Written By: Casey Buchanan
Has a big name brand ever liked your comment on their post? Or comment back to you? Maybe they even gave you a follow? Social Media interactions can help to make or break a brand experience.
Along with the internet came the introduction and evolution of social media. Social media has been seen as a marketing tool for companies and organizations to promote events, services and for branding. But how can a brand utilize social media to create a positive branding experience for its consumers? The brand experience can be explained as a subjective, individualistic consumer response to a product, service, or brand. Categorized into four different response types; sensory, affective/feelings, behavioral, and intellectual. A study conducted by Faseeh Amin Beig, a research scholar of Central University of Kashmir, helped to identify the top two ways brands can create those positive experiences through their social media accounts; content sharing & interaction.
The main objective of Beig’s study was to “investigate the impact of content sharing and interaction on [the] four dimensions of brand experience (sensory, affective, behavioral, and intellectual)” (Beig, 2018). Beig focused on 10 big name brands; Puma, Adidas, Spykar, Levis, Nike, Wrangler, John Players, Peter England, US Polo and United Colors of Benetton, and only studied their Facebook pages. In order to create a baseline, a pretest was done via a Google Form to 100 recipients to judge their recent activity with these brands. After analysis and baseline testing, Beig conducted a mall-intercept survey using systematic random sampling, every seventh mall shopper was targeted. Out of 300 people approached, there were 205 total complete responses, a 68.3% response rate.
The results of Beig’s study show that content sharing & interaction does indeed influence the four dimensions of brand experiences. This can help brands understand that their social media presence has a great impact on consumer choice in brand names. From the survey results, Beig concluded that “content sharing & interaction positively impacts all the dimensions of brand experience… Interactions has the strongest influence on the sensory dimension… content sharing has the strongest influence on the intellectual component.” With this information, it is now feasible for brands to justify that social media marketing is a critical anecdote to provide a positive brand experience for its clients.
For social media, content can be considered as anything from just a photo to a flyer for an event. It is created by marketers within organizations to promote, inform and brand their company on social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The purpose of content sharing is to build engagement and social interaction between current and potential clients, as well as other brands. In Beig’s study, content sharing had the most influence on the intellectual component of brand experience, followed closely behind by the affective dimension. Under the intellectual component, clients do not have to think about what the brand’s message is trying to get across. It promotes critical thinking and curiosity but the main message is in plain sight for the client. Affective and intellectual dimensions can cause the client to be more inclined to choose that specific brand over another due to seeing that brand’s content and activity on social media.
Brands also have the opportunity through social media to interact with their followers, current and potential clients. When a follower comments on a post made by the brand, it is proven that if the brand is to “like” or comment back, that follower is more likely to choose that brand. Showing emotion and care through interactions on social media has a positive impact for brands, especially the big names like Nike, Puma, Wrangler, Apple, etc. The results of Beig’s study shows that interaction has the greatest influence on the sensory dimension of brand experiences. This means that the brands who utilize interactions leave a strong impression on their clients. Getting a like, a comment, or even a follow from one of your favorite brands can cause a positive reaction and keep you coming to buy their products, making you a loyal customer.
All of this goes to say how important social media marketing is in the integrated marketing communication world. Social media is becoming such a prominent thing within the future generations daily lives, meaning that a presence on social media is crucial for brands to survive. Clients resort to social media to get feedback, reviews, information, and photos about brands in order to decide on which one to choose.