The social mood has shifted socially to overwhelming anger and brands are showing up by reassessing how to connect with consumers. How can companies capture the social mood and bring their brands back to social to connect meaningfully with consumers there? The analytics will lead the way.
The path back to social connection will be paved by consumer understanding and personal connections. This will likely involve teams of micro-influencers acting both as advisors and brand ambassadors, which we’ll explore below, as well as:
- Understanding how consumer sentiment can inform your brand.
- How analytics leads the way to informed decisions
- Ways brands are recapturing consumers’ heart
And here are some stats that will help brands keep in mind how essential social media is to their marketing efforts:
- Active social media users have passed the 3.8 billion mark.
- 89% of marketers say Instagram is the most important social media platform for influencer marketing.
- 84% of consumers will buy from a brand they follow on social over a competitor.
Exploring the Social Mood Shift
Search social media and you’ll discover dark humored memes documenting the events of this year, from Coronavirus to social unrest to murder hornets – 2020 has left consumers feeling punchy. And active social media accounts have passed the 3.8 billion mark, increasing by more than 9% since last year.
Viewing conversations on a variety of social platforms via consumer listening, conversations around shopping stayed even keeled until around May 20th where we begin to see a gain in negative sentiment marked by red.
Dissecting the red sentiment, leads us to research showing that UK consumers are focused on brands who are socially responsible. Likewise, US consumers are hyper fixated on what companies and celebrities are doing and saying right now about politics, fashion, equal rights – you name it. And they are making purchasing purchase decisions based on these.
An example found using social analytics is this post which calls out Dr. Dre for being wasteful.
The tension is palpable, with consumers teetering on the edge. If you want to be the brand that catches their eye, you need to pay attention to what matters to them most. And social analytics can guide you in making informed decisions to reach and win new customers.
Brands Making Analytics-informed Choices
Coca-cola is making solid social analytic- informed choices by taking a step back and reassessing how to connect with customers. Their Instagram posts show this thoughtful approach and their active support for topics close to consumers hearts globally.
Today’s consumers see purchases as a way to make an impact, and they want the brands that they support to be focused on sustainability. Globally, 66% of consumers are willing to pay extra for products from eco-focused brands. Taking this cue, Coca-Cola is concentrating on becoming more sustainable:
And they have committed to being transparent and giving back to communities, with an additional focus on health and mental wellness. With their “People First” motto, they put the needs of the communities they serve as well, as the employees making up their organization, first.
Our sentiment wheel and word cloud sum it up, pulling from multiple social web sources across the internet, including blogs, websites and social media. Sentiment for Coca-Cola is more than 2/3 positive at a time when many brands are not in consumers’ good graces.
And within our word cloud, we can link to posts directly by clicking on any word to find out more. By selecting the word thank, for example, we find a grateful employee and possible brand ambassador, boasting on Twitter about Coca Cola’s genuine care for him and his family.
Having happy employees as brand ambassadors can help companies reach people they may have otherwise missed, providing valuable awareness potential to your company. Though Instagram continues to be the most popular influencer marketing platform used by 89% of marketers, don’t count out other social platforms. Twitter is always valuable too.
And having a brand influencer can be a vital tool in discovering ways back into consumers’ hearts.
Finding a Way Back into Consumers’ Hearts
84% of consumers will buy from a brand they follow on social media over a competitor. So, keeping an eye on things there is smart. And also because:
- 71% of consumers are vocal about supporting brands whose ethics align with theirs.
- Consumers don’t want to be replaced; they want to be heard.
In our network below, we see clusters revealing more around Consumer Brand Switching, with the largest numbers categorized around Consumer Brand Loyalty.
Isolating the Consumer Beliefs/Ethics cluster reveals articles that delve deeper into the consumer mind and the importance of brands being aware of consumer values/brand perception:
With lots of talk around consumer habits changing, we peel back the layers to discover articles further detailing this subject:
And we can glean a wealth of information from these and other related pieces, such as:
- 61% of people say they’re likely to switch brands if they realize the one that they’re using isn’t environmentally friendly
- Globally, consumers propensity to switch brands varies: 47% of Consumers in Asia Pacific are quick to make the switch, closely followed by Africa and the Middle East (45%) and Latin America (42%). In North America and Europe, consumers are less likely to switch brands, at 36% and 33%.
Digital Consumer Intelligence also reveals what customers are saying specifically about brands themselves, both good and bad.
Brand Conversations Consumers are Having
Here, consumers are happy to have saved $20 USD, even though they had to buy only what Publix had on sale to get the savings. It shows consumers will jump ship to save a buck. Using the hashtag #nobrandloyalty should pique brands’ interest if they use Publix as a reseller or not. It shows consumer shopping habits are easy to shift with a financial incentive.
And some Apple customers are sharing their discontent over news that the new iPhone may not contain a charger.
But is that outweighed by the awe they experience when using the smartphone’s video capabilities? Perhaps . . .
Following the bunny trail around both, we find multiple posts revealing competing sentiment based on which features specific users find most important. Will those in love with iPhone’s video quality shell out the (comparatively small amount) to pay for a charger, as they’re not having to pay big bucks for professional video equipment? Probably.
And Apple will want to amplify those voices, as 74% of consumers identify word of mouth as critical to influencing their purchase habits. So, be sure your brand is seeking out and amplifying the voices of those who love your brand as well!