Today’s consumers want brands to see and understand who they are. They want brands to predict their needs and to treat them as individuals. Today’s consumers want brands to personalize their experience. In fact, according to Epsilon, the simple tactic that’s likely to encourage 4 out of 5 consumers to do business with your company is personalization.
While personalization is quickly becoming a buzzword across all marketing touch points, it’s particularly poignant in social media. Social is an innately one-to-one experience between consumers and brands. It’s one of the few touch points where brands can engage with consumers as individuals. So why should you and how can you create a sense of personalized social experience? Let’s explore:
1) Personalization Through 1:1 Community Management
There is inherent value for brands in using social media to connect with consumers. In its very basic form, social media was designed to create these connections (granted, it started as human-to-human before it became brand-to-consumer or consumer-to-brand). According to recent research, one in four Americans uses social to provide feedback to companies and, maybe even more importantly, more than two-thirds of millennials say they’re likely to stay brand loyal to a company that responds back to them on social. It should come as no shock that consumers are more likely to remain loyal if they feel valued by your brand, but a 1:1 valued exchange can be even more impactful when tailored to each consumer.
Personalization isn’t just about putting someone’s name or social handle at the beginning of your response, it’s about truly showing consumers that you’re listening. For example, does, “Susan, we regret to inform you that X product is no longer in production. Please visit our website for our current product list.” make you feel cared about or listened to? No. But does, “We understand how much it stinks to hear your favorite product has been discontinued. Let us know what you loved about it and we’d be happy to provide you with some alternative recommendations.” Yes. Personalization should start at the 1:1 community management level and follow through into the entire user journey.
2) Personalization Through Retargeting and Paid Media
Personalized content—or targeted, controlled content—can help consumers feel as though they have some control over what they’re seeing in their social feeds. According to research published by McKinsey, content that is targeted so well that it’s useful & relevant “can create lasting customer loyalty and drive revenue growth of 10-13 percent.”
To create this sense of personalization in the ad units our consumers see, we leverage website or dynamic retargeting.
3) Personalization Through Collaborative Content
Global Internet users are more than twice as likely to say user-generated content (UGC) is the most authentic content type when compared to brand-created or stock photography. Fifty percent (one half!) of consumers in the U.S. say UGC is the form of content that is most likely to persuade them to purchase a product. And yet, only 40% of US social media marketers are using UGC as a part of their social strategy.
Collaborative content creation through a brand’s use of user-generated content can be a powerful tool for not only driving consumers closer to commerce, but also in making content feel more personalized. Incorporating UGC visuals into an editorial calendar is one way to create this sense of controlled, user-based content but there are also opportunities to think outside the box. Anything that allows consumers to express themselves uniquely—like a quiz, choose-your-own adventure, smart video, etc.—can help provide this sense of personalization. Personalization can be as simple as giving your consumers the opportunity to share how they experience your brand.
While some buzzwords are here and gone in a matter of minutes, personalization has some staying power. And while it’s still to be determined how much personalization is enough (or too much), implementing even one element of a personalized social experience is essential when it comes to driving your consumers closer to the point of purchase.
Contributed By: Susan Parsons, Senior Social Media Strategist, Integer Denver
Image Source: Unsplash