Vivaldi conducted a study to further understand social currency and the role that it plays within relationships between brands and consumers. The main areas that the study set out to explore were: why consumers follow brands, why some consumers stop connecting with brands and what brands can do to better engage consumers. The study surveyed 1,004 total respondents, 455 male and 549 female, from all different age and income groups across the United States.
The conclusions reached as to why consumers follow brands provided a considerable amount of insight. It was learned that 77% of consumers use social networks and seven out of ten connect with brands. However, only 43% of consumers are motivated to share ideas for new products or services on social media and only 33% want to engage and connect with other consumers. The most critical finding was that the top reasons consumers have for connecting with brands on social networks are primarily personal. To dive deeper, eight of 12 reasons are self-interested motivations, for example, getting a discount.
Understanding why consumers stop connecting with brands can provide critical insight that could improve consumer retention rates. 56% of consumers split up from brands or companies on social networks, while 39% never split up from a brand. The top reasons for why people split up with brands were that they neglected to see any real value in continuing to connect with brands, they felt the content became either repetitive or boring and they only connected with brands for discounts and deals which were discontinued.
The last area that the study addressed is what brands can do better. Engaging consumers through social networking is absolutely critical to succeeding as a brand in this era. Thus, any ways in which brands can improve their social interactions with consumers, they must. The study explored this area by assessing the performance of brands across six different forms of social currency. The definition of social currency being; the degree to which consumers share a brand or information about a brand with others. The results and other research unveiled six social behaviors: advocacy, conversation, affiliation, utility, information and identity. They also revealed the enormous opportunity for improvement, with only 38% of consumers believing that brands provide them with the tools that they need to defend or promote a brand on social media, and only 35% believing that brands provide enough motive and incentive for consumers converse with others about a brand.
The conclusions of the study provided in-depth information about the connections between consumers and brands as understood through the lens of social media. The value a brand has is directly related to the strength of the relationships it has with consumers and consumer communities, which explains the critical nature of social networking. The study has shown that contemporary brands are still falling short of consumers’ expectations. They are still not doing enough to leverage their social currency into brand equity. Consequently, the brands that are able to establish and maintain strong connections with consumers will certainly outlast those that are unable to.
Meet The Expert
Erich Joachimsthaler, Ph.D.
CEO & Founder