Don’t be afraid of your consumers on social media; train them instead

Social media gave the public a voice and an exponentially large audience with whom they could share their opinion and influence their decision. But unfortunately, most content produced by consumers does not reflect the essence of a brand. For brands that are naturally protective of their public image, this means losing the ability to control the narrative. As a result, brands that have spent decades and a great deal of money carefully cultivating a brand identity and set of values that resonate with the public are now in jeopardy. 

Instead of fearing public views, brands must embrace the public’s desire to share their thoughts but channel them more constructively. A lot of time is spent educating employees on what the brand represents, often overlooking the need to educate consumers on how to speak about the brand. If you want the right words to be associated with your brand, you need to listen, educate and incentivise your consumer on how to communicate about your brand. 

Here is why brands need to educate their consumers on communicating right ~

Research has shown that 92% of online shoppers trust content from friends and family above all other forms of brand messages. Therefore, when these educated consumers propose the brand to their circle in a manner that best represents it, they turn their peers into potential buyers and increase organic brand awareness.  

When brands explain what they do to their consumers with impact, they rise above rivals in the crowded aisle. Therefore, educate your consumers to such an extent that when people talk about the features of your product, they use proper adjectives to describe your brand, bringing attention to the USP of your product over your competitors selling the same thing. 

Brands are good at rewarding customers for buying their products. However, most brands do not reward their customers for positive word-of-mouth, which leads to their friends purchasing that product. Instead, brands must incentivise their customers to learn about their principles. This will make word-of-mouth advertising high quality, increase the chances of brand recognition, and improve the effectiveness of referral marketing. In addition, incentivising customers will make them feel valued, encouraging them to describe the brand correctly and for the public to associate it with the words used in the campaigns.  

Here is how brands can educate their consumer base on what the brand stands for ~

Many companies believe they educate their consumers by elaborating upon their products’ features, advantages, and benefits. However, what’s relevant to the consumer is what the product can do to solve a problem for the customer. When you’re educating people, you’re helping them understand the benefit of a solution. Consumers can find information anywhere, but when it comes directly from your brand, the benefit is twofold: you establish a more knowledgeable customer base while you develop loyalty. So concentrate on marketing the solution in simple, comprehensible language that your consumers can easily mimic when they talk about your brand to their peers.  

You can control what is said about the brand by simply interacting and listening to your audience on various social media platforms. Once you know and understand how your consumers are talking about the brand, you can start educating by incentivising your audience to create promotional user-generated content that suits the brand’s identity better. 

The best way to educate your advocates is by providing examples of what good content should look like and how their content can capture the real meaning behind your brand and its product in appealing ways. Since most consumers are not great at creating repurposable social media content that the brand can showcase on their pages, providing the right tools will empower them to make better content. 

Once your consumer is educated and incentivised, they can turn into the brand’s spokesperson and salesperson, which is far more impactful within your target group. So, next time these brand advocates recommend or review the brand to their peers via any form of content, they will market the product in their tone of voice but far more brand-aligned. This way, brands can transform their passive consumers and creators into active ambassadors who can be part of the marketing machinery. 

 It’s high time that brands focus on making their consumers the centerpiece of their marketing methods. The best way to do that is by acknowledging the growing relevance of organic marketing. Organic marketing can be rewarding and creative by using tools to listen, educate and incentivise consumers on how to talk about your brand. It is an investment brand should make today to deliver significant results consistently. 



Views expressed above are the author’s own.


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