Irish brands that entertain followers on social media are most likely to engage Irish consumers, according to new research published by the social media analytics company Sprout Social.
According to the research, 58% of Irish consumers surveyed said they were most likely to engage with posts they found entertaining, with 51% saying they were likely to engage with posts that offered discounts.
Somewhat surprisingly, only 16% of consumers said they would be encouraged to engage with a brand’s content if it included influencers or celebrities.
The research, “From Conversation to Connection: How Brands Can Turn Likes into Action,” also notes that building “meaningful connections with customers on social media will increase both revenue and traffic.”
For 61% of consumers, that connection starts with feeling they can trust a brand or business. Furthermore, 43% of consumers define feeling connected as when a brand understands them and their wants.
This comes at a time when more than three quarters (76%) of Irish consumers Like or Follow at least one brand on social media, according to the research. And social media use in Ireland continues to explode; in fact, it is estimated that by 2022 70% of the total Irish population will be active monthly social media users.
According to Gerard Murnaghan, General Manager and Vice President of Sprout Social EMEA: “Brands today understand the value in being present on social media—in fact, €161 million was spent in Ireland alone on social media advertising and marketing last year2. But, marketers need to go beyond simply publishing; they must invest in building deep connections with their consumers to realize the biggest payoffs.
Our research finds that when consumers feel connected to brands, 84% will visit a business’s website or mobile app and 71% will spend more with that brand. This underscores the importance of developing high-quality, relevant brand content that appeals to the audience and engages them in a meaningful way. Marketers that achieve this will cultivate consumers’ loyalty and convert them into paying customers.”
While the most common way to interact with a brand on social is to Like or Follow its profile (59%), there are a sizable number of consumers who said that they would engage in more substantial ways such as leaving a review for products or services (39%) or asking questions or making comments about a brand (34%). The richness of the connection and engagement with customers on social is a key way brands can differentiate from their competition.
However, while most consumers (63%) want to connect with brands on social, it can still be a challenging landscape. Nearly two-thirds (61%) of respondents would unfollow a brand on social because of poor customer service, and more than half (51%) would do the same if they felt they were being ignored. This is a stark reminder to companies about the importance of social listening and having clear guidelines in place around how to respond to customer concerns.
“On social media your customer is with you 24/7 and that means brands need to properly resource their online engagement and monitoring. It takes a long time to build a strong connection with consumers on social, but sometimes only one misstep to lose their trust. The more in touch brands are with their consumers’ thoughts and feelings the better they can address issues proactively and avoid larger fallouts. Tools such as sentiment analysis and social media listening are great for this and enable brands to more efficiently and effectively manage the brand-consumer relationship,” adds Murnaghan.