Ever go shopping and buy from your favorite brand anyway? A brand you’ve known and trusted for a very long time has that kind of influence on you—hearing the name is enough to make the decision. It’s not just you, about 77% of B2C customers feel that way too.
Similarly, as a business owner, your customers’ buying choices incline toward their favorite brand. It all depends on their brand perception of the company—how they see the brand and what thoughts they associate with it.
When you know your customers’ perceptions of your brand (good or bad), you’re able to market to them in a more targeted way and offer them experiences they yearn for. Social media channels are a great way to collect these insights and know your target customer at a deeper level.
Let’s dive deep into brand perception as a concept and how you can measure it using your social media channels.
What Is Brand Perception?
Think of brand perception as the impression your customers form about your brand–not what your brand says about itself.
These are a few factors that help your customers form a perception of your brand.
- The values or morals you believe in
- The measures you take to support those values
- How well do you showcase those values in your branding
- The reviews your past customers leave on your channels
- How far are you willing to go to make their purchasing experience better
- How favorable are your company policies
- The mood, weather, or emotion they can associate your product with (e.g., Kitkat = taking breaks)
- Review and first-hand experience from a friend
- A hype created by an influencer
There are many factors that influence your brand perception, and this article by Attest on brand perception is a great resource to understand that and how you can measure it using various online and offline methods.
Case study: Rare Beauty
Rare beauty is a makeup and beauty brand that sells lightweight and cruelty-free makeup products of all kinds. Their brand ambassador, Selena Gomez, advocates access to mental health services for everyone, and the brand reflects this vision in its branding.
While Gomez often promotes the brand on her social media, the brand also does a great job of creating successful campaigns. To show how much they support arthritis patients and their mental health, they package their products in easy-to-open packages.
Moreover, they show their commitment to their vision by raising funds for philanthropic events and actively promoting them.
People who love Rare Beauty are the ones that care deeply about mental health and may or may not be dealing with a physical or mental health problem themselves. When they see or hear Rare Beauty, it registers as a brand that cares about them.
Measuring Brand Perception Using Social Media
Social media is a mine of user-generated content. Looking at what your customers are saying about your brand gives you tons of insights to work on.
Social media is where people leave their unbiased opinions about brands and products, and shoppers research before buying from a brand. In doing so, they often mention or tag your company page in their posts, giving you even more visibility to people in their network.
In fact, 42% of shoppers like to research a product on social media before purchasing. However, that’s not the only way to measure your brand perception. Even when your customers don’t talk about your brand that openly, there are plenty of ways for you to find out what they feel.
Direct Customer Feedback
The easiest way to seek customer feedback is by conducting an audience survey on social media. This will give you information on how your audience feels about the product and whether they’d recommend it to others.
You can also use this data to improve the quality of your brand—shift your branding and positioning strategy to meet your customers’ expectations or make adjustments to improvise their experience with you.
Keep these in mind while creating your surveys:
- Decide on the goal of the survey—collect data on demographics, review, or your target market in general
- The set of specific questions you want to ask
- See how many people you can survey at once
- The time it takes to complete the survey
Remember, you don’t want to overwhelm your customers by sending too many questions in the form. Keep it simple, short, and to the point. Believe us, they’ll like you even more for this.
Additionally, create polls on Facebook posts or Instagram stories so users can vote their opinions. Ask them questions with yes or no responses or see if they agree with your thoughts or opinion on a brand.
Thankfully, there are plenty of apps available online where users can fill out their own surveys directly via their mobile devices—and these apps offer many additional functionalities beyond just collecting data from respondents’ responses.
Observe Industry-level Trends
Keep a close eye on your competitors on social media and find out what people say about you or your competitors. Perform a side-by-side comparison between your brand and your competitors and note down the benchmarks for their results.
Closely analyze what your competitors are doing. If a competitor has a great social media presence, look at how they do it, find gaps in the strategy, and develop a better one. Observe the kind of content they’re posting and where they’re posting it (e.g., Facebook vs. Twitter).
More importantly, hang out in their comment section to see how their audience responds. Communities are a great way to be near your audience and understand the pressing issues they discuss around your industry.
It’s the fastest and sure-shot way to understand which strategies are worth investing in. As your prospects see real people (customers) interacting with your brand, they start forming a perception about your brand that sooner or later results in conversion.
Moreover, you get plenty of UGC (User Generated Content) that helps you understand their point of view better. Start by leveraging the channels you’re active in to build a community—Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter—everything works as long as you’re keeping them engaged.
For example, check out how brilliantly Netflix posts super-engaging and fun content on Instagram, getting tons of comments and impressions. This helps them understand their audience’s binging preferences and how they can adapt to their feedback to improve their services.
Use Social Listening Tools
Okay, we get it. It’s exciting to finally understand the potential of social media to gather insights about your customer. However, take a moment and think—is it sustainable for you to manually keep track of all social media mentions (stories, posts, captions, tweets, DMs)?
Especially when you’ve got a good amount of following on your socials, this is a tedious and time-consuming task. Not to mention how difficult it is to generate reports based on this data.
This is why we have social listening tools to monitor hashtags that relate to your brand name, products, or services. They are basically designed to give you an idea of the topics people are talking about online—and, therefore, could help inform future marketing decisions.
The best part—these tools will show these analytics to you by visualizing the data in an organized dashboard. That makes it easy to see the types of content that your customers and followers share most often—and then look at those posts individually for specific insights into what they’re saying about your business.
From the data you gather, evaluate answers to these questions.
- What brand voice, image, and positioning do you wish to portray?
- How do these parameters differ from your competitors?
- Which demographics of your audience base have the best perception of your brand?
- Which are the hottest products?
- Under what circumstances do people purchase your products?
- Is there a trigger event or post that increased your engagement on socials?
- What are the popular topics among your customers?
- What is the best thing your customers like about your brand?
Your Customers Define Your Brand Perception
No matter how hard you try to position your brand as ‘the ideal choice,’ if your customers don’t see it, it won’t make a difference. The best way forward is to focus on brand-building and understand your target customer deeply rather than jumping straight for lucrative options like paid ads.
Remember, your audience is your biggest asset. The more closely you know them, the better you’ll know what they’re looking for. As a result, your products will help them solve their specific problems, and they’ll keep coming back for more.
Before you know it, they’ll be the ones to rave about your brand, inviting more customers in.
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