These two factors most influence social media brand perception

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Customer service plays a big role in social branding.

A new survey reveals what creates a positive brand image for social shoppers.

According to a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers from unified customer experience platform Emplifi, more than half of respondents (56%) feel that customer service quality has a large impact on their perception of brands on social media.

When asked to pick one item that drives positive social media brand perceptions the most, respondents rated 24/7 customer service availability (29%) and quick response times (28%) as the top two items.

Different generations prefer different social platforms
The survey also highlights varying generational social platforms preferences with Instagram (65%) and TikTok (51%) being popular among younger consumer age groups. Meanwhile, Facebook proved to be close to twice as popular among Gen X (76%) respondents than Gen Z (43%) respondents. According to Emplifi analysis, these findings underscore the importance of factoring in age when shaping buyer personas and customer experience initiatives into social media strategies.

Gen Z most dissatisfied of consumers on social media
In addition, the survey uncovered that among Gen Z respondents, representing the largest group of global consumers, only three out of 10 surveyed consumers reported they are getting an excellent customer experience on social media when making a purchase.

However, the study also found that two out of three respondents overall prefer to use social media during the buying process to ask questions, make purchases, and seek post-purchase customer support.

“Communication preferences change with time, which poses an immense challenge for brands whose product or service serves multiple generations,” said Shellie Vornhagen, chief experience officer, Emplifi. “The key for brands to truly excel at customer experience is to expand care and marketing programs into the channels where their customers are active; and increasingly, that’s social media. Social continues to pull away as the consumers' choice, and the companies that will succeed are those who follow their customers' lead and embrace social as well. 

“It’s no longer enough to use social media to provide care,” Vornhagen said. “Consumers are looking to social media not only to research and purchase products, but also for post-purchase care. Companies need to adopt an ‘always on’ approach and scale their efforts to provide a seamless experience.”

Survey: Retail set for social commerce boom
According to a recent study by social media management solutions provider Sprout Social, which surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers about how they plan to perform social shopping in 2022, virtually all (98%) respondents said they plan to make at least one purchase through social shopping or influencer commerce in 2022, with more than two-thirds (68%) making at least one purchase directly from social media in 2021. 

Among 18-to-24-year-old Gen Z respondents, the most popularly anticipated social platforms for making purchases are Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat – all visually-focused platforms. For 25-to-40-year-old millennials, Reddit is most popular; with Pinterest leading among 41-to-56-year-old Gen Xers and Facebook the most popular social commerce of choice among baby boomer respondents age 57-75.