Corporate social media professionals who expertly handle brand identities on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr and Google+, are constantly working to promote company value propositions online. As a result, one key component of the job is to spread brand awareness by increasing the audience and engaging social media users. However, what do those likes and retweets boil down to, and is every like the same?
A new infographic from ReachLocal indicates that there are about seven different types of social media fans, and developing the relationship between the brand and each type requires a different strategy. As a professional social media expert, your modern resume should demonstrate that you know how to handle each variation. Here is an overview of each type of social media fan and what you may need to do to engage this person.
1) The quiet follower. This person will sometimes read your social media updates, but he or she is only a fan because his or her friends are. The quiet follower doesn’t harm your reputation in the social space, but he or she doesn’t boost it really either. According to ReachLocal, you will need to post content that features a strong call of action and plenty of images and polls to attract these fans to engage with the brand.
One of the best ways to actively engage the quiet follower is to invest in various crowdsourcing types of content like polls. Social Media Examiner reported that crowdsourcing with polls achieve powerful social engagement and allow you to build social media campaigns with the results. Polls and other more interactive content types evolve the relationship between a brand and the consumer and allows a social media professional to turn a casual fan into a company advocate. Remember, over 50 percent of Facebook updates are images because social media users connect more to visuals than words.
2) The casual liker. A majority of social media users are casual fans of multiple brands. This person genuinely likes some of the things you post and connects with your brand because of past experiences. In addition, these fans want their friends to view them as a source of good recommendations. All of this is positive news for a social media professional. Approximately 70 percent of all consumers trust brand or product recommendations from friends, which means this fan boosts your social visibility, according to a study from Forrester Research that was based on the responses of 58,000 people. In contrast, only 14 percent of social media users trust ads. Between the two options, a social media professional might be better off working to gain the support of a casual liker than developing ads in-house sometimes.
3) The deal seeker. Everyone likes a deal, however, some social media users are fans of a brand just because of the deals and value following offers. About 49 percent of social media users follow company or product pages for deals, promotions and specials, according to ReachLocal. This fan stays current with your social media campaigns and drives new sales to your business, but in return, he or she expects deals. The best way to connect with this social media user is to offer deals, promotions and fan appreciation specials. Some company brands have thrived and captured the attention of this fan because deal promote the creation of a direct fan relationship that features a “I will scratch your back if you scratch mine” mentality.
4) The unhappy customer. This fan shares a negative experience on company or product social media pages and expects someone from the organization to respond to his or her post or Tweet within an hour. According to the infographic, about 42 percent of consumers who contact brands on social media expect a response within an hour if not sooner. Social Media Examiner recommends responding to the complaint quickly with respect and understanding. Be patient, put yourself in the customer’s shoes and offer suggestions about how the company can best solve the problem. Consider contacting the customer privately once you address him or her in the public sphere to provide more solutions.
5) The ranter. Unlike the unhappy customer, this fan may not necessarily be someone who has purchased a service or product from your company. Often, these individuals are labeled as trolls who are looking to incite confrontation in a digital space. This fan is classified by having a strong opinion on an issue and the topic he or she posts about may not even be directly relevant to the company’s products, services or actions. A social media professional will have to use his or her cool head and strategic thinking to manage this potential situation.
Media Bistro reported that there are a number of ways to deal with this kind of user and it all depends on what he or she is saying. Evaluate whether the complaint is legitimate or is a random tangent. Avoid responding to elements of the post that are not related to the company you represent – don’t feed the trolls.