense of exclusivity and encourages them to continue shopping with the brand.
Increase Direct Online Engagement
Social media engagement boosts loyalty by making customers feel valued and heard. Brands that respond to comments and feedback show that they care about their customers, fostering trust and appreciation in return.
A great example is 401 Games. This game and toy brand offers helpful and friendly responses on Twitter when customers reach out. This can help boost sales as customers feel valued and informed.
4. Encourage User-Generated Content From Consumers
User-generated content (UGC) can be highly effective as it adds authenticity and depth to a brand. When existing customers create content about a brand, they humanize it and provide real-world context for products and services. To encourage UGC, consider taking the following steps:
Run Social Media Contests & Challenges
These campaigns can encourage customers to share visuals of themselves using your products and create a buzz around your brand. Consider using branded hashtags for contests, as they can make it easy for customers to find and share your UGC.
Energy drink brand V, for example, asked customers to show their transformation after sipping a V energy drink using the branded hashtag. The brand then featured some of the best UCG on its own Instagram account, highlighting the impact of its product on real people and encouraging others to try it.
Share User-Generated Content on Your Own Channels
This is a smart way to increase engagement and add social proof to your brand.
Woolery, an online fiber arts brand, excels at this strategy. By sharing customer photos on its Instagram story, Woolery diversifies its content and increases engagement because it showcases real people's creations using its products. Plus, by adding these images to a pinned highlight reel, anyone can view it at any time.
Get More Insights into Your Consumers' Behavior
Using built-in social media tools and metrics, you can gather valuable data on customers to inform your marketing campaigns. Here are a few tactics to try:
- Analyze social media metrics to track engagement, reach, and other key performance indicators.
- Conduct surveys or polls on social media to gather feedback from customers.
- Leverage audience segmentation to create audience groups and tailor social media content according to each group's preferences.
By leveraging these strategies, you can enhance the customer experience and get more conversions for your brand.
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Post and Share the Fast Way
With social media, you can engage with your audience quickly and easily. Because customers expect more from the brands they support, including personalization, social media is a flexible platform to accommodate their growing and ever-changing needs. Effective social media marketing strategies can help you achieve better brand awareness, conversions, customer loyalty, and engagement. Leveraging social media creatively can help your brand stand out from competitors and reach more potential customers.