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Posted Date: 10/16/2012

How Well Do You Know Your Social Customer?

By Jordan Speer, Editor in Chief
LoudDoor participated in NYC's 2012 Pivot Conference on Oct. 15 and 16, sharing research alongside Coca-Cola that highlights long-term Facebook fan engagement with this iconic beverage brand.

In preparation for the conference, Brian Solis, host of the conference, highlighted research delving into the "Perception Gap" between consumers and brand managers. One of the key observations made by Solis is that 76 percent of the brand managers surveyed believed they understood their social consumer, but only 35 percent has actually asked their consumer. This implies that 42 percent of managers who claim to know their consumers haven't actually engaged in any dialogue with them to truly ascertain their expectations. These brand managers further provided thoughts on what drove the social consumer's engagement; their findings are presented below.

In order to test the perceptions of these brand managers, LoudDoor conducted an independent survey of more than 10,000 Facebook users to collect self-identified motivations from these social consumers, the findings of which are presented below are vastly different. While brand managers believe social consumers are seeking customer service in media engagement, in reality much of consumer behavior is driven by a desire to get discounts and promotions, an astounding gap between perceptions vs. consumer expectations.

According to LoudDoor, understanding the motivations and sentiments of the social consumer is more vital than ever in the fragmented world of social media. Brands that deploy tools and data that enable them to effectively segment audiences to build more granular profiles of their most loyal consumers are the best equipped to react to the shifting demands and preferences of their social consumers.

As the social landscape continues to evolve, LoudDoor believes that successful brands must rely far less on surface metrics such as fan count, impressions and engagement. Ultimate success requires a shift to truly learn consumer preferences and craft unique messages and stories for customized clusters of consumers and likely consumers.

Facebook provides powerful tools for crafting strategies and truly customized messaging. LoudDoor's FanSatisfaction survey platform continuously asks fans of over 10,000 Brand Pages on Facebook about their brand preferences and consumption patterns. This data provides an operating system for brand and agency teams to gauge the relative health of these brands' Facebook audiences and enables rich segmentation capabilities for social brand managers. For example, contrasting the two iconic Soda brands Pepsi and Coca-Cola reveals the opportunity that these rich consumer insights provide.

Over 1,000 fans of these two pages participated in LoudDoor's most recent FanSatisfaction survey revealing the Net Promoter Score (NPS) of the fans of these two pages. An NPS is a widely utilized scoring mechanism that measures the ratio of an individual's likelihood to recommend a brand. In this survey the NPS of Coca-Cola's fans was 26 percent higher than fans of Pepsi's page.

The power of Facebook to reach and influence the social consumer doesn't just stop with building a measurement dashboard that tracks brand performance shown above. Once targeted clusters of underperformance are identified, FanSatisfaction data can be leveraged to segment targeted consumers into audience clusters of similar demographics and preferences. Part of the power and opportunity of Facebook is LoudDoor's ability use the platform's tools and data about the social consumer to then reach out with truly targeted messages. LoudDoor's research has consistently shown that consumers with similar purchase motivators and brand preferences cluster around groups of likes and interests. Breaking down the college student groups below, tends to illustrate that quality conscious consumers cluster around very different likes and interests than to consumers who are heavily influenced by bargains and coupons.

Identifying drivers of purchase behavior and the needs of the targeted consumer audience allows for a socially savvy brand to segment its target audiences in ways that drive not only engagement, but build valuable clusters of true brand activists.

People like social media because it allows them to have a voice, both good and bad. Only brands who commit to truly communicating with their Facebook audience to understand their sentiments and motivations will ultimately harness the power of the platform. We should focus on driving revenue growth and creating passionate consumer advocates.

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