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Social Media, Your Brand Loyalty Tool

It is very imperative that organizations comprehend the importance of Social Media as a business tool and never a threat but opportunities to enhance their marketing and brand building. If you have recently launched a new product, the comments on Social Media can help you to locate what you should do, your mistakes and how you can rectify them. Every brand has its own characteristics. Your brand should communicate to consumers like a human being, just the way you talk to people. Keep in mind, may be your conversation turn your irate consumer into your loyal one.

Social media is a very significant tool for brands that need to build strong relationship with customers. It can be helpful to understand their needs, demands and habits.  Consumers are no longer interested in brands that are only focused on selling and not minding about what the consumer feels and think.

On the other hand there are still brands who feel threatened to be online on social media and they feel that may be social media will damage their reputation but many have realized that there are great opportunities to build strong relationship with customers and strengthen brand loyalty. One satisfied customer can be your loyal customers, consider his opinion and feedback. Social networks have completely changed the concept of feedback. In earlier age customers was used to send a letter or wait for the reply, now you just write on the wall post if you are using a Facebook or tweet on Twitter.

We are living in the era of internet where information spread like anything, so reputation of the organization has become a serious concern for companies if they are live on Social Media. Even the negative news is not entirely true but rival can quickly ruin a company’s image. Social Media monitoring can help you stay side by side of what is being said about your brand and how to deal with it in crisis in immediate way. Who wants to be stand out from crowd? Obviously it’s a dream of every one, so you need to be original. Find the best way to market your brand in striking way. Your customers will always remember your company name or brand, if your campaign is original.

In today’s diverse new world of growing consumer demands, fueled by changing demographics and the cultural shift in the market, brands have some work to do to say the least. In the rush of business necessity and the desire to meet quarterly financial requirements from the economy, branding has become less about solving specific needs – and more of an attempt to quickly create new revenue streams by promoting solutions for needs that don’t exist. This is bound to fail because it doesn’t support lasting and meaningful engagement. It’s “moment marketing – and it will not allow you to become part of your consumers’ reality and experiences.

Moment marketing does little to develop a brand or give consumers permission to interact with them. Brands must have purpose by producing goods and services that improve the lives of consumers and enhance quality of life. With today’s savvy consumer, it’s imperative that brands focus on how to better interact with them, how to build stronger relationships, and how to ensure that those relationships generate trust and meaningful engagement over time.

Brands must begin to authentically engage with consumers who are not only becoming more diverse, but wiser about their purchasing habits and more mindful of living healthier lifestyles. Stimulated by sensationalism, social media trends and a generational force that is changing how brands earn loyalty and trust, consumers have become more critical and cynical. Brands earn trust by being authentic, and by being seen to be authentic. They earn loyalty by creating meaningful experiences across all contacts in ways that matter to customers.

Today’s marketplace has taught us all, brands must be fully engaged and actively involved in allowing their brands to grow into relevant destinations for consumers looking to solve particular needs – these are the ones that will win market share for your brand and continue to grow. Consumers are no longer brand loyal. They may be loyal to the engagement experience that a particular brand offers. Once the experiential elements of brand engagement disappear, in many cases, so does the emotional connection consumers have with the brand that was providing them that unique experience.

We live in an experience-driven world. Consumers gravitate toward those experiences that provide them with the stimulation they are looking for. People have become sensitive about how they spend their time and what inspires them to do so. If a brand focuses more on trying to sell consumers their products/services rather than finding ways to creatively engage with them and solve a need, their brand will be short-lived.

Consumers today are having difficulty trusting a brand’s intentions. They want to know what a brand stands for and what they value and they want that brand to live it every day – in everything they do and how they do it. If a brand stands for quality, a consumer expects it at all times. When brands begin to cut-corners, quality suffers and it is reflected in how a product tastes, smells, feels – and this is when the consumer begins to feel slighted.[related-posts]

This is also the case when brands lead you to believe that they must raise their prices due to industry-wide increases in cost of doing business. For example, over the past several years, many have grown frustrated with the Telecom industry in Uganda as a result, customers started dropping some mobile lines and sticking to some. Shocking is that many of the customers tend to stick to their old brands than the new ones simply because they feel they have been part of the journey.

Brands are extensions of the lives we lead, and if the brand message, intention or engagement is not what is expected – loyalty goes away. Consumers are holding brands accountable to assure they are constantly adding value to their lives. If they don’t get what they expect, you will certainly hear about it on social media.

Consumers are paying attention to the manner in which brands communicate. They know when a brand is speaking at them instead of speaking to them. Oftentimes, brands miss the mark (however well-intentioned) and disrupt consumer loyalty because they take creative risks that are not in-tune with their consumers.

On the other hand, when a brand is able to make an authentic connection with a consumer, something very powerful happens. You move from a moment – to a foundation for long-term engagement and loyalty. Brands should not be looking only to sell things in a moment; rather they should be exploring ways to build relationships, feed the connection, listen and become a voice that takes action on what you hear from your consumers.


Fred Mwebya

Social Media and Blogging Expert Founder of Mind Leaders Uganda
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