In Social media, as it is in the developing SEO world, content is king. Good content creates good engagement which creates good customers.
Social media is a long lasting process that is very involved and takes a lot of planning.
In developing a social media presence you must set your end goal, if you have two goals, how do they compliment each other? If you establish multiple goals they must be complimentary or they will pull consumers in different directions. Goals are the oxen pulling the cart, they must be equally yoked or your cart goes nowhere.
Once you have established a goal you need to consider how you will achieve that goal. With any business page that has the end goal of sales, you must always create engaging content and provide the user base with unique promotions. They must have a reason to like your page and then keep returning. Ask yourself, what is unique about my page? why should someone like it? And then ask why would someone come back to this page again. Reasons for liking something, and reasons to visit again and again are very different. Many people like the Coca-Cola page, mainly because they like Coca-Cola. But their user engagement is low. What reasons do you have to go back there once you have already?
If you are a discounter, Facebook is a great place to establish that. Things like “Deal of the Day” promotions are big hits, but you need to establish your goal as deciminating that information alone. If your are constantly promoting sales activities then any other non sales content will be ignored. So pick wisely. Businesses like “Steep and Cheap or “The Dealio” are so successful because its sole purpose is to decimenate info about daily deals at restaurants. Anything else would just seem uninteresting and could possibly turn off a customer. Good original and creative content should be part of everyone’s promotional mix. Sales promotions are most successful when complimented by engaging content. Sales promotions should be spaced out and part of all campaigns, however engagable content should be an end in and of itself rather than the means to a dollar figure end.
Good companies understand that creating content that can be engaged by consumers can create brand evangelists faster sometimes than good deals. To accelerate that they employ both, in healthy helpings. Healthy meaning not to much, and well balanced. A close examination of some well balanced companies would yield around a 5-6% (what I call) Engagement Rate. This is the number of likes divided by the number of “people talking about this.”
The people talking about this is an important figure. It shows how many people are engaging with content on your site. Whether that is liking a post, picture or comment; sharing a post or photo; commenting on your posts or even sharing posts with friends. Without pounding the single key of the marketing piano, consumer engagement is the key to any business’s social media outlook.
There has been a lot of back and forth about whether it is good or not for the company to engage itself in conversations where consumers are interacting with each other. In my opinion that really depends on your Industry. I would say that for 75% of you, engaging is good if done right. The quickest way to kill the conversation is to jump In with the typical stiff, cardboard, tightened collar answers. There is a certain level of candidacy that must be maintained in social media, it allows people to think they are conversing with an inviting, quirky, personality rather than a vanilla nerd In a cubicle that is acting as a moderator. You need to act in your conversation as a candid knowledgable participant rather the owner of the page or the used car salesman. Of course in all things be smart. There is no room for tempers, there is no room to misspeak, think through what you post three or four times, read it out loud before you post it.
For a company, your brand identity is like your personality. Let it show through. People need to see your company culture, they need to find something to relate to. Companies like Moosejaw are fantastic at this. They have given their communications strategy to reflecting their company culture in all of their copy writing. They’re laid back, they’re quirky, they’re fun and they are somewhat hippies, they know it and they own it. Own your culture, let it blend into your business strategy. Companies who are engaging in social media will find an increase in committed, evangelized customers who will spend money and send their friends.