By Laura Apel, SVP of Marketing, Mitto
Today’s consumers are more connected than ever; the average U.S. household has 25 connected devices. They’re also more impatient than ever. With such tech ubiquity, we’ve lost any remaining patience with inefficiency. Nearly two bakers’ dozens worth of connected devices in our homes and a growing number of channels through which we can communicate has greatly heightened our desire for efficiency. From the palm of our hand—and likely on the same device—we can order food, check our finances, communicate with friends and family and, increasingly, foster meaningful conversations with brands. With so much tech at our fingertips, why go into a store to check if an item is in stock or dial a number for an order status when your favorite brand is already right there on your device on your preferred social media app?
A new survey by Mitto found that 70 percent of adult U.S. consumers have increased their overall social media use since the pandemic began, with 58 percent reporting their messaging with brands via social media has also increased. Today, 87 percent of consumers use social media apps to message with brands. What is it that consumers like so much about social media messaging with brands? Convenience (72 percent), speed (61 percent) and personalization (50 percent) topped the list of benefits.
With brand-consumer social media messaging on the rise, brands have yet another valuable communications channel for effective customer engagement. Let’s take a closer look at the research insights to learn how consumers are using social media messaging to interact with their favorite brands.
Influencing Purchasing Decisions
Social media messaging with brands influences purchasing decisions, with 55 percent of people reporting a brand’s social media messaging had influenced a purchase via the website, followed by 42 percent directly in the social media app and 39 percent in store. With a direct impact on sales, brands will want to ensure social media messaging is part of their omnichannel consumer engagement strategy.
Delivering Customer Support
People are using social media as a way to get help and answers from brands over other communications channels. Seventy-seven percent have used social media to contact a brand’s customer support with 79 percent reporting a positive experience. Further, 58 percent mentioned they prefer that brands use social media to communicate versus other methods, such as email, call or text. Enabling two-way communication on a variety of channels is a great way to enhance the digital experience of a brand’s customers.
Facebook: Preferred Social Media Messaging App
With over 2 billion monthly active users, when it comes to social media app preference it’s no surprise that 78 percnt reported using Facebook regularly to message with brands, followed by Instagram (57 percent) and Twitter (45 percent). Looking at which social media apps consumers prefer for engaging with companies from different verticals, Facebook remained the top app of choice consistently, with 68 percent preferring it for messaging retail/ecommerce, 55 percent for finance/banking, 61 percent for travel and 61 percent for food/delivery service and 58 percent for gaming.
Preferred Message Types
The types of messages consumers would like to see from brands via social media include promo codes (70 percent), sales (61 percent), customer support (54 percent) and order updates (52 percent). When crafting these types of social media messages, brands should consider adding personalization, a call to action or a sense of urgency to enhance consumer engagement.
How brands can integrate social media messaging into their omnichannel communications mix today:
While there are a wide variety of communications channels available, it is important that brands adapt their messaging strategy to meet consumers where they’re at. Clearly social media messaging is a critical channel to enable brands to reach consumers (and vice versa), increase engagement and impact purchasing decisions.
Working with a company like Mitto, a leading provider of global omnichannel communications, brands can implement an integrated omnichannel experience across a variety of communications channels all within one platform, which is critical in providing one holistic voice of the brand and personalized messages no matter which channel the customer is using. This enables marketing teams to increase the chances their marketing messages get read and land well, and customer support and experience teams to immediately reach or respond to customers in a natural, personalized two-way conversation.
Social media has come a long way from simple life updates and photo sharing among consumers, now serving as a strong place of engagement between brands and consumers. Brands that evolve their digital customer experiences to meet consumers where they’re at will be more successful in winning over customers.