Consumers may like to touch base with businesses on social networks, but overload them with stupid posts and they might run like hell.
A recent study by SocialVibe found 70 percent of consumers who are active in various forms of social media have made a purchase after connecting with a brand online. Twenty percent of consumers connect with brands because they wish to see special offers.
But before you pummel your fans, followers or whatever with sales messages; another finding in the study states one-third of consumers who dumped brands from their network connections did so because they were being hammered by too many updates from the companies.
Posts made don’t have to always be about selling, what you ate for breakfast, tacky promotions or blasted photos of kittens that can’t spell. Nor should they continually urge people to tell others to like you too.
Updates can also consist of news within your industry that you feel may be of interest to your target group. The most important thing to remember is post when you have something of *substance* to say – something that could benefit the reader.
There seems to be a trend of monkey-see, monkey-do with companies on Facebook and many fail miserably because what works for company A may not work for company B – or even worse, it really blows up in their faces. Just on that point, approach humour carefully.
I’m not a social media expert, but while one of my sites has racked up 9,000 “likes”, I approach Facebook as a one-way communications street where I can – just to let people know of new content on the site. I don’t encourage discussion on that site’s Facebook page.
Social media can be terribly time-consuming and if you’re not a highly gregarious person; the pressure of time and your lack of interest in using social networks like they “should” will reflect in your updates and such. In short, don’t be a faker; it usually won’t work.
However, don’t let anyone (including me) tell you how you *must* use Facebook, Twitter or anything else – use it the way that suits you and your target group. Tread carefully, find the happy medium and you may not grow a fan/follower base the size of some of your competitors; but like post frequency, it’s a matter of quality over quantity in order to make the effort you do put in worthwhile for both you and consumers you are trying to woo.
Something else to bear in mind if you’re suffering a case of fan/follower envy – the company you’re envying may have bought those connections.
Aside from being a very lame thing to do as it can impact on a company’s credibility and is against most social networks’ rules, buying likes and +1’s may also have legal implications.