Consumers Engage Differently on Email and Social Media

Discounts and offers drive participation, but social media followers also want to show support

Consumers connect with brands both via email lists and by “liking” companies on Facebook. While users want to receive discounts and special offers via both channels, connecting with a brand on social media is an added public display of support.

Chadwick Martin Bailey analyzed why consumers engage via email and Facebook and found that receiving discounts and special offers was the top motivation. Of the US respondents who had an email account, 58% cited that as a reason for subscribing to email lists. Other reasons for email participation included taking part in a specific promotion (39%) and because the consumer was a customer or supporter of the business or nonprofit (37%).

On Facebook, the desire to receive discounts and special offers was also the top reason for “liking” a brand, but it was only cited by 41% of US Facebook users, a smaller percentage of respondents than those that subscribed to email lists for the same reason. Additionally, 25% of respondents said they “like” a business or nonprofit’s Facebook page because they want to show their support, and 22% said they wanted to also demonstrate their support to others on Facebook.

Both email and Facebook can be great ways to connect with customers and supporters of a business or nonprofit. Email lists have their benefits, including the ability to have a database of contact information of supporters or customers, but with Facebook, there is the added advantage that the consumer is publicly showing support via a social recommendation. A 2011 study from 8thBridge found that consumers most often “like” a retailer on Facebook because they purchased a product and liked it; they then used Facebook to provide a straightforward recommendation for friends to see.

It still holds that consumers want discounts and deals when they connect with a business or nonprofit via email or Facebook. But, especially as consumers live more of their lives on social networks, connecting to a business or nonprofit on Facebook is not only about promotions, but a way to show public support for preferred businesses and nonprofits.

Source eMarketer

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Secrets of the 10 Most-Trusted Brands: Nordstrom

Emineo Media Nordstrom

10. Focus on the customer: Nordstrom

When mythic stories circulate about your company’s awesome customer service, you know you’re doing something right. That’s the hallmark of this upscale department store, which is rumored to have once graciously accepted the return of a set of tires, even though the store has never sold tires.

“Nordstrom is all about the power of delivering exceptional customer service that goes above and beyond a typical service experience,” Northwestern’s Calkins says. Emineo Media Nordstrom

Nordstrom scored strongly among respondents for concern for the customer, as well as for the quality of the products in its nearly 230 stores. Attentive service–which includes a liberal return policy, e-mailing digital photos of new items to regular customers and sending thank-you notes after purchases–frees the Seattle-based retailer from having to focus on competitive pricing, which helps keeps profit margins higher.

“They don’t pretend to have the lowest prices, but they don’t have to,” Calkins says. “When people go there they know they may pay a little more, but the service is so good that it makes it worthwhile.”

Respondents criticized Nordstrom for not providing consumers with much information about its corporate decision-making policies, but Calkins contends that when building a brand identity, it’s OK for your proposition to focus on one principal element, as long as you do it right.

“What makes this brand tick is the service experience, not the approach,” he says. “Nordstrom has never focused on its company or its people; all of that positive energy is directed at the customer and the retail experience, and it’s the secret to their success.”

Source Entrepreneur

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Secrets of the 10 Most-Trusted Brands: Southwest Airlines

Emineo Media Southwest-Airlines

9. Serve up the quirky: Southwest Airlines

This low-cost carrier has consistently set its own route in the airline industry, creating a distinct personality through everything from open passenger seating to flight attendants who sing the safety demonstrations.

“Southwest has always been a very independent brand that’s quick to break the norms of the airline industry,” says Tim Calkins, clinical professor of marketing at Emineo Media Southwest-AirlinesNorthwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. “From the seating assignments to the fact that it doesn’t list in many of the big online reservation systems, it has always prided itself on being very different.”

Calkins says much of Southwest’s brand success comes from the fact that although its operations and corporate culture are idiosyncratic, those differences support the company’s central function.

“Southwest has a fun, energetic corporate culture that’s unique in the airline industry, but at the core they are a very proficient operation that gets travelers from point to point in an efficient, affordable manner,” he says.

While the airline received low ratings for not sharing information on decision-making, those protective measures may be among the reasons it continues to thrive. Several of the big carriers have tried to follow Southwest’s model with low-cost subsidiaries (think Delta’s Song and United’s Ted), but none have been able to maintain them.

“You can see what [Southwest] does–they fly one kind of airplane, they don’t charge for baggage and they have friendly employees–so you’d think someone could replicate that, but they can’t,” Calkins says. “The magic of Southwest is that even though the brand has many unique elements, all of the different pieces work together to serve its customers in a unique way.”

Source Entrepreneur

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