Small business owners have been quick to reap the benefits offered by a digital brand presence. Simply having a website and an online corporate identity opens up the kinds of business possibilities that, a generation ago, were only available to larger enterprises.
However, as an entrepreneur you may still wonder whether it‘s worthwhile to take your digital branding a step further by venturing into social media and mobile marketing. You may be asking, “What can a Facebook ‘Like’ do for me?” The ultimate value will depend on your industry, customer base, and other factors, but as a market researcher, I can tell you that the potential impact on your brand is significant.
Research to Frame the Whole Picture
To make decisions about investing in social and mobile media, marketers need to see the whole picture; they need to understand how advertising and digital interactions work to build their brands. So, at Insights West we conducted over 13,000 interviews assessing almost 100 brands in the Western Canadian marketplace on 11 different corporate dimensions, including an overall brand score.
We then investigated how consumers were interacting with those brands on a digital level, from basic online interactions such as website visits or purchases, to the higher end of the digital interaction food chain: tweeting about a brand; interactions with a brand on Facebook or other social media; or experiences with a brand on mobile devices. Marketers could then compare results for their own brand with norms based on brands with similar profiles, geographical relevance or other characteristics.
Although there’s been a lot of hype about social media, our research shows that the incidence of digital engagement with brands is surprisingly low. Out of 100 brands we’ve measured, we found that an average of only 2% of consumers have tweeted about a particular brand, only 4% have interacted with a brand on Facebook, and only 4% have interacted with a brand via a mobile device. Ever!
Higher Digital Engagement = Higher Brand Reputation
So why the hype? Well, even though interactions are small, the impact of digital engagement on brand is big: double! Yes, brand reputation scores among those who are highly engaged with your brand through digital platforms are more than double of those who have low digital interactions with your brand.
But that isn’t all. Even more alarming is the fact that negative scores are also higher among those who are digitally engaged. Looking at brand “haters” the digitally engaged are more than twice as likely to rate you poorly compared with those who are not engaged.
Consumers who are digitally engaged seem to either love you or hate you. And they make their opinions known.
So, the next time someone asks you “what is the impact of digital engagement on our brand” make sure you show them the charts and graphs from our research that support your answer: “It’s significant!”
Find out more about our Brand Digital Insights findings.