How Facebook And Social Media Acts As The Consumers Watchdog

how social_media is influencing consumer brandsHowever you get your information, whether it be reading the news on print media, watching television or surfing the Internet, there’s absolutely no doubt that Social Media is now an important and prominent sounding board for consumers.

Social media has now virtually become a trusted watchdog for these individuals, the citizens of the Web, as a reliable and unbiased resource for truth in advertising, and Facebook is leading this charge.

One of the most popular actions that you can perform on Facebook is clicking the “Like” tab. By performing this simple task of liking, you’re declaring that you like that source by giving it a thumbs up of approval on their product, brand or service.

For the soon to be a billion who are now part of Facebook, close to 45% percent have actually clicked a “Like” tab on a page, which is a brand or a company. This has now become common consumer behavior for many, telling the world what they like, use or enjoy.

That’s the primary reason why the gigantic and the mighty Coca-Cola brand for instance has now generated close to 40 million ‘Likes,’ while Starbucks has over 28 million.

So what is the exact motivation and meaning for someone to actually “Like” a major brand, or a small company on Facebook. What’s the exact intent of Facebook members to take the effort to actually “like” something. The brand marketers who develop as well as manage these large corporate brands on Facebook may have the answer.

Brands Are Related Similar To Friends
Fundamentally, consumers really trust and are sold on the brands that they like, it’s a comfort zone for them. Their particular adoption of a certain favorite brand usually goes beyond what the product attributes actually offer.

Studies have shown that it’s a personality extension of the person, which is similar to the foundation of how basic friendships are formed, which are the the foundation of brand perception.

The exact reason why consumers will “like” a particular brand who has a Facebook page, now known as Timelines, is because what these brands and companies project is it extends forward basic human brand metaphors, while utilizing basic psychological concepts of individual relationships.

In any relationship that’s involved in exchanging, the two parties will usually give and receive something of value back and forth. So this may be the reason why consumers will extend a “Like” on a particular brand, and these brands will usually reward them back, as in a form of an incentive, for liking them.

Getting “Likes” For Giving Incentives
For instance, this is how some brands and companies are able to capitalized on attracting massive Facebook “Likes.” Once a consumer “likes” a particular brand or product, say a potato chip brand, they’re instantly able to print out product coupons so they can get a free bag of chips or save money on their next purchase. So the exchange was a “Like” for a coupon.

Say that once someone “Likes” a certain and popular Pizza chain Facebook page, they’re immediately gifted with the opportunity to enter a contest for a VIP trip to the next Superbowl, for instance.

High profile cosmetic companies will offer free “mood boards” or a discount for a facial in exchange for someone liking their page.

For the consumer to be able to access the “freebie” however, they’re required to click the “Like” icon first. There are studies which prove that over 65% percent of consumers has actually “liked” a brand page or product on Facebook, and did so, just so they’ll become eligible for the offers.

There are advertising agencies who actively create Facebook Timeline pages for companies, products and brands, that are claiming offering something simple like an online coupon, holding a contest, or any other promotion as an incentive, is one of the best methods for getting targeted Facebook consumers who are involved and liking their goods.

These incentives will instantly reward their current customers as well as attract new users, who may currently be using their competitors products, to try out their brand.

They are also hoping that it will lead these consumers to participate in conversations about their page with their friends by they mentioning or recommending their brand or particular promotion on Facebook.

How Brands Enter The Conversation
When someone mentions a particular brand or product and they begin to use them directly in their “conversations” while on Facebook, it then becomes infused as an expression of communal relationships.

The consumer taking the time and effort by volunteering to actually display their interest or satisfaction in their brand becomes “gold.” This type of promotion is similar to how Facebook members would talk about a friend to someone else.

But how exactly does a consumer who’s attracted to a particular Facebook brand page, that are incited to liking a page because of a promotional incentive, able to grow it into a communal relationship.

They achieve this by structuring their brand or products personality to have human characteristics which are closely associated with their brand. This is the very DNA which forges consumer and brand relationships. As a result, this becomes the core basis for conversation.

Developing A Brand Personality
The significance of developing a specific brand personality has been demonstrated by what exists between personality characteristics which describes a target consumer’s exact self and personality, and is emulated in their brand.

The more that consumer prefers and will stand behind a particular brand, studies have shown that this type of self expression towards the brand’s personality is the basic key factor of developing this brand loyalty.

Before the Internet and thus social media existed, these same consumers were connected and related to each other through their choice of brands that they used. They most likely didn’t know each other directly, but they shared the same level of bond when someone else used the same brand.

Since Facebook has such a strong influence on consumers, the actual relationship between consumers and they liking brands beyond offering incentives is important and the goal.

There are Facebook members who already previously had an emotional bond to a particular brand. So even without even having to offer an incentive, these individuals are already primed to express their interest by they posting favorable comments as well as engaging in communal activities associated with the brand.

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