Social Media Influence on Consumer Loyalty
Consumer loyalty is the benefit brands enjoyed from customers who have followed them for a long time. Through thick and dark times, consumer will prefer the brand that gives him confidence and assurance of quality services and products, not minding the competition.
What is Consumer Loyalty? According to intuitive consumer, Customer loyalty is the result of consistently positive emotional experience, physical attribute-based satisfaction and perceived value of an experience, which includes the product or services in other words, Customer loyalty can be said to have occurred if people choose to use a particular shop or buy one particular product, rather than use other shops or buy products made by other companies. Customers exhibit customer loyalty when they consistently purchase a certain product or brand over an extended period of time.
Loyalty involves the emotional aspect of brand in which consumers stick to. Most times, a brand may fall Short of expectation of consumers in which they may pull back from it but because of the emotional attachment, they will still go back to it.
People in their 50s and 60s may prefer Peak Milk to other brands in the dairy category because they have followed the brand for a long time. Don’t be surprised to that some old people do not use tooth brush, instead they prefer chewing stick as a trusted ‘’brand’’ for them.
Who Are Your Consumer?
A brand owner must be able to clearly define the target audience or consumers their products or services are targeted at. It is pertinent to note that things are changing, the new generation is taking over. The consumers are the receivers of your goods and services
Are Consumers Still Loyal?
This has been a question popping through my mind for a very long time. I think we have come to the stage where brand owners have realised thatconsumers are now dynamic and if you are unable to meet them at their touch-points, you may automatically loose the market to competitors.
Consumers have lots of information and ability to choose from varieties of choices because consumers now have the knowledge even before some brand owners could catch the glimpse.
This is the world we are living. As we have lots of options in our society, it is difficult to maintain consumer loyalty if brand owners are not up to date.
Today’s consumers have wealth of resources at their fingertips. No matter where they are in the world, they can access an infinite number of customer reviews ,similar products or services, view competitive prices and make preferable choices even at the point of purchase.
Speaking at the BrandCrunch learning session on Marketing in the Era of Big Data: The Changing Paradigm, CEO, X3M Ideas, Steve Babaeko posit that ‘’expert believed that you have 100 to 200 milliseconds to hit someone before he moves on.
If your consumers are looking for information but can’t find it, they’ll feel frustrated and their reaction to change will be swift because they have the power and information of your competitor.’’
Also supporting the view was consumer advocate, Sola Salako during the event, she said most brand owners spend much on advertising campaigns meanwhile there is disconnect between them and the consumers.
In her words, ‘’I have said it to most brands, you really don’t know your consumers because you don’t really listen to them . You are not paying attention. we have situation whereby people come up with products and services that are based on so called ‘’market research’’ that can turn up to mean anything. We assume that that’s what everybody else really want and we keep pushing these things at the consumers and forcing it down his throat. Of course, he cannot react the way the brand owner expected and he (the marketer) won’t get the ROI he expects. Instead of the marketer to go back to the drawing board and figure out the real issue, he is thinking “maybe we should change the agency”
Why are they Loyal Before Why Are They Not Loyal Again?
As I said earlier, consumers now have lots of information at their disposal even more than most brand owners and this gives them the edge to move faster and beyond the brand owners.
The era of feeding consumers with what you have without asking for what they need is over. If a brand cannot speak to their demand, they leave it instantly without a second thought. The level of awareness is super high.
The Role of Technology in Consumers’ Power
Without much controversy, technology is the major driving tools that supports consumers and feed them with much information. We are in the era of big data and that is the new tools.
No consumer is a perpetual or adherent loyalist of a brand this era because there is room for change even at the blink of an eye.
A very salient example of the consumer change can be seen in the telecommunication sector. An average mobile user in Nigeria will have two or more sim cards. Why?
People never trust any network for quality service delivery so they are prepared for rainy days.
The Social Media and the Current Consumers
The rules of marketing has changed, the concepts and strategies have been overturned by the disruptions of social media intrusion into the marketing world. Consumer behavior has changed as well.
Consumers are no longer loyal to brands. Getting a 30% loyalty from the present generation will be like squeezing water out of the rock!
With the arrays of information at the disposal of consumers, brand owners can only get the attention of consumers only if they can engage them and sustain their attention.
There is no gainsaying the fact that consumers consume information more on mobile especially using their smartphones. According to “2017 US Cross-Platform Future in Focus” report released by comScore,the firm found that mobile “now accounts for 69 percent of digital media time spent, with smartphone apps specifically commanding 51 percent of all digital media time’’
In Nigeria, about 75 per cent of the online population use social media; and the number keeps growing on both social networking sites and blogging sites.
How Brands Can Use Social Media to Gain Customer Loyalty
Having said that the new consumers are internet savvy, it is important to know how to deploy these social media tools to the benefit of brand owners and consumers.
Consumers are very active with their mobile and 80% of internet contents are consumed on mobile. Social media site such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Skype and others understand the dynamic nature of the current consumers and they are targeting the consumer with contents.
It is a fact that Smartphones have become our mobile TV. We use our mobile phones for entertainment, to connect with friends and colleagues, to stay informed, to shop, among other uses. Phones have become part of both our work and personal lives.
According to a report by MediaKix in 2016, we spend an average of 1 hour, 56 minutes on the top 5 social media platforms alone. Top 5 being YouTube,Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter.
This was corroborated by the comScore’s 2017 Future in Focus report, that 66% of the time spent on social media takes place on Smartphones.
Brand owners can leverage on the social media usage to command the attention of the targeted consumers giving priority to video contents.
In addition, as the new consumers are digitally savvy, brand owners should utilize these platforms to reach and develop relationship that will influence the consumers. Don’t forget that both the old and new generations are digitally informed and aware; therefore, it will be logically balance to create messages that appeal to them.