You, as a brand or an online marketer, see social media as a channel for reaching your audience and spreading your messages. But how does your audience see social media?
Aside for being your customers, they are also humans, right?
They have friends and family and they also use social media for connecting with them .
They also have hobbies and many other interests besides your products to include in their social activity.
So, what drives them into welcoming you in their social news stream?
And more than that, how could you keep their interest alive and avoid being ignored among all the other exciting posts on their walls?
Use Reverse Psychology
A study made by Exact Target (a social media and e-mail marketing services company) highlights the reasons people have for ending their connections with brands on social platforms.
These reasons are at the bottom of your audience’s dissatisfaction and, therefore at the bottom of their expectations. And knowing what expectations your audience has from you, is the key to engage and retain them in your social circle.
So, based on this study’s results, I came up with these three types of social fellows, each to be engaged differently:
1. Material driven
These are people that connect with you through contests, special promotions, coupons or other promotional campaigns you run and you need to offer something in return for them to join you on social networks.
Their main purpose is to win prizes, get discounts, free trials, free stuff (products, membership, etc) or other material benefits. 27% from the people inquired for the social study said the reason they stop following brands on Twitter was because they only followed the company to take advantage of a one time offer.
How to engage them
- Run your promotions over longer periods of time. Thus you will increase the chances of engaging the participants in a permanent relationship with your brand.
- Request more interaction from the participants than just a subscription/registration/sign up. If they are required to act several times along the promotion (you don’t need to ask them complicated things to do) they might have the chance to get to know you better, to get accustomed with your brand and maybe find other things they like from you.
- Don’t let any of the participants disappointed even if they didn’t win the big prize. Come up with a consolation reward for those who didn’t make it through the contest (it might be as small and effortless as a “thank you” email for entering the promotion) but don’t end it quietly.
- Announce or let them foresee your upcoming contests and promotions. The study I was mentioning before showed that 24% of those questioned unliked brands on Facebook because these brands didn’t offered enough deals.
Some people “Like” or “Follow” a company without much consideration. They just do it! It might be after reading a post or seeing an ad they like and they don’t see this action as the start of a long term relationship. Therefore they are not ready for further involvement or commitment towards your business.
In fact, 51% of the people questioned, said they rarely or never visit a company’s page after “liking” them. Sad huh?
How to engage them
- Vary your content. Approaching a larger area of topics helps you both cover a wider range of people and surprise your audience with brand new topics.
- Don’t overdo on a subject, because it might get annoying and boring for your audience. More than half of those participating in the social study (52%) said they stop following brands on Twitter because their content became repetitive or boring over time.
- Always look for feedback to determine the interesting topics in your social circle, the problems and the uncertainties your audience has and come up with the content they need.
- And don’t be too pushy. 44% of the inquired people in the study said that they unliked brands on Facebook because they where posting too frequently. This means that you don’t need to rant or say meaningless things just to have something posted on your wall. Speak only when you have something valuable to say. Otherwise people will lose their interest and stop following you.
3. Informational driven
The most valuable part of your audience consists in those who see your social profile as a source of information. They are not looking for chit-chats, bonuses or fame. They are in just for some tips, tricks or for some new, hot and interesting stuff.
How to engage them
- Focus your posts on actionable information. Anybody can rant but only a few are able to give just that piece of information you can take, apply and get instant results. By sharing useful content, you can make a difference and win these people over. 20% of people ended their connection with brands on Twitter because the company’s tweets were too chit-chatty and did not focus on real value.
- Stay up to date and share new, hot content. It’s essential to build a reputation for being informed.
- Maintain a high quality standard of your posts. It’s easy to get carried away on these social streams and promote content just for the sake of posting. It is best to keep your focus on quality as the popularity will thus build itself.
- Try to keep the promotional stuff at a minimum level. Just think about the fact that 43% of the respondents in the study said they unliked brands on Facebook because their wall was becoming too crowded with marketing posts.
Keep Your Social Circle Round
It’s not easy to be socially appealing as a brand but with the right message, I believe you can get your audience involved and happy.
But, how do you build your brand’s social profile? What methods do you use to maintain your audience engaged? Any tips you could share would be greatly appreciated!