Keeping your social media accounts engaging

by · August 3, 201222 comments

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from Murray Newlands, a reporter and host of Perform Insider TV on YouTube. A native of the UK, he runs Influence People, an international new media agency based in San Francisco.  

Do you think that your brand is getting the most engagement out of your social media accounts? If you have to think about the answer then you’re not. It’s easy to post content on Facebook and tweet to customers on Twitter but not each piece of content deserves to be put out there. Taking steps to ensure that each post or tweet or blog will have the best engagement with customers is necessary. It can take lots of time but take into consideration what can save you time and boost your engagement levels.

For a small business starting out Facebook can be all the marketing they need. Placing an ad in a newspaper or television spot costs lots of money but with a Facebook page businesses have total control of the content they post. It’s easier to keep track of how people are reacting to your product as well as updating fans on news.

Use your voice

Social media can increase your market presence but it all depends on how much your audience grows to love your brand. The Facebook page is the most important social account that has potential for growth. So post content in your own voice, this isn’t a business meeting. This is what Diamond Candles, a small candle shop in North Carolina, does with their Facebook. Their posts are varied with some asking questions like “Name your favorite childhood game…and GO!” and others like “Burn, baby, burn that ring RIGHT outta there!” stand out. Fans know that there’s a person posting these that likes the candles as much as they do which is why the page has over 100,000 likes.

It’s cost effective marketing to be on Facebook. Posting content is free and you can see the feedback people give you without paying to get data. People will be honest in comments and it’s important to always interact with them. Take Naples Botanical Garden from Naples, Florida for example. They have daily conversations with their 3,000 fans. They’ll mention fans in comments like “I like the way Marti Willis thinks!” and “Thank you for all the ideas!” adding a more personal voice to their brand.

Personal touch: You can see how Naples Botanical Garden keeps it personal and casual when responding to feedback.

Each audience is unique so consider the way you interact with content. Build off of negative comments and improve, don’t just ignore them. Add on to the personal voice route by having a blog where the people behind the brand can share opinions. Setting one up is easy with sites like WordPress and you can offer more insight into the products they like. Don’t turn off readers by overly promoting but instead make your experience and opinion show. So make use of your voice and connect to appeal to new customers so they know your expertise and can distinguish you from the pack.

Engage with Facebook tabs and Incentives

Business can build their Facebook page up so customers can spend more time on it. You can add tabs that connect fans to an online shop, offers, photos and videos. It can help a niche audience grow in fan base that would be harder to market to. Remember Veggietales? Well, creator Phil Vischer has a new DVD series called “What’s in the Bible” that has accumulated a strong fan base through Facebook. His target audience is Bible readers so it can be hard to mass market it, but audiences can connect with it easier through Facebook. The tabs offer email signup for news, a shop and videos that can keep fans busy on the page and keep them without having to go to partner sites for information. The page currently has over 100,000 likes that have added to the success of the products.

Incentives are a way small businesses can introduce new customers to their products. Since a small businesses are new to the market offering lots of coupons and giveaways can help customers learn about the products. Diamond Candles has weekly giveaways for one of their candles where they ask for fans to tweet them with a specific quote. They have grown their loyal fan base so fans do this because they have an affinity with the brand. It takes time to build up to this loyalty but the more customers know your product, the more loyal they will be.

Cako at work: Cako keeps customers coming back by offering promos and letting fans know through Facebook.

Cako Bakery from San Francisco has a following of over 1,000 on Facebook and uses its page to let fans know of promotions and incentives.

It has statuses that read “Like us on Facebook and get a free cupcake!” to attract new fans and keeps fans up to date on promos with posts like “Father’s day is tomorrow! If you just said ‘Oh, crap!’ don’t worry Cako is offering a special, buy 5 get the 6th free!” Notice that Cako writes in a friendly voice without making it sound impersonal.

Keeping track of your Brand

A small business team can be constantly busy but making time to update Facebook should be a priority. Just like a business answers every phone call, they should answer to every post. It’s important to know how your company is being perceived and identify new customers. Read what people are talking about and fix issues that are keeping customers away. Going through each post and managing your page can take away time from other tasks so looking to an SMM tool for help is an option. Programs like Alerti* and Infinigraph  can provide social data analysis with graphs and reports as well as monitor the brand on the Internet. The prices for the programs vary but the information you get and efficiency of using social media can assist your business to stand out among competitors.

*Disclosure: Alerti is a client of Murray Newlands at Influence People.

Editor’s Note: An image previously included on this post showed a Facebook entry from a company calling for Likes, Shares and Comments as actions that would enter fans in a contest. That is a clear violation of Facebook’s terms of service related to promotions. Social Media Explorer in no way would recommend such actions from a company and apologizes the image made it past our normal watchful editorial eye. The image has been removed and the Facebook Promotional Guidelines are here for you to see.

 

 

Murray Newlands, originally from the UK in the USA on a O1 visa (alien of extraordinary ability), is a reporter for and host of Perform Insider TV. Newlands produces the popular YouTube video series future of engagement and future of publishing. He runs Influence People, an international media agency, based in San Francisco.

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is the founder and chief instigator for Social Media Explorer's blog. He is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for CafePress, one of the world's largest online retailers. His opinions are his, not necessarily theirs. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

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  • http://onlineincomestar.com/ Brankica | Online Income

    This would be great if it wasn’t against Facebook TOS to make people LIKE something on your page to enter a contest. There are a lot of pages that have been shut for breaking this rule. 

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Brankica – I’ve addressed this above in my comment back to Mike. Thank you for pointing this out. 

      • http://onlineincomestar.com/ Brankica | Online Income

        Thanks for the reply, Jason, and I really wish FB actually let us do that, lol

        • Guest

          fasdfaf

    • http://en-gb.facebook.com/people/Murray-Newlands/635655238 Murray Newlands

      apologize

  • http://www.thesocialpenguinblog.com/ Mike McGrail

    Diamond Candles example busts the Facebook rules on promos and comps wide open. What a crappy example to use. This post is so far below the usual standard of this usually great blog.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Mike – Thank you for pointing that out. The information you referred to was contained within an image (Murray didn’t recommend baiting people into contests using likes.) The image, sadly, did contain a contest-type entry call to action that was a clear violation of Facebook’s terms. In editing the post, I failed to read the text within the image or I would have caught it. 

      As a result, I have removed the image from the post. The rest of the content and recommendations here from Murray, I think, are sound. I apologize for the slip on allowing the image to post. My fault.

      I’ve also added an editorial note above that will clarify the Facebook promotional rules.

      Thanks for the comment.

      • http://www.thesocialpenguinblog.com/ Mike McGrail

        No worries at Jason, thanks for fixing and keep up the good work, really enjoy the site.

        • http://en-gb.facebook.com/people/Murray-Newlands/635655238 Murray Newlands

          apologizes for any mistakes

      • http://twitter.com/josh_beaty Josh Beaty

        A friend of mine recently made notice of this post to me since I manage the social media accounts here at Diamond Candles. Upon fully reading the article and the comments Mike made, I do have to agree with him. 

        If it’s the post I am thinking of calling for likes, shares, and comments (since I didn’t see the photo associated with that), I am guessing it’s a post(s) associated with what I allowed a local agency to manage the account for a week while out of the office for  personal reasons. 

        Upon coming back I noted that it’s not in the best interest for our brand to be outsourcing to that respective company. 

        Lesson learned (as I am a recent graduate student): It’s best not to give over control of a brand’s voice. Because of that reason, I believe that agencies can still can be used to create content – but that it needs to go through the eyes of the community director/manager before posts are approved. In this case (and possibly a few more for that time period) it was not. 

        I am glad that organic Facebook posts can be scheduled ahead of time without a third-party app in the case of being absent from managing the page and posting content. 

        Thanks for the post, Jason. All-in-all, seeing things like this and constructive criticism (from you Mike) reminds me how to be a better community manager as I am still young and fresh out of college. 

        Best, 

        Josh Beaty
        VP of Community 
        Diamond Candles

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  • http://www.facebookchampions.com/ Jonathon

     Hi Jason,I agree with you.If you share great content and other stuffs like images,then it should take less time and effort,right?

  • http://abdallahalhakim.tumblr.com/ Abdallah Al-Hakim

    While Facebook is definitely a powerful social network, I think it is important to first identify where your target audience is most active (i.e. which social network) and tailor your engagement with them on that channel. Still, regardless of social networks, it is important as the post mentioned to keep track of your brand. Tracking tweets, likes and shares is important but also finding where your audience are engaged in social conversations and discovering what they are saying about your brand is also very important. 

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