How Brands Can Use Social Conversations To Change Consumers’ Minds

Social media has become a facilitator for conversations between consumers and brands and has altered the ways in which we interact. It seems though, that consumers have been quicker to adopt these social platforms as a way to communicate with brands. But brands have experienced a bit of a learning curve because of the ways they’ve communicated with consumers in the past via advertising and other marketing vehicles. They’ve had to learn how to talk to consumers instead of at them, and do it in a way that feels natural and unforced. Brands need to sell themselves before they can sell a product.

Social Conversation Success = Metrics + Common Sense

There’s tons of tools on the market that use data and metrics to analyze the “health” of social conversations with scores, points and percentages. These tools can be helpful but as with any conversation being a good listener is critical. Brands need to make sure their contribution to the conversation is relevant and moves the relationship forward. Using soft metrics and paying attention to what conversation gets the most traction can be an effective measurement of success.

So, what I’m saying is that common sense might be something brands need to add to the data they are gathering. Using what’s callled soft metrics: likes, comments, shares, retweets, and +1s are all great places to start but digging deeper into data and using that information is what can take your social engagement to the next level. For example, using individual posts scorecards that you can access through Facebook Page Insights, allows you to gauge positive and negative reactions to the content you publish – so you know what to publish more and less of moving forward.Post Scorecard

Paying attention to what resonates with your audience is what will help lead you to turning mere social chatter to a cozy conversation, and in time, a strong relationship that can stand the test of time.

From Social Engagement to Actual Purchases

Using the known content types that spark positive conversation among your customers, and ditching the negative stuff, is a great way to keep the conversation going.  Other engagement among your customers like shares help bring the conversation to potential customers as well. It’s known that people on Facebook are more likely to like brands that their friends recommend directly. These shares come from great content, not incentives for promotions so the share is more genuine.

Data from ComScore’s study “The Power of Like” shows the purchasing behaviors of Starbucks’ Facebook Fans and friends of Fans:

Starbucks Friends of Fans

Users actually bought measurably more coffee after they saw an update on Facebook. And not only are fans more likely to buy, they also spend more money. The study noted that Starbucks Fans and friends of Fans spent 80% more per buyer then people who were not Fans or their friends. This shows us that the people you can reach by activating your Fan base are great prospects for your business.

Social conversations will help to keep your brand top of mind for consumers, which can ultimately translate to positively influencing purchases. But it begins first with earning trust and earning interactions. So get to work.

Ignite Social Media