Not just your ordinary social media study
BeyenMeyer decided to work together with the University of Groningen on a scientific study on how social media can bring added value to marketing communication. As social media is still a trending topic, it is important to gain valuable insights in the way consumers and organizations engage and interact with each other. No other communication tool is as cheap or effective as an interactive, online platform such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Hyves. It offers great business opportunities and is an essential tool in optimizing business performances.
The main objective of this study was to better understand the opportunities in order to strengthen the customer-brand relationship. Recent trends show how important this objective actually is: customer relationships are now more important than transactions. Secondly, retaining customers is more significant than attracting them, and last but not least, products are subordinate to customer satisfaction.
Strong brand loyalty is considered the zenith of brand building, as well as the foundation of brand equity of a company. There are four major, potential motives of brand loyalty:
- Interpersonal utility refers to engaging and developing relationships with fellow users of a brand.
- Information utility stands for receiving and sharing brand-related information
- Entertainment utility is the extent to which consumers perceive the brand as amusing
- Incentive utility refers to rewards and incentives
The research model shows a profound relationship between an increase in these values â€‹â€‹and brand loyalty. In this study, there are 3 types of consumer groups defined. The first group is connected to the brand by â€˜liking’ or â€˜following’ their favorite brand. The second group of consumers uses social media but is not directly connected to the brand’s social network. The final group of consumers is not (yet) active in the social media world.
The results show some interesting insights in the influence between consumers and brands. It is one of the very first scientific studies that prove the effective relevance of social media for marketing communication purposes.