The world of social media, where consumers rule the roost, has taken the power of suggestion to a whole new level and brand marketers and product managers and ALL marketers would be very wise to engage and empower as many ambassadors for their brands as they can.
A recent post touched on some findings from a survey done by the the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and Lithium, a social media tech firm which highlighted a major disconnect between consumers and CMOs when it comes to the expectations a consumer has for engaging with a brand via social media.
Today, comes another finding from that same survey that is quite frankly, chock full of very insightful nuggets of info.
This particular finding speaks directly to the power of suggestion and the power of peer pressure in many ways for it shows just how truly powerful a brand ambassador can be and how much influence these folks can carry with their friends.
This is a line right from the survey findings that is perfectly stated… “The more consumers engage in social media, the more they inspire each other to engage with new and different brands.”
Making one minor tweak to that line so it reads: “The more consumers engage in social media –and brands engage them, the more they inspire each other to engage with new and different brands.”
Those first two numbers alone should jump off the screen screaming to all marketers “We need more brand ambassadors!” The power of the people is clear, present and yes there is an element of danger for any brands that do not engage their fans, their customers, etc., are very much in danger of losing their loyalty to those brands who do engage them.
Now as to how to turn your fans into brand ambassadors and in turn start wielding that power they hold over their fellow consumers, there’s a fantastic article written by Todd Wasserman of Mashable appropriately titled How To Turn Fans Into Brand Ambassadors which I highly recommend. In his article Todd provides five distinct ways to do this including offering the exclusive offers that are not available to “general public.”
But Wait, There’s More…
There are two other very telling statistics from the chart above: the last two.
“Marketers should be monitoring the 42 per cent of consumers who use social media to share negative experiences with brands and products, as they are likely influencing the 32 per cent who decide not to buy a product based on that negative feedback.”
That’s also directly from the findings and it is 100% spot on. While the percentages are not nearly as high as others they are significant nonetheless and brand marketers and product managers and any marketer with his or her hand in the social media pie for their particular company needs to pay close attention to these negative reviews.
Back in August of this year was a post Why Marketers Need To Pay Attention To Online Reviews and the opening line to it said it all… “A new study shows that 80% of online customers change their mind about making a purchase after reading negative online reviews.”
In that same post there’s also a reference to the fact that the 80% figure was actually up over the year before where only 67% of respondents indicated negative reviews directly impacted their decision to buy or not and also highlighted is the fact that that not surprisingly, 87% of consumers said a favourable review has confirmed their decision to go through with a purchase.
Who do you think is leaving those favourable reviews? Yes, your brand ambassadors! Or at the very least a good portion of them.
But as far as negative reviews go, fear not for in that same aforementioned post there’s examples of why a negative review can actually be a good thing. And negative reviews can indeed be a good thing if handled properly.
Ok, brand marketers and product managers and CMOs and marketers of all ages…
What are you doing to get brand ambassadors?
How are you engaging them?
How are you rewarding them?
And how do you deal with a negative review?
Lots to think about and I am very anxious to hear your collective thoughts.
Steve Olenski is the Creative Director of Digital Services for Star Group, a marketing communications firm dedicated to driving engagement with B2B and B2C brands operating in today’s hyper-competitive, rapidly evolving digital marketplace.
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