Social Activation: Why Your Brand Needs to Aim Beyond ‘Likes’

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So you’ve succeeded in cultivating a large social media following – now what?

Most businesses today have made the investment in social media, but how much have you invested in your following? Building a social presence alone will not separate you from the haystack of other businesses like yours in the social sphere. Even consistently pushing out content won’t ignite the potential impact your followers could create for your brand, otherwise known as social activation.

 

What is Social Activation?

Social activation is the act of transforming your social media followers from voyeurs, into participants, into ultimately, evangelists. Social activation occurs when fans and followers directly participate in the activities your brand lays out, such as contests, coupon redemption, and photo and experience sharing.

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Why is Social Activation Important?

A recent study of more than 100 brand pages reported that organic reach hovers at 6% of followers. For pages with a 500,000+ following, that percentage dips to an even lower 2%.

Organic-Reach-Chart
via Social@Ogilvy

To capture that elusive social media ROI and to drive engagement, marketers truly need to give the social customer what they want.

Another important aspect of social activation is its potential to create brand evangelists. With an army of satisfied customers endorsing your brand via social media and word-of-mouth, you are more likely to draw in new customers.

In fact, brand advocates drive 33% more sales and 18% more traffic than regular customers. 78% of consumers trust peer reviews, as opposed to the mere 14% who trust advertisements.

 

Where Do I Start?

So, how exactly do you turn a regular customer into a so-called brand evangelist?

It’s all about the experience: what your customer expects and how you can make that happen. In the digital age, that means delivering valuable and customized experiences to engage your key customers and build lasting brand loyalty. This could mean anything from holding sponsored brand events, to offering coupons and promotions, to holding contests.

When your customers redeem coupons, participate in games or contests, or attend brand events — and have a good experience doing so — they may end up crossing the line from customer to brand advocate. 98% of consumers exposed to a product or service at a brand event will talk up a positive experience, and 93% of event-goers give the sponsoring brand the “OK” to stay in touch via social, email, or coupons.

You’ll know that your social activation strategy has succeeded once your customers become more than just participants, but advocates.

 

Key Takeaways

Social activation creates deep relationships with customers and means proactively putting your brand in front of customers, rather than waiting for them to find you.

Offering the right experience at the right time not only enhances engagement with current fans, but captures the attention of new ones as well. Here are some tips to keep in mind when building your social activation strategy:

  1. Show your customers how you deliver not just a product or service, but an experience.
  2. Put your customer first – what are they looking for when interacting with your brand?
  3. Put your brand’s most valuable assets at the forefront – what sets your brand apart? What can participants gain only from engaging with your brand? What experience do you offer that they can’t get anywhere else.

 

Pampan Zhang

Pampan Zhang is a Marketing Coordinator at 451 Marketing. Follow her on Twitter @PampanAllday!

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