Brand loyalty, is a marketing concept that defines a consumer’s commitment or propensity to repurchase or otherwise continue using the brand. This is often demonstrated by repeatedly purchasing or engaging in a product or service. It also evokes one of the most prized consumer behaviors – word of mouth (WOM).
Building brand loyalty can easily be accomplished by integrating the use of social media into a company’s loyalty programs. Conducting market research online, to track a customer’s behavior, is facilitated through ‘Web Analytics’ – the science developed to measure customer engagement via the Internet.
A wide range of web analytics packages, both free and paid are available for use by businesses in tracking online marketing initiatives and customer response, e.g., Google Analytics, Coremetrics and Omniture.
Does social media make your brand likeable?
Social media tools and platforms include blogs, networking sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), community forums, micro-blogging (Twitter), webinars and podcasts are all essential tools for building brand awareness. While these may not be used as direct marketing channels with quantifiable data such as sales volumes or revenues, they are a definitive indicator for assessing brand recognition and loyalty.
Social media helps to improve brand visibility and engagement with existing and potential customers.For example, Starbucks has made effective use of social networking and micro-blogging sites – Facebook and Twitter – in interacting with customers and gauging their interest and opinions on new branding activities.
As of January 2011, the company has around 19,400,813 fans on Facebook and 1,237,169 followers on Twitter, utilizing these platforms to publicize and gain public approval for a new logo introduced online this year (separate and distinct from conventional branding exercises).
Using social media to build brand loyalty is essential to a brand’s long-term success and developing a holistic digital platform.
Integrate social media into your brand
The second key element in social CRM, customer relationship management, is the inclusion of social media tools. This can be facilitated by ensuring that the following core concepts are included as part of the overall strategy:
- The brand name directly symbolizes the company and/or product or service. For example, Coca Cola, which is simultaneously the company, product and brand name
- Using the company logo as an online brand icon to monitor and manage the company’s online reputation, e.g. the Shell logo
- Use geographical locators to identify different customer segments and avoid domain-name confusion
- Integrate popular social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook, etc.
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