In today’s highly saturated social media landscape, how can you ensure your brand stands out? Create and establish brand affinity. Brand affinity is the most valuable, durable relationship a brand can have with a consumer. It is built on the idea that the consumer and the brand share common values.
Now more than ever, consumers look to brands that are establishing a sense of humanization and relatability with their target audiences. Gone are the days of sterile advertisements and catchphrases to attract customers. Consumers look to see the heart, the person and the mission behind brands and the values that they themselves can resonate with to build the next level of loyalty.
Humanize your brand
Establishing brand affinity starts by looking within. What aspect and values does your brand hold that will resonate with your target audience? Show them the story, the how, the why and the what to draw on your audience’s emotional appeal.
Start with the inception story of your brand and build from there. Tell your audience how the brand began and about the people behind the brand. By using images of people, employees and customers, you can bring this human element to life on social media. According to a study from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Yahoo Labs, photos that contain faces are 38% more likely to receive likes.
Connect with your audience
Find ways to connect with your target audience in a special way. Make each person feel like you are talking directly to them. When your customers ask you questions, respond and answer promptly, personalizing your message when possible. Community management on social media will prove to be key when establishing a brand connection and help to grow a lasting audience.
User-generated content (UGC) is a great tool to use to connect with your audience. Not only does the customer whose photo you posted feel special, but those who follow you are able to see an authentic consumer experience outside of the highly produced content typically posted by brands. A healthy balance of UGC to organic content is an important aspect of your content strategy to grow and establish your brand’s loyalty and affinity.
Look for ways to give your audience what they are asking for, show them you are listening and that you care about their feedback. Take note of frequently requested occurrences and messages received on social media and in-store, both good and bad. Crowdsource information from your audience through surveys, polls or by using question boxes on Instagram. The ultimate goal with listening is to make your audience feel like they are a part of your brand’s journey.
Amazon, Apple, Disney, Starbucks and Nike, just to name a few, are brands that cast a wide net and have been able to establish a sense of brand affinity with their target consumers. This affinity ultimately has resulted in a sense of “too big to fail” in that regardless of what these brands say or do next, they will always have a loyal audience, willing to follow them and buy from them. These brands do not simply post or advertise their hero products and their benefits, they each tell a story.
Establishing brand affinity creates lasting and loyal guests who will be reluctant to abandon your brand. It also subsequently reduces the barrier to entry for these customers to consume your product. Keep these aspects in mind when creating your social media content strategy!