We live in a world where parents name their children after social actions, where social media can ignite a revolution, and where consumers have the ability to alter brand decisions. With such great influence and power, social media creates limitless opportunities for both consumers and brands. Too often for brands, however, the end game for their efforts is simply earning a certain number of likes, followers or views instead of the larger consumer connection.
Human connections range in the types and length of value they provide. Some connections can be short-lived while others are more sustained, and the level of impact can vary across both (think of the difference between someone handing you a flyer for a free cup of coffee vs. the barista who makes your coffee for you every morning). However, all meaningful connections, whether they occur in person or via social media, are grounded in value. So before brands start a new social program, revamp their Facebook page or extend a current campaign to the social space, they need to take a step back and examine their overall purpose and the value they can create.
We believe there are four types of value that provide the basis for effective social media efforts:
With full schedules and a variety of interests, consumers are continually looking for new ways to better experience their day-to-day pursuits. Brands can facilitate routine actions, from improving daily runs in a uniquely social way to personalizing music listening experiences, while becoming an integral part of consumers’ everyday habits.
Due to its immediacy and customization, social media has increasingly become a go-to source for questions and problems. By participating in this conversation and enabling a relevant practical dialogue on topics ranging from electronics to healthcare, brands can provide consumers with the on-demand satisfaction they require while positioning the brand as a valued source of information.
Social media has become a platform for consumers to more deeply experience the activities and causes they love. Brands are able to foster this passion, whether it is among a focused, savvy target or a more general audience, by creating a collaborative environment that provides ongoing inspiration and aligns the brand with these powerful experiences.
Intrigue is a key driver within the social realm as consumers search for opportunities to be captivated by something truly novel. Initiating an impactful, product-centric interaction allows brands to provide unexpected value and fun while highlighting their product in a memorable way.
Brands that develop social experiences grounded in one of these types of value have a guiding compass to more effectively react and adapt to the evolving consumer behaviors that define the space. Ultimately this allows brands to create more meaningful consumer connections that go far beyond just the Like button.