There are a multitude of touchpoints within social media: Social Networks, RSS Feeds, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasting, Widgets & Gadgets. These are some of the more well-known ones. The list goes on: Search Engines; Social Book Marking Sites; Micro-blogging; texting is social; video sites; photo sites; travel sites; and now B2B networks are forming; mashups – a good example being display of flickr images over the top of Google maps.
Brian Solis points out that “Touchpoints serve as the point of influence between a buyer and a seller. As the race to socialize commerce escalates, these touchpoints represent the nodes that define the human network, connecting people across the social Web and uniting them around common interests, themes, and movements”.
Technology to connect buyers and sellers on the social Web is universal. Customers are flocking to the social web to not only connect with friends, family, and peers, but also the brands that attract their attention. However, there is a tremendous disconnect between the volume of potential customers and the brands who truly understand how to find and more importantly, how to establish mutually beneficial connections with them.
Over 60% of consumers follow one-to-five brands online with another 21% following six-to-ten. 10% actually reported following 11-20 brands and 8% stated that they follow over 20 of their favorite products and services.
What motivates them?
Affinity and allegiance are of course among reasons for following brands, but consumers are also motivated by receiving invitations for events, special offers or promotions. Your customers ultimately will engage with their favorite brands where and when possible, but eventually, your absence will eventually contribute to the insignificance of the brand as competitors will ultimately step in and capture the attention and loyalty of the very people you need to reach.
Consumers are seeking ways to transfer their digital interactions into something tangible. Businesses, big and small, must find ways to not only cultivate social media audiences but weave their brands into the daily lives of consumers. Your business should aim to empower them, excite them, inspire them, and enable them to engage with your brand in a relevant, new and useful way that adds to their real-world experience.