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Seven Types of Fans & Followers You’ll Find on Social Media

Embracing your existing fans and followers is a great way to increase your brand engagement and revenue. Although it isn’t as sexy as acquiring new customers, studies show that keeping old customers is a more lucrative focus.

It’s so effective that  companies that prioritize the customer experience generate 60% higher profits than competition. But that experience cannot be limited to the moment in which they buy from you. Instead, you need to focus on building and nurturing the relationship over the course of the entire customer experience.

When you focus on your customers, you have an opportunity to turn fans into raving advocates. Brand advocates will go to the rooftops and tell your brands story while also sharing the value that you have delivered. In doing so, you essentially are able to build and develop a mini-military of customers who act as marketers for your brand. And we all know that people are more likely to buy from brands that are referred to them from people they know and trust.

But what do these people look like? Who are your current fans and what are they doing on social media? Our platform offers the demographic and psychographics insights that help you answer these questions.

It’s more important than ever to be connected to your existing customers. As competition continues to increase rapidly, brands and organizations need to recognize the value their existing customers have in the grand scheme of things. Social media presents businesses with an opportunity to build their customer relationships like never before. Whether it’s a simple “favourite” on Twitter or a response to a question they’ve asked on social media, a simple response could be the difference between a life time customer and a one tweet stand.

In the meantime, the folks at ReachLocal have put together this insightful infographic to show the seven types of fans and followers you’ll encounter on social media:

The Types of Status Updates and Tweets your Business should be Using

There is no need to talk about and validate the value of Twitter and Facebook to your business; if you still needed convincing you wouldn’t be reading this post, but perhaps could find some value in one of our earlier posts about generating sales through social media  (an oldie but a goodie).

So, with that out of the way, there is a good chance at this point you are in one of two places with your Social Media strategy: 1) You are trying to fix/improve it or 2) You are in the infant stages of development and are looking for guidance. Well guess what? Either way we have you covered. If you integrate our tips into your current or infantile strategy we guarantee you’ll avoid that infamous Social Media writers-block that we hear about from so many entrepreneurs and professionals alike, not to mention avoiding some Blunders of Social Media we have talked about before.

So here it is, in plain English, a simple but effective How-to guide that will ensure you will always be producing Status updates and Tweets worth reading…

Get your Fans/Followers Involved
We have said it before, but we will say it again, Social Media is about interaction; it should be a dialogue as opposed to a monologue. The best status updates and Tweets you can send are the ones that promote interaction with your fans. Facebook provides you with more tools to organize things like Contests and Polls but that doesn’t mean you have to leave your loyal Twitter followers out of the fun; you simply have to be a little more creative. Asking your followers on Twitter a few questions in the form of Trivia is a great strategy, and encouraging them to share or Retweet something is a very effective way to tap into their network. Retweets can lead to great success for your business as they present you with an opportunity to have your business exposed to fresh eyes and new potential customers. Status updates that encourage your fans to submit pictures or video of them interacting with your business or product is often a great way to encourage interaction and dialogue.

The Generic
This category is often a necessary evil of social media marketing, it’s the generic status updates and tweets that you see every business using. Mentioning holidays, famous quotes, current events and general open ended questions all fall into this category. What is good about the generic content is that it requires very little thought, and it can be scheduled well in advance (you could have salutation for every major holiday planned for the entire year all in one day). What is bad about generic content is that it requires very little thought… so, it is difficult to create very much interaction with these updates. Our advice for dealing with the generic: First and foremost keep it to a bare minimum, and second try to make it as creative, funny or witty as possible; you know everyone is going to be mentioning a particular holiday, so do your best to make your tweet or update stand out.

Promote your Website
Ultimately driving individuals to your website, is a major outcome that most businesses are seeking to accomplish as a result of their social media marketing efforts. So, if you make a major change to your website, whether it be a new design or launch of an ebook, to the updating of a price or new content on your blog, these updates make for great content that most of your fans will be interested in exploring. After all, they wouldn’t be a fan or follower if they were not interested in your business. Additionally a great strategy to use when crafting these particular status updates or tweets is to ask the opinion of your followers on the change, product or the content itself you are promoting.

Remember, there is true value to be found on social media if you’re constantly thinking about your purchasing funnel. Through channels like Twitter and Facebook you can promote your website and only strengthen your bond with the customers and guide them further down the funnel.

Keep it Exclusive
Fans love unique deals, special offers and exclusive information that you only share with them. Updates and tweets that take advantage of this fact have a HUGE potential to be shared and go viral. For example, sending a tweet that offers an exclusive deal at your store-front for twitter followers is not only going to get retweeted, but also promote loyalty among your followers as you are showing them you are willing to reward your fans on an exclusive basis- of course, the same applies to Facebook fans. Product launches and sneak-peaks for only your followers and fans also do the same to promote sharing and loyalty. Giving your fans the opportunity to occasionally exclaim, “That’s why I follow these guys!” certainly isn’t a bad thing!
So there you have it, follow these tips and you can rest assured that your updates and tweets will be interesting, provocative and viral. Above everything, remember one all-encompassing rule: If you can be unique, inspiring, witty and informative your updates will never appear stale or unforgettable.

Do you regularly use any of these tips when you interact with your fans and followers? We would love to hear about them!

How Social Media ROI Should be Measured [INFOGRAPHIC]

I’m sure you have never pondered how to measure your Return on Investment when it comes to Social Media, I mean, who cares about ROI right?

Yes, we are kidding…

We fully acknowledge that ROI is king of the castle when it comes to marketing budget allocation and that the difficulty of measuring the ROI in social media is a major contributing factor that causes many businesses to shy away from developing a social media sales strategy. There are a myriad of opinions regarding the proper measuring of Social ROI, many say it is impossible and many say it isn’t. So which is it? Well to put it simply, Social ROI isn’t completely measurable… at least not in the traditional sense. Social is just as much a part of your Communications strategy as it is your Marketing strategy, and it is this duality that makes it so difficult to completely measure using traditional methodology. Some of the aspects of the Return can be measured numerically, like lead generation and conversion, but if that is all you measure you are missing a huge piece of the overall ROI pie.

The following infographic quite effectively shows how businesses should be measuring their Social Media ROI

(Source: Clixlogix)

What we find troubling is that some individuals, often those who have been afraid of social media marketing from the start, try to use the difficulty of measuring its TRUE ROI as a reason to avoid Social completely. In actuality the methods shown in the above infographic to measure ROI can be an incredibly handy tool to identify specific shortcomings in your current social strategy, and therefore allow you to improve your marketing, not invalidate it.

So what do you think? Can Social Media ROI be measured solely numerically and still provide you, as a decision maker, an adequate basis upon which to determine the successes and failures of your Social Media strategy?

Understanding how to use Facebook for Business

A new infographic from the folks at Mashable shows that “social commerce sales are expected to bring in $30 billion each year by 2015, with half of web sales to occur directly through social media.”

Furthermore, the infographic shows that Facebook fans are 79 percent more likely than a non-fan to purchase a product, and 74% of fans are more likely to recommend a company they’ve liked on Facebook. It also claims that Facebook is known to drive 26 percent of the referral traffic.

The numbers make it obvious that social media needs to be a significant part of your marketing mix. Here are three things to keep in mind when looking to utilize Facebook for business:

Understand Fan-Acquisition
Unfortunately many business owners fall victim to ego-drive tactics like buying fans. Over the last few years, we’ve visited a handful of events and conference and a consistent theme is a request from small businesses looking for ways to get new fans.

There are tons of businesses selling fans for $199 or even as low as $99.58. I’d link to them but I don’t want them to have that satisfaction. This approach is worse than it seems – by buying fake fans, you actually lower your EdgeRank score thus lowering the odds of your content ever being seen.

Instead of buying fans on a mass scale, be targeted and run ads catered to a specific audience. That’s how you can gather potential leads who just so happened to also actually “like” you.

Embrace Fan Conversion
If we could teach marketers using Facebook anything, it would be to understand that fans are not baseball cards. You need to stop going to meetings and discussing how many fans you’ve generated this month and start talking about how many of those fans turned into sales.

Strive to convert
Look for ways that you can drive more visits to your purchasing funnel or into your lead development system. Take a cue from organizations who share deals specifically to their Facebook fans with limited time promo-codes. Anything you can do to monetize your network is the key to generating meaningful results.

Utilize Ongoing Storytelling
Whether you’re looking to build a following on Twitter or build a network on Facebook, storytelling is the difference between those brands who thrive and those who simply survive. You need to tell a story to your fans on an ongoing basis that shares with them not only the essence of what your brand represents but also your key value proposition. You need to use social media to tell a story that allows you to develop a sense of authority and leadership in your industry. If you can do this through social media you will be able to build deeper relationships with your audience and drive real results.

Here is the infographic from Mashable showcasing the power of Facebook on social media:

Mashable Facebook Infographic

7 Unfortunate Social Media Strategy Blunders

Your business may be breaking the cardinal rule of, well, business and you might not even realise it. Regardless of industry or market type, there is one thing that all successful businesses have in common and that’s the formulation and diligent application of Strategy. All too often do we see incredibly successful companies, who have fought their way to the top through the use of carefully thought-out strategy, making unfortunate mistakes when comes to their social media marketing approach. Bottom line here is that without taking the time to formulate a clear social strategy you might find your business making these 7 Unfortunate Social Media Strategy Blunders…

1. Frequency Inconsistency

“Our Social Media guy went on Vacation for 2 weeks so we put our Twitter account on hiatus.”

A lot of experts will tell you that consistency is a cornerstone of Social Media Strategy. And they are correct; if your social voice isn’t consistent then the people that look to your business as subject matter expert, or even a source of a daily chuckle or interesting article will begin to look else ware. Think of it like this, if you had a really good friend disappear for a two months and then call you up like nothing happened, wouldn’t you be a bit confused or even hurt? The same rules apply to social media, and if you break the rule of consistency even once, the setback to your social momentum could be devastating.

2. The Hard Push

“Check-out every article, interesting or not, I read this morning over an extra-large double frap”.

You have heard the saying, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”, well when it comes to social media strategy the saying should go, “if you have nothing interesting to say, don’t say it at all”. Retweeting or sharing everything your fans say is not a wise strategy, nor is sharing every article you read or updating your status relentlessly. Remember, there is a fine line between Engaging and Spamming; ask yourself “If this wasn’t my business, would I find this piece of information interesting?” If the answer is no, then put down your Smartphone or close your laptop.

3. The Soft Push

“Check out the one article I read this month! Stay tuned for my next hyperlink, coming to you in 3 weeks!”

If you are unwilling to commit daily to monitoring and updating your Social Media accounts, hire someone who is. The value of being in the space is diminished to the point of being null when your contribution to the space is akin to being a fly on a wall.

4. Lazy Grammar

“LOL we got a salez on 2day every1 !!1!”

you must remember that even though you are updating a social status for a business you are speaking not as yourself, but as that brand. You would never publish a press release without carefully proofreading it first, so why should a status update or tweet be any different? Before your first status update or tweet you should clearly identify the type of voice from which your brand should speak and never stray away from your Brand Personality.

5. Brand Personality

“Here are my personal thoughts on this highly controversial subject…”

You must quickly realise that all of your customers are unique individuals, and just because they like your brand doesn’t mean they personally stand for everything YOU stand for. As mentioned in the previous Blunder, you need to treat your business’s social media accounts separately from your personal ones. Make sure to be politically conscious and to never share something that could alienate your fans, followers or customers.

6. Keep your Friends Close

“It’s a good idea to follow anyone and everyone to get your clout up”

Your follower count doesn’t have to be astronomically high for you to see a return on your social media marketing. It’s not a case of ‘less is more’ but rather a case of ‘quality over quantity’. If your follower list or fan page is full of accounts that haven’t contributed in months, then you might want to reconsider this particular aspect of your social strategy.

7. Undeveloped SOP’s

“That was a really nice compliment; I think I will send them an ipad!”

Businesses that do not clearly develop standard operating procedures for social media are doomed to look inconsistent and unprofessional. Everything from the types of information to share, the type of people your brand will follow, the procedures for dealing with complaints and compliments and the types of status updates you will share, has to be clearly identified and made official.

It is absolutely essential that your business accepts that Social Media Marketing needs just as much strategy as any other form of marketing, that is, if you want to see a return on your investment. The all encompassing rule here then, is that without devising and applying a social strategy EARLY on, you could possibly make some major mistakes or at the very least, realise a lower potential return on your investment than is actually attainable.