Social media communication has bridged the gap between businesses and customers. Modern businesses rely on social media to connect with their audience, build brand equity, and fuel business growth.
Even a single post can be powerful enough to emotionally engage customers and generate media hype around your brand.
Below, we share some facts and market stats that show how social media communication stimulates brand growth and reputation:
- 2020 recorded 290 billion actions on brand-owned content on three major social media networks (Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter). (Source)
- 36% of Instagram users in the US followed brands and companies on the platform. (Source)
- While the social media content posted by the US brands saw a dip, user engagement increased! (Source)
And, this is how social media spurs brand equity as per the recent stats:
So, we can start with an agreement – Social media communication and interactions play a huge role in brand equity creation and brand design.
But, what is brand equity, and why does it matter?
What Is Brand Equity?
Brand Equity is a powerful brand value indicator that represents the worth of your brand, its associations, and visibility in the market.
In simpler words, brand equity is equal to the difference between the value of the product of your brand and the value of the same product without your brand name.
Why Is Brand Equity Important?
Brand equity empowers and strengthens your brand’s foundation in the market.
“It enables you to increase your margins by increasing the perceived value of your brand offerings in your customer’s eyes” – says Forbes.
Apart from this, there are many other ways brand equity steers your business towards sustainable growth.
Brand equity has a positive impact on how customers perceive your products or services. Studies have shown that brand equity has a positive influence on the willingness of the customers to pay a premium price for your products. It affects the way your brand offerings are “viewed, perceived, and treated” in the market.
So, if you have high brand equity, your products will continue to enjoy higher sales, better market image and revenue streams will stay intact!
If you have high brand equity, your brand enjoys not one or two, but many competitive advantages. It spurs greater profits and makes your customers loyal. You get better expansion opportunities, as businesses try to leverage your market reputation for business growth.
Further, you enjoy a higher bargaining power in all such work associations. All these things have a cumulative effect on your brand position and your revenue streams.
Increased Market Share
Higher brand equity means you have a consistently growing consumer pool that keeps the demand for your products high. This high demand calls for a stronger, wider, and more prominent supply in the market.
When every other customer asks for your products – shopkeepers, retailers, wholesalers, and stockists, the entire supply chain gets the signal. Your products take center stage, and your market share grows.
With better business associations, increased market share, and higher bargaining power, your business stays profitable. The customers trust your brand offerings, and the sellers continue to put your products on the front shelves.
Increased traffic, better market coverage and increased brand exposure spur sustainable business growth.
Reduced Marketing Costs
Big brands like Amazon, Apple, Louis Vuitton, Ritz, and Coca-Cola don’t need introductions. They are already well-known and well-positioned in the global market. So, their marketing costs are considerably lower than that of medium-tier brands.
They have not loyal, but devout customers that don’t wait for the newsletters or launch announcements. They “proactively hunt” for any new releases and buy them immediately. These customers endlessly “spread the word” via their social media handles and public channels and that in turn, further boosts the brand equity.
Maintain Customer Loyalty
By now, it is quite clear how high brand equity keeps your customers loyal, motivated, and more engaged with your brand. Actually, when the customers continue to get exposed to positive buzz around your brand, they stay engaged. They can actually feel “proud” of being your customers and they don’t shy away from sharing and spreading the love on social media as well.
What is the Link Between Social Media and Brand Equity?
Brand awareness, customer perceptions of brand ethics, and customer brand attitudes are 3 key drivers of brand equity.
Modern consumers judge a brand by its social media presence. In fact, they gauge your reputation with the interactions and content your business shares on social media.
With such a huge impact on the customer variables, brands with steller images and reputations on social media are highly loved and adored.
Hence, by leveraging social media communication strategies, you can not only boost but impel your brand equity.
So, we can agree on one thing – social media has a definitive say in the overall value of brand equity.
Now, let us find out how it helps in building brand equity.
How Social Media Helps in Building Brand Equity?
Social Media Advertising
Popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Tumblr have revolutionized the state of advertising, marketing, and promotions.
They have allowed interactions with millions of followers with just a single post! As far as the stats are concerned, 67% of the 290 billion social media reactions in 2020 were from Instagram alone!
With such excellent capabilities for brand visibility, engagement, and customer targeting, social media is a powerful tool for building brand equity.
Employee Advocacy is a powerful social media communication strategy that increases brand awareness on social media. Studies suggest that customers trust your employees more than your CEO, marketing department, and spokesperson (of course). Employee posts can generate more buzz and drive better customer engagement on social media.
One of the finest examples of a brand that leveraged employee advocacy is Electronic Arts, with over 1.1 million social shares each month, via its EA Insiders program. And, with a high number of followers on social media, the buzz around the brand never subsides!
Humanized Social Content
People are more approachable on social media and their communication is perceived to be more humanized and less business-centric. Therefore, rather than turning social media into a marketplace, you need to respect “social” interactions
You can share exclusive content, such as “behind-the-scenes” videos, or sharing glimpses of some engaging project on hand. For example luxury brand CHANEL is well known for sharing videos featuring the manufacturing of its iconic bags. Likewise, Ritz-Carlton also shares different types of engaging videos on social media channels and video-streaming channels, like YouTube.
Such content can help you target the customer sentiments and show them another side of your brand.
Leverage Branded Templates to Share Striking, on-Brand Social Media Assets
Captivating visuals are an inherent part of your social media presence and sharing them across all your social media channels is a must. Inconsistent and irregular branding affects your brand visibility and your customers are more likely to confuse your brand and its offerings.
Having a centralized media repository helps to create an effective social media communications niche that targets brand visibility.
Better brand visibility directly boosts your brand equity!
Proactively Engage With Your Community and Start Conversations on Social Media
One excellent way social media can help you increase your brand equity is – communication.
When brands proactively reach out to their customers on social media, they project themselves as human! Some of the ways you can do this are – team meet-ups, launches, discussions, Q&A sessions, and behind-the-scenes videos, etc.
For example, Zappos sent a little something extra for a to-be bride customer along with the correct order dispatched and delivered overnight:
Your customers should be able to see the bloopers, mistakes in the sessions, and the effort that goes down in every product and service. Such social media brand communication makes your brand more relatable and humanistic.
Use Customer Feedback and FAQs to Inspire Your Social Content
Customer feedback is a key social media communication strategy that can fuel growth when implemented rightly. So, ask for feedback, collect it, process it, and then show up with the results.
Apart from customer feedback, suggestions, mentions, and responses are also a great way to keep your brand presence alive!
Some examples to consider for social media strategy:
Maintain the buzz around your brand and keep showing up with good work, as shown in the following image:
Positive Brand Value
Build a positive brand image on your social media. Acknowledge customer concerns and shortcomings, and try to make the most of them. Just like the time Amazon showed its dogs on Prime Day when their server failed:
Further, keep listening to your customers and try your best to deliver across the expectations, just like the following example:
The brand manager actually managed to send the order just within three hours, and the person was standing right outside the airport!
Deloitte says that the entire focus of premium brands is to create a value-added customer experience instead of raw selling. The brand does this via storytelling and nothing is a better place to do so other than social media.
85% of luxury goods consumers use social media to share their purchases, experiences, and all that contributes to the market hype. You can also take inspiration from such luxury brands and build social media strategy for a double win.
Build a relationship with your customers and social media followers on more humanistic grounds. Also, nurture it consistently, because social media is a place where things and experiences are highly volatile. Customers need to be reminded that they are important and that they are being heard.
Deliver engaging content and stay connected to your customers. Listen to active and passive brand mentions and make the most of your social media pages. Run loyalty programs so that your customers stay loyal and add substance to your social media communication.
Sharing news about your improved products via social media comes right after you collect public feedback. It shows how much you value the feedback of your customers and how avid you are to share your work with them.
This will also refresh your perception of the market and you are able to drive focus towards your new and improved offerings.
How to Measure Social Brand Equity?
Higher engagement levels drive higher revenues and higher brand awareness. Hence, engagement and social brand equity go hand in hand.
By keeping a watch on how engaged customers are on social media, you can measure your brand equity.
Search Volume for Brand/Product
How many social media searches are you appearing in? How many of them directly mention your brand, products, or tags you identify yourself with?
These metrics will help you identify whether your social media presence is actually worth its salt or not.
The number and extent of sales coming from social media are directly pointing towards brand equity. When you enjoy amazing sales or sales that are progressing with time, from your social media handle, you can rest assured that your equity is going up.
Whether your customers find your brand desirable or not is another important metric for social brand equity measurement. Take a look at the various tags or indicative words about your brands and products. Check the comments, reactions, and feedback customers leave. If most of them are positive, you are going great!
You can see and compare the social media stats for your competitors. For example, the number of followers retweets they generally have and the attention they enjoy on social media.
When you have an obvious competitive advantage, your social brand equity is higher than your competitors.
Social Media Communication: A Sure Shot Way to Build Brand Equity
In the digital age when customers are always online, social media impact in the brand equity building process is supreme. A small video or a single tweet can take your followers to millions and just a single unattended complaint can get amplified!
Whether you use social media platforms to acquire more customers or destroy your brand image, everything depends on your actions. There is no doubt that social media has evolved to be one powerful asset that can help you become an invincible brand!
So, in case you still have not been paying attention to your social media presence, there is not a better time than now. Switch your “social” mode on, and take the sure-shot step towards increased brand equity!