How to get Traffic on Brand Pages

We’ve all heard the questions Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How? probably many times throughout our schooling careers.  Ever get sick of them? (I definitely have, since these questions would be placed at the top of many of my research papers, along with many decorative red marks – ok, I’ll try not to take a trip down memory lane…)  However, these questions are necessary to ask if we want our content to contain relevant and helpful information for our readers.  By asking these questions, you’ll nail what consumers are looking for, and have room for other interesting blurbs.

Here they are, a list of our favorite questions and why they’re important for your brand page:

Who to Post: Well, this is an easy question- get your company and brand name out there!  Tell your followers who this page belongs to (whether it’s just the company name, or the actual names and faces behind it all).  Customers like to see that businesses are made up of actual people who they can connect to, not unemotional robots.

Why to Post:  Well, the data says it all.  So many people are using social media to communicate, that businesses would be making the mistake of not taking this opportunity to reach new customers.  The real question is “Why would any business not want to tap into the wealth of information found online?”

What to post: Post things that would add value to your company for customers.  Try to be life-changing, and not just a word ranting bore.  Don’t bombard your clients- tell them only necessary information and try to keep it to a minimum (no one likes reading long, monotonous paragraphs.)  Posting different types of media (videos, pictures, links, etc.) can also add some life to your brand pages.

Where to post:  It’s useful to try to be everywhere at once- not all consumers use all social networks.  Widen your reach by being present on different social networks, and keeping each one up-to-date (a single tool that allows you to update all your accounts simultaneously would be very time-efficient.)  But keep in mind- utilize all the social media networks that work best for your company.

When to post:  Yes, there are actually specific times and days to post that ensures that your content will reach more people.  Generally, you should post at times inconvenient to you- most of your customers have a workday too, so they’ll generally be online for non-business reasons after hours.  Our tip- having a scheduling tool is really helpful.  There are also different peak hours for the different media websites. Here’s a quick guide to posting times:

  • Facebook: 1-4pm ET, especially on Wednesdays and Sundays.  Avoid the eights- 8am-8pm is a bad time frame to garner likes and activity.
  • Twitter: Monday 1-3pm is the best time, where after 8pm on most days (3pm on Fridays) are the worst.
  • Tumblr: After 4pm and on Friday evenings seem to be when customers are online.

How to post:  Don’t try entirely to be a business.  As I mentioned before, consumers like to see that their favorite companies are backed and run by actual people.  When posting content, don’t just try to shove information down your customers’ throats.  Sure, the end goal is to increase sales, but try to do so in a fun way – some customers are attracted to a company because of their fun atmosphere.  If you want to relay information, make it easy to understand.  There’s no need to get super fancy, since there is much potential for your audience to get confused.  And lastly, you can seek the help of the actual social sites themselves- Facebook has a new promote button that guarantees your brand will reach more customers for a small fee.


Using Social Media to Engage

Businesses can sometimes seem unreachable to consumers.  Will they hear my ravings of their product? Will they hear my complaints? Will they respond and implement what I’m trying to communicate to them?  Since all these questions swirl in a customer’s mind, business engagement might influence buyer decisions.  Businesses can use social media to show that they really do care.

Businesses should be accessible.  By being on established social media networks, businesses are already showing customers that they want to communicate at the customer’s level.  Social media utilities are less formal, and can really show the personality of a business.  Being on an established network makes it easier for businesses and marketers to promote their brand and gain followers- according to Comsource Media Metrix, the average Facebook user spends 423 minutes a day on the social media network.  By being able to influence more people, businesses can also take that information and analytics to find their target market.  Instead of focusing on everyone, businesses are more efficient if they devote most of their resources towards a specific market.  After gathering customers, businesses need to participate and listen to them.  Businesses can no longer avoid responding to consumer comments (this was never a good idea in the first place!)  Marketers should find out what customers want by gathering information of where consumers spend most of their time, what they Like on Facebook, and product mentions.  Marketers should also ask customers directly what they want- this shows that a business really wants to listen to customers.  Listening is a whole important aspect in itself- businesses need to pay attention to their market needs instead of jumping ahead and just trying to sell, sell, sell.  Participating with the target audience instead of just talking or throwing the product at them will show consumers that businesses value their opinion.

Bottom line: businesses should use social media to connect intimately with their audience.

Improving Customer Relations with Social Media Management

Customers + poor customer service = uh oh, not good

This is the basic equation that all consumers can relate to.  Customers make their consumer decisions based on the help that’s available – a study by the Customer Service Training Center shows that 70 percent of people will not return to a company if they receive poor customer service (70 percent! That’s a huge number that shouldn’t go unnoticed!)

STELLAService, which has done multiple studies on various companies’ customer service, has written a report on the volume of customer complaints/feedback/replies that have not been replied to on social media platforms.  Their study, based on the number of Tweets some top 25 businesses replied to (or didn’t reply to), shows that a lot of customer feedback goes unanswered.  This is unacceptable, in a world that’s becoming more and more rooted in online technologies.  Social media has become the main mode of communication for customers to see what businesses and their favorite brands are up to, so customer service through these platforms is crucial for businesses.

There are a couple of ways to use social media to improve customer relations.  First of all, don’t try to place the burden on one person – multiple people need to be placed on the customer service team, so your brand pages can be managed at all times.  This will allow for quick responses and constant monitoring for customer feedback.  The online web works in real-time; businesses must respond informatively and instantly.  So in order to have these two characteristics when approaching customers, businesses and marketers need to first understand what’s important to customers.  Research customers’ backgrounds, their search history, and the time and places they’ve spent online.  This can help gather analytics important to formulating your brand’s approach.  This will also help you get closer to consumers.  Businesses can now utilize social media to create and build personal relationships with many consumers that wasn’t possible through traditional media.  This can be done by directly communicating with the consumers, or just by being search-able.  Have all your necessary information out on multiple, established social networks so consumers can research and look up information that will make their buying decisions easier.  Just being present and available for questions is half (but a very important half) of the customer service battle.

The second half consists of answering all the feedback you get on all your platforms.  It’s easier if you have all your accounts in one place, to help you be consistent and efficient with your time.  Acknowledge positive feedback – take the time to thank your customers and show that you appreciate them.  Many companies see negative feedback as a setback – it doesn’t have to be!  Don’t see negative comments as a place to start a fight.  Negative feedback is constructive criticism – use it to better your brand and improve what needs to be fixed.  Also, negative feedback can be a misunderstanding.  Make sure to re-establish your brand’s position and to update consumers.  Dealing with comments, whether good or bad, can help you boost your company’s customer relations.

Customer service is seen as an uphill battle for many companies who cannot relate to their customers.  Don’t be one of those companies – take the time to get to know your customers, and pay attention to their feedback.  You never know how much a simple response can result in a positive ROI of social media.

Be a Leader in Your Industry

We all don’t want to just watch the market trends and follow what our competitors are doing.  We want to be the buzz of the industry and to have others follow our lead, which will increase our customer following.  However, becoming a leader in your market doesn’t just happen overnight- there are many steps that have to be taken, and effective social media should be the first.

Social media is important for collecting real-time information about customers.  Being the first to gain important insight on what customers want and their needs is crucial to success in the market.  Researching market trends and what your competitors are doing sets the baseline for your performance.  By doing so, the information gathered can help you have the up-to-date news necessary to reach consumers.  What do customers want now?  What certain products do they need that aren’t available on the market, or that need improvement?  All these questions can be answered by doing a little research.

Organizing all this information and employing it in PR strategy is the next important step in using social media to achieve success in your market.  Once demographics and feedback have been gathered, find the opportunities to tell your audience – don’t wait for questions to pop up!  Instead, actively look for opportunities to better your market and to better inform your customers.  Once you have these opportunities in hand, avoid self-promotion.  Don’t just try to sell yourself or your brand.  Make your blog posts/content unique and interesting, so it shows consumers that your brand has personality and can be connected to.  Also use social media to show your insight and expertise – answer questions you feel qualified to answer and comment when you can add value.

Remember, you should focus on quality over quantity and find a target market to be more effective.   Sometimes, businesses can also overlook people in their niche market.  Keep some content simple and easy to understand, so potential customers who aren’t as informed can grasp the information you’re trying to relay.

Pack Your Social Media Toolbox With All the Right Tools

Imagine you have to set up a piece of furniture.  You are given a toolkit that has all the tools you need- screwdriver, hammer, pliers, etc- to do the job.  Except there’s one catch- the toolbox you have been given is one of those toy sets for kids.  You can pretend that you can build that piece of furniture (the tools look the same), but obviously those toy tools just won’t cut it.

Managing social media is the same way- many social media management platforms offer businesses tools to monitor and engage with their customers, and these tools seem like they would work, but actually create more hassle and confusion for the business.  Social media presents an abundance of information that could get very confusing if businesses do not know how to start or approach it.  This can becoming very time consuming, and marketers can run up a hefty bill.

So what tools will actually work?  Basically, the main tools necessary for businesses to manage their social media efforts will simplify the process.  First of all, businesses need to have all the information from the major social media utilities in one place- if businesses had to spend a lot of time gathering and hunting for customer feedback, it would be a very frustrating process.  Social Defender offers an information center in one place, which can bring feedback promptly to a business’s attention, who can in turn respond quickly and informatively.  It’s important that businesses attend to positive and negative feedback quickly, since customers nowadays expect a fast response since social media permits such.  Social Defender also allows for businesses to monitor current market buzz and consumer wants through the listening platform, which is important for keeping up to date with competitors and trends.  All this information would be a long, confusing process to sift through if social media management did not have multiple people to attend to all this information.  Social Defender allows the appointment of team members- without giving them full administrative access.  A good social media platform does not just connect with customers- it also makes social media efforts more informative and simplified for businesses.

Social Media Management can ultimately be the “make-it or break-it” tipping point for businesses and marketers since almost all consumers nowadays are plugged into social media networks.  Those businesses that maximize their SMM efforts will be more likely to succeed.