Fan Value, Customer Loyalty and Social Conversation

See InfiniGraph’s CEO Chase McMichael speak at Monitoring Social Media in San Francisco – Oct. 21 and  New York – Nov. 4: “Beyond Listening: Reinventing Social Keyword Monitoring”  Hashtag #MSM10

In this first part of a three-part series we address the challenges brands face with social consumers, the engagement around information to enhance loyalty and the value those fans bring. 

Continuously engaging one’s audience has gained importance now that the collective voice of social communities is growing louder each day. Not everyone can be Lady Gaga, Victoria Secret or the New York Yankees, yet many top brands are adding tens of thousands of followers daily, which is a good problem to have.

A recent study by Syncapse and market researcher Hotspex discovered that fans spend $72 more annually on consumer products than non-fans. They’re also 41% more likely to share or recommend a brand and 28% more likely to be a repeat customer.

The average value of a fan over a year was found to be $136, while fans of McDonald’s reported spending $160 more than other consumers. Even Oreo fans spent $29 more per year on Oreo cookies than non-fans. This data may not be as relevant for automobile or high-end couture manufacturers, but it’s a solid proof that fans are valuable and do influence their social circle.    


Below is a top brand affinity analysis showing followers of one brand are also followers of another.   This analysis is used to identify new consumers with high social activation and in-common connections to like brands in the same vertical.   Here we show Consumer product, media company, sports and consumer goods.

Top trending related brands for a major media company based on related social interaction and content sharing.


This can’t be a predictor of who will win the Stanley cup but surely shows which team has the most active fans linked to  NHL.


Activity based affinity ranking provides the brand with other brands and their connected following are trending the most.  The other unique element is those top trending brands is the rank on the  active influencers in one to one with the most relevant brands.   Here you can see Pampers and ranked by activity is clearly related brands what you won’t find in any social monitoring out there due to the keyword nature of the products miss a great deal of relevance.


Understanding your audience social affinities and content sharing activity provides the best cross targeting intelligence there is.  

The quality of followers matters due to social resonance — the ability for a message to be shared and continually carried beyond its initial broadcast. If social interaction is low, the value of those fans is lower. As a brand’s social graph grows, the tsunami of information and content sharing among followers becomes overwhelming.   But it’s not about who you connected to today, it’s about who you’re not connected to today. A key issue with social monitoring is that most brands listen for what they already know. However that misses key conversations that do not involve your brand.

Monitoring the quantity of information being shared and interacted with across many brands’ social touch points, which are changing in realtime, is a major challenge. This is compounded when you add consumer interaction with similar brands.

Yoram Wurmser, DMA research manager reports that 65% of brands don’t do any basic social listening or monitoring. This is likely due to the difficulty of making information actionable — too much data is flowing back without a clear way to act on the disorganized information.  Brands have to manage their own relevance in social media. This can be accomplished by leveraging social intelligence obtained through crowd sourcing. This technique offers the ultimate relevance filtering platform, whereby consumers collectively decide what information is most important and hence producing the best predictor of what others would benefit from discovering. 

 Wurmser notes that the biggest challenge for marketers is making themselves part of consumer conversations. Marketers must encourage people to have authentic conversations about products and services and use “Like” button clicks or tweet hashtags to measure interaction success. 

Marketers that embrace advanced social conversation techniques that enrich consumer lives without making them noisier, will enhance brand loyalty and, ultimately, emerge as winners in 2011.


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