Social media marketing using ‘relational’ and ‘intellectual posts’ is best for loyalty program members, NCSU study finds

RALEIGH – An worldwide group of researchers finds the social media messages that resonate best with loyalty program members differ from the posts that work best with different clients. The discovering might inform how best to craft social media campaigns aimed toward both section of an organization’s buyer base.
“Loyalty applications and social media are each vital instruments in up to date marketing, however there’s little or no analysis into how these two marketing instruments work together with one another,” says Mike Stanko, corresponding writer of the study and an affiliate professor of marketing at North Carolina State University.
Specifically, the researchers wished to know which social media posts make loyalty program clients extra prone to buy one thing, and whether or not there was a distinction for clients who aren’t a part of loyalty applications.

“This might inform a variety of marketing actions,” Stanko says. “For instance, does it make sense for an organization to commit sources to growing separate social media channels for clients who’re members of a loyalty program versus clients who are usually not? Or, if an organization is dedicated to using a single social media channel, does it want to make use of completely different messaging to succeed in loyalty and non-loyalty clients?”
For the study, the researchers targeted on information from a big European firm. Specifically, the researchers assessed a yr and a half price of social media posts, to find out which posts led to gross sales to loyalty program clients and which led to gross sales to non-loyalty clients.
The researchers used a group of educated “raters” to evaluate the entire firm’s social media posts, scoring them on a variety of traits, akin to how mental, behavioral, relational and sensory they had been.
“Relational” content material appeals to the bonds a person has inside their social community, akin to a social media publish that presents a model within the context of spending time with household and associates.
“Intellectual” content material appeals to a person’s aware psychological processes associated to the sensible decision of issues, the stimulation of curiosity or the appliance of the person’s creativity. These would come with posts that present detailed info or interact a shopper’s important considering.
“Behavioral” content material issues a person’s bodily or behavioral actions, akin to posts displaying somebody making use of the related product or using the related service.
“Sensory” content material is designed to shock or produce a visceral response, akin to posts for ski resorts that present a mountain vista, or posts from a espresso firm that present colourful images of espresso vegetation.
The content material evaluation scores, and gross sales information associated to every publish, had been plugged right into a statistical mannequin to regulate for confounding variables and decide which kinds of posts resonated best with loyalty clients and non-loyalty clients.
The researchers discovered that relational, behavioral and mental content material did effectively throughout the board. In different phrases, the upper a given publish’s relational, behavioral and mental scores, the higher it carried out for each loyalty and non-loyalty clients.
However, the scale of the impact various for loyalty and non-loyalty clients.
The researchers discovered that relational and mental posts did considerably higher with loyalty program clients, whereas behavioral posts did higher with non-loyalty program clients.
“Loyalty program clients are extra apt to systematically course of social media info from corporations they’ve a relationship with – they’re merely extra keen to take the time to listen to these corporations out,” Stanko says. “We assume that’s why loyalty clients are extra aware of mental and relational social media posts.
“Meanwhile, as a result of non-loyalty clients are usually not essentially targeted on a selected firm’s social media posts, they’re extra possible to reply to behavioral posts. They see a publish that reveals somebody shopping for a cup of espresso and they determine they need a cup of espresso.”
Surprisingly, sensory posts didn’t resonate with both viewers.
“We speculate that there is merely an excessive amount of spectacular or stunning content material on social media for sensory-oriented posts to face out,” Stanko says.
“It could be good to see further analysis exploring this topic to raised decide how broadly these findings apply, however we expect there are clear takeaway messages,” Stanko provides. “For one factor, you really want to think about loyalty program clients as a definite viewers from different customers. The findings additionally counsel that corporations ought to maintain observe of the extent to which their social media content material displays behavioral, mental and relational messages.
“In phrases of future instructions, it might even be price exploring how different kinds of content material, akin to sensory content material, could resonate with different audiences,” Stanko says.
The paper, “Brand-generated social media content material and its differential affect on loyalty program members,” seems within the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. First writer of the paper is Blanca Hernández Ortega of the University of Zaragoza. The paper was co-authored by Rishika Rishika of NC State; Francisco-Jose Molina-Castillo of the University of Murcia; and José Franco of the University of Zaragoza.

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