In 2016, Dalton, Akinc, & Kane ( 2016) embarked on a survey of 401 Instagram users in United States aged between 18-33 (Millennials) to determine brand loyalty to retail brands. The purpose of the survey was an attempt to measure brand social media following co-relating to the intention to purchase. There is no conclusive evidence of direct relationship to sales yet. For most digital marketing managers today, it’s extremely difficult to pinpoint the value of social media to direct sales conversion. Are we able to measure or quantify these observations?
That being said, there has been growing evidence through dedicated researches to identify and provide better insights into social media activation. Engaging aspirational consumers through social media is a longer term strategy compared to short-sightedness of tactical hopefulness. The sales funnel is a complicated journey with consumer interacting in numerous touchpoints to solicit feedback, screen through reviews and check out favorable or non favorable comments of the brand.
The researchers were able to provide 2 key insights from the survey on why aspirational customers have not purchased yet. It comes down to 1) There is no IMMEDIATE need yet 2) There is no BUDGET to splurge on this purchase yet even though they have “LIKE” your brand. The positive news is that more than 50% of the brand followers wish to purchase but currently is contraint by budget availability. For the former reason of no urgency nor need to purchase, building the brand equity with this group is key. Future consumers have opted in to follow your content. Give them a reason why they should continue to follow you. This simple angle of curating stickiness in your content is a key driver. The survey highlighted that 54% of the respondents were ready to purchase if the need was immediate. Marketers are encouraged to build stories with engagement to drive this behavior down the funnel. Another observation suggested by them is that brands should associate to some cause because 9 out of 10 Millennials surveyed suggested they would switch to another brand if the cause is relatable.
The limitation to this research is that it observed only Instagram followers in the Millennial group in America. It also pointed that these followers could be future customers more often if they were brands in the beauty sector and lesser so on tech, apparel or home furnishing sectors. Please note that luxury brands will not fall into this defintion. For example, if we are followers of a European chilly red sports marque vehicle, the price tag is an inhibitor if not anything else.
Likes are no longer a strong indicator of Sales conversion in your digital metrics. With the onset of hidden likes measurements being piloted by Instagram, marketers will have less insights to generate these datapoints. Therefore, we will suggest a concerted effort to promote your brands through intentional paid social content.
Stop measuring Likes! This is the biggest shift in your measurement. Go and measure your views and clicks, they will be better indicators for your paid ads performance. Why we strongly advocate paid content is simply because it helps in reaching and building measureable engagements. Likes are less of an indicator these days. Instead, focus on visually stopping content and test them and measure its effectiveness. Actively pursue A/B testing content with your target audience. Go deeper and test them across a range of demographics too.
The consumer is a complex being. Any triggers in various touchpoints may be that extra nudge to make that conversion happens. You don’t have to LIKE the brand, cut through with paid content and offer a value proposition that will stick for on your future aspirational consumers.
Dalton, D., Akinc, B., & Kane, G. C. (2016, June 7). Can Social Media Cultivate Long Term Loyalty.
Retrieved from MIT Sloan Management Review: https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/can-social-media-cultivate-long-term-loyalty/
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Doh Hau Goh
Goh Doh Hau is in the leadership team of Garganto, a boutique style digital marketing agency and ecommerce builder. He enjoys marrying evidence-based research with observation insights to curate gems of practical information. He is a MBA graduate from Sydney Business School (University of Wollongong)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes” content_placement=”middle”][vc_column width=”1/6″ offset=”vc_hidden-lg vc_hidden-md vc_hidden-sm”][vc_single_image image=”1715″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline_circle”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”5/6″ offset=”vc_hidden-lg vc_hidden-md vc_hidden-sm”][vc_column_text]
Doh Hau Goh
Goh Doh Hau is in the leadership team of Garganto, a boutique style digital marketing agency and ecommerce builder. He enjoys marrying evidence-based research with observation insights to curate gems of practical information. He is a MBA graduate from Sydney Business School (University of Wollongong)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]