It is estimated the average person sees around 5000 ads per day. A study by Social@Ogilvy of over 5,500 social media users across 11 countries recommends that brands are more likely to engage with consumers by targeting those that have a higher influence in social media and go beyond liking or sharing brand content.
The research focuses upon two key user segments: ‘sharers’ and ‘brand promoters’. Sharers are users who would only go as far as liking/sharing/retweeting content but no further interaction or regurgitation. ‘Brand promoters’ on the other hand, are people who are self-identified as being extremely likely to recommend brands and products to friends. These individuals go further than simply liking/ sharing/ retweeting, and would actively recommend a brand to friends and directly interact with brands online.
The research shows that while over half (54%) of UK respondents are sharers, only 15% are true brand promoters. This relationship between the brand and promoter could be a result of mutual alignment of personality, values or simply the concept of the brand accurately reflecting the brand promoter’s personal identity. Global managing director of Social@Ogilvy, Thomas Crampton, said: “If you engage with true brand promoters you will have a stronger hit. It doesn’t mean you have to identify all of them; you have to engage with the whole group as you would want to engage with the true brand promoters. It’s smaller and bigger than it seems because you fundamentally change the way you interact on social.”
One of the prime reasons brand promoters follow brands is to be associated with them, which 24% do versus only 19% of sharers. A third (34%) also believe a brand’s reputation is important, compared to only a quarter (23%) of sharers and they prefer to link a brand to their own personal identity, with 34% saying they feel better about themselves after using a brand; only 23% of sharers say the same.
In conclusion, the research suggests that brands need to build relevance and trust through content if they wish use social media to transform their brand, business and reputation. However the content should be designed to connect with the promoters, by moving from targeting by broad demographics to behaviours, using culturally relevant storytelling in real-time and moving from managing a community to customer engagement.
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