Why personalisation in social media engagement is essential in a post-pandemic world

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With the COVID-19 crisis forcing more digital communication, social media adoption has accelerated[i]. In fact, social media followers have grown by an average of more than 1.4 million each day over the past 12 months – equal to 16½ new users every single second[ii]. With more people on social media, this has meant more engagement with brands, especially as one in three consumers use these platforms to learn about or discover new products and services[iii]. But how do brands maintain their connection with consumers in a post-pandemic world?

“I believe that the answer lies in personalisation,” says Kyle Oosthuizen, Chief Operating Officer at Blue Robot. “A whopping 49% of consumers report that they will unfollow a brand on social media if the content is irrelevant[iv] and I don’t think that there are many brands in the current economic climate that can afford to lose just under half of their followers. Fortunately, emerging technologies are making it easier and affordable for brands to deliver messages that are tuned into what social media users really want. This adds value to the lives of the consumer, and in doing so increases brand engagement and loyalty. Blue Robot tapped into this concept several years ago with our Trigger on a Like and Trigger on a Retweet offerings. With these, Twitter users can opt-in to receive messaging that they’re interested in just by liking or retweeting a post.”

He continues: “With social media posts and advertisements being some of the most influential sources for making purchasing decisions[v], brands need to find ways to not only stand out from the competition, but also provide consumers with positive experiences. A Sprout Social study has found that, with a positive experience, 78% of consumers will be more willing to buy that brand, 77% will choose that brand over the competition, 76% will recommend the brand, 72% will increase their spending with that brand, and 70% develop a stronger bond with it[vi]. One of the ways that Blue Robot has been helping brands such as Aston Villa Football Club and Strongbow positively engage with consumers is through our playlist generator, built in partnership with Spotify. Just like how Spotify curates weekly playlists for listeners; brand experiences on the platform should be no different.”

With the playlist generator, users are taken on a journey where they are asked a series of questions and are then rewarded with a custom Spotify playlist based on their responses and previous listening behaviours , which they can share across social media platforms. In the 48-hours after the Aston Villa playlist generator launched, hundreds of playlists were created.

“While personalisation is paramount going forward, consumers also expect companies to use their social data responsibly. As South Africa’s Protection of Personal Information Act is coming into effect this year, brands need to keep this front of mind and ensure that they do not store customer data, that they gain clear and obvious opt-in consent, and that their access to users’ social media accounts is limited both in terms of extent and time frame,” warns Oosthuizen.

He concludes by saying: “With 80% of companies reporting an uplift in bottom line growth since implementing personalisation[vii], can brands afford not to get personal? “

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