Social Media Shifts Customers’ Emotional Brand Connections

Social media is effective in positively shifting customer attributes such as sentiment, recommendations, propensity to try new products, and brand loyalty according to new research from the Internet Advertising Bureau U.K. (IAB).

According to the research, four out of five consumers indicated that they would be more inclined to buy from a brand more often after being exposed to a brand’s social media presence -- while 83% of consumers exposed to social media would try a new brand product. The research revealed that three companies – Heinz (22%), Twinings (19%), and Kettle (17%) -- experienced increases in brand sentiment after they implemented their social media campaigns.

What’s more, the research shows that brands can generate a potential value of more than three times the financial investment spent on social media.

Kristin Brewe, IAB’s director of marketing and communications, said in a press release that the IAB research shows that when trying to create deeper emotional connections with consumers, social media is an essential channel for brands.

“This isn’t surprising since social media is the only channel where it’s possible for brands and consumers to have meaningful two-way conversations, making the strength of connections that much stronger,” Brewe said.

The research measured the impact of social media at various stages in the purchase funnel. More than 4,500 quantitative survey responses were conducted by Marketing Sciences, part of Creston Insight, via the brands’ social media pages during an eight-week period week period, and supplemented by 800 research panel interviews. 

Julian Grainger, Director of Media Strategy at Unique Digital, an agency for Kettle, said in the press release that the study “validates what we’ve seen for Kettle and our other clients – social is an essential part of the marketing mix in making offline media investment work harder and in reaching people on emotional levels impossible in other media.”

All three brands involved in the research created a positive rapport with fans by offering timely and relevant content. Brewe added: “Because fans don’t just like, but love, the brands they choose to interact with, what people are often looking for is as simple as a lovely picture of the Heinz beans they love for breakfast, the Twinings tea they drink at elevenses, and a picture of the Kettle chips they snack on. It was wonderful to work with brands that don’t just have great social media presences, but also great products.”

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