It’s that special time of the week! Insight Day at One Twelfth, Inc.!
In case this is your first time here, we run a few social media accounts for companies. While we concoct ways to generate audiences for our accounts, we’re also heavily invested in the research that comes along with building a brand on social media.
With that research, we construct insights to help small businesses, and anyone else who wants to run a Facebook page, manage their account.
Over the past three weeks, we have uncovered five insights, plus a bonus one, that will help you manage your account and begin building the audience you’ve always wanted.
1. Be intimate and be sentimental.
Social media is used by people who want a distraction from whatever they may be doing at the moment, thus why you see entire families staring down at their phone while dining at Applebee’s.
What are they escaping from? Boredom? An insatiable need for information at every second?
There is one constant with what people want to see from their favorite brands on social media, however, and that’s sentimentality and intimacy.
On one of our pages we run, posts generally consist of links to articles that pertain to the brand’s message. We decided to post a pair of links (one about the company’s commitment to youth, and the other with a picture of a worker) and wound up recording a higher reach with those two posts than any other in the past two weeks.
One of those posts, in fact, set the bar for most people we’ve ever reached.
So, what led to this development? It’s likely because it boosted the morale of those who are employees of the company. Out of the 11 likes we received on the post with the worker, 3 of those, as far as we know judging by their Facebook bios, worked for the company.
Posts like that not only show that you care about your workers and embrace putting them in the spotlight, it shows people on the outside looking in how much you care, too.
As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, transparency can play a huge part in building up an audience if your brand isn’t nationally recognized.
2. You want a loyal audience? Be prepared to spend.
Take a look at this graph taken from a 2013 study on why people follow brands on social media:
If I wasn’t too sure, I’d say that your audience wants something from you.
There’s nothing wrong with that. What kind of person doesn’t love a good deal? Even the wealthiest of the wealthy will take a bargain if they can get it.
In social media, you have to spend money to make money. But the reward can payoff in a returning audience, as well as new followers.
Staging a contest is an excellent way of building your brand by showing your generosity and commitment to those who use your product.
For example, we gave away a box of candy for an account that sells chocolate by asking users to scour our Facebook page for a specific post. Once they found the post, after going through our entire Facebook and taking a look at our inventory, they messaged to let us know.
The result? A then-record 62 likes, a still-standing record 35 comments, one share, and an audience that can’t wait for the next opportunity to win some free stuff.
3. Don’t be bland in your Call-to-Actions.
In my scouring of every social media outlet to inform you, the loyal reader of this blog, I continue to come across call-to-actions that does nothing more than inform you about the product.
Example: BUY THIS. LOOK AT IT WITH YOUR EYES. ISN’T IT COOL? COME BUY IT NOW. HERE’S THE PRICE. I HAVE NO IMAGINATION.
When I see a post like this, it just comes across as sterile and devoid of personality. It feels as if there’s a robot behind the screen that’s instructed to post a product description, the price, and a picture on a daily basis.
Go the extra mile. Experiment, be funny, be sentimental, evoke emotions, make a pop culture reference, just have a personality!
Simply adding a little more to a call-to-action than the bland “Buy this!” status will keep your audience enthralled and looking forward to more, while also adding on more fans.
You get out what you put in.
Not every brand has the advantage of being established and having the money to put out commercials on major networks. Small businesses have to rely on social media to get their message across.
Create posts that are representative of the message your brand or company is attempting to convey.
4. Use themed posts.
As a social media manager, I’m used to seeing what I think to be brilliant ideas receive a less than anticipated response. Should I be discouraged? Or that I should keep pushing it in hopes that it will eventually work?
When you only have one or two posts per day, you don’t want to waste weeks posting statuses that consistently get little to no response.
Not everything is going to work, but isn’t that what life is about? Trial and error, and learning from your mistakes?
Themes will greatly assist you in creating a consistent message, which will lead to an audience that will understand the message you’re attempting to convey. If they enjoy one of your themed posts, it’s extremely likely that they’re going to keep enjoying them.
Theme posts can also include setting aside a day for a specific post. Set aside calls-to-action on certain days, but use a themed post that your audience can look forward to on others.
5. Be interactive and involved.
Social media serves an excellent purpose as customer service, without the hassle of having to call up the company or going on their website to search for answer.
Brands on social media are a great way of creating a close relationship between you and your clientele. It’s through social media where you obtain a grasp of the magnitude and influence your brand has over those who use it.
Take advantage of this! Your clients buy your product and they deserve answers to their questions. Whether it’s high-praise saying how much they love your services or a complaint saying they’ll never use your service again, take the time to respond.
If someone leaves a complaint, doesn’t it sound much better to say, “We’re sorry and we hope there’s anyway we can help”, than leaving the complaint on the page for everyone to see? It will make people think that you’re nothing more than a faceless corporation in it solely for the money.
No matter the response, good or bad, make an effort to answer back, especially if you’re a small business.
It shows that you care, that there’s someone behind the screen, and that you’re here to help alleviate any concerns or problems. Customer service has become so difficult and inept (I’m sure we’ve all heard about the Comcast nightmares) that social media has become one of the sole sources of quick and easy help.
Make yourself accessible through social media. Use perspective to think of a time where you wish you could have spoken directly to a company representative, only to be given the runaround.
With social media, with a single post, if you’re lucky enough to be using a brand that’s committed to its clientele, you’ll get an answer.
6. Don’t do this. Please, I am begging you to not do this:
You may not have needed me to tell you, but posts like this generally won’t go over well. You’ll get the attention you’ve always wanted, but the kind of attention you want.