Social media

Survey Says: Don’t Be Cool

It’s no secret that social media can be extremely beneficial for businesses of all sizes and scales. However, just because you’re active on social media doesn’t mean you’re using it the right way. We’ve shared our thoughts on best practices for social media in the past, but today we’re sharing a new report by Sprout Social, revealing what consumers have to say about businesses’ behavior on social media.

What Consumers Don’t Want to See: Although “coolness” has often been associated with success on social media, this recent report shows that a “cool” business may not be what consumers are looking for. We all remember our high school days when the cool kids weren’t always so nice. That has transferred over to social, where some brands have taken to mocking their customers or their competitors on this public forum. What worked for Wendy’s in terms of social popularity does not transfer to every business. In fact, according to Sprout Social, “While 75% of consumers believe there’s value in brands exhibiting humor on social, only 36% are willing to purchase from brands they believe are funny.” The following shows that of all brand behaviors, making fun of customers or competitors on social is least cool.

Authenticity: Authenticity was voted as the most admired trait of a business on social. Like what we’ve seen from celebrities for years, consumers respond well to businesses that are transparent and real with their fans; your followers want to see more of who you are – your brand personality – in your social media content. Sprout Social defines brand personality as “what connects your product to its consumers. It reflects what your brand stands for and should be the bloodline that runs through all of your marketing and creative initiatives.”

Responsiveness: Not only are consumers interested in what kind of content you put out there, they are also increasingly interested in how you engage with them. The #1 behavior on social media that influences a consumer’s decision to make a purchase is responsiveness to comments. Depending on the size of your community, you may not be able to respond to every follower’s comment, but it is important to make this a priority when managing your social accounts.  

What’s at Risk: Consumers and social media users alike are pretty fickle when it comes to brand loyalty. Be careful when experimenting with humor or other edgy types of content; users generally apply a “first strike, unfollow” rule when it comes to their relationships with brands on social. The more businesses that create and promote social media pages, the less time a consumer will spend deciding whether to follow or unfollow a brand – they’ll just do it.

What Should You Do: Our takeaway from this data: stay true to your business’s values and focus on what you can control, such as great content, engagement, and customer care. Above all else, your community wants to be appreciated, and there are millions of opportunities on social media to show them you care!


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