Social media planning is often rushed by many businesses. They start quickly without putting proper thought into exactly which channels they should operate in, how they are going to effectively build an audience (of the right people) and even what they are going to say.
Yet to be successful in this space, it is absolutely crucial that you are using the right communication strategy via your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and other social media accounts.So what do your customers and clients really want from you? Here are the top six things.
1. Exclusive offers and sales notifications
It’s true that you don’t want to bombard your followers and fans with sales-oriented messaging all day long. People don’t generally enjoy being marketed to, particularly on a platform they use for social interaction.
However, most people are interested in finding out about sales and exclusive offers. They don’t want to miss out on a good bargain, so make sure you reward your fan base by alerting them to when you’re holding a sale. You may even go one step further and offer special deals purely for them as a reward for being a loyal fan or follower.
2. Crowdsourcing initiatives
Your customers and social media followers want to be involved with your business. They like feeling like they have a say about the direction you’re taking. Utilise their opinions for free market research, and get them to help you improve your products, services and marketing.
Ask them what they think about your ads and what they want to see in your product. Get them to feed off each other to come up with ideas for product development or marketing strategy.
It’s amazing the difference this can make both to your business and to customer loyalty. An example of this is British Airways, who ask their fans on Facebook what movies they want to see added to the in-flight entertainment system. It’s simple, inexpensive, and yet their fans love feeling like they are involved in making decisions for the company.
3. Interesting and visual stories
This is a no-brainer — clients and customers want to see interesting posts. They don’t want to be bored. I mean, that’s just obvious. Visual posts tend to be more interesting and result in more engagement. Make sure you’re not posting for the sake of posting and that you always have something relevant or interesting to share with your fan base. Ask a question, share a fun fact or post a photo of something interesting, pretty or funny. Do not be repetitive, boring or too salesy.
4. Customer service
No matter what business you’re in, your customers want to be able to reach you on social media to ask questions, provide feedback or complain. You cannot separate social media marketing on channels like Facebook and Twitter with customer service.
If you ignore enquiries and complaints, you will fail on social media. Customers not only want a timely response, they also want a resolution for any problems they are facing. You need to make sure your social media team are empowered to provide this.
5. News and other exciting company updates
If your customers or fans have taken the time to connect with you on their beloved social media channels, chances are they feel a connection to your business. They care about you, at least on some level.
They probably want to hear about any exciting updates to your products, services or your business in general. Product launches, branding changes, new store openings, key employee hires, or new advertisements are all examples of things your fans may be interested in.
6. Peace (not spam)
What your customers definitely do not want to see from your social media are ten thousand posts every day. They don’t want your logo popping up all over their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feed when they are trying to find out whether their friend is dating that guy from that night.
There is no magic number for the number of times you post per day or week. It depends on a number of things, including the size of your fan base, the popularity and relevancy of your business, the channels you’re operating in and, of course, whether you have anything interesting to say. Just be careful not to spam your followers.
Remember the six key things your customers want to see from your social media accounts. It’s important to tailor your content to your audience and channel. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach.
On Twitter you will get away with more frequent posts (or should we say tweets), and you might be more focused on customer service and utilise the platform for real-time updates and alerts. On LinkedIn, on the other hand, you should naturally focus more on employment and business-related information rather than fluffy engagement posts.
Instagram is obviously image based. If you’re operating across multiple social media platforms, make sure you understand the audience of each and post appropriately. Do not auto-post the same thing across your channels!
What do you want to see (or not see) from businesses on social media?