The point of social media marketing is to engage your followers and get them to, not only purchase your products or services, but prompt them to voluntarily share your business information with the friends, families and associates with whom they are connected through social media. The first rule of engagement? Know who you’re dealing with and what they want from you.
Current research shows that there are seven primary “types” of social media users. Let’s take a look at each one in detail and assess the best way to approach them.
The Deal Seeker:
As the name suggests, this type of social media user is always on the hunt for a bargain.Research suggests that just under 50 percent of social media users follow certain company pages simply for the promotions and specials they offer. So, this category of user is a ‘big deal’. They will stay current with your promotions, and will drive business your way, but you have to keep the good deals coming. Otherwise, you risk losing their interest, and with them goes their followers.
Since this type of user makes their purchasing decisions based, not on loyalty, but value, you have to keep them engaged by continuing to offer deals and fan appreciation specials. Every time they see a promotion of yours that they like, they will share it with their followers on other social media sites. This creates a continual stream of new leads.
The Unhappy Customer:
This user has potential to do harm to your online presence. He will not hesitate to post a negative experience regarding your product or customer service on your page. Whether or not his claim is valid or exaggerated, the potential for damage is real.
Because about 42 percent of those who post about negative experiences expect a response from your business within an hour, there are several things you should do to quell the tide of potentially bad publicity, and how you handle it could make all the difference. Stay on top of troubling posts by monitoring your pages (don’t forget to search for business mentions) hourly, if possible. When you see a negative comment respond immediately, but with professionalism and understanding. Put yourself in their shoes, so to speak. Let the customer know that you will work hard to win back his trust and offer reasonable solutions to his dilemma. Once the situation is resolved, consider reaching out to him privately. While some people just cannot be satisfied, you also have a great opportunity to turn an unhappy customer into a loyal fan, which is the next type of social media user.
The Loyal Fan:
This social media user has your back and recommends you to family and friends, provides constructive criticism and praise, and will come to your defense when social media fans become upset with your brand. In short, he is invaluable to your social media presence. Research shows that about 30 percent of all consumers, online and offline, are inclined to share their positive experiences through social media sites.
The first thing to do is identify these users by using their posted comments and feedback on all of the social media sites where you have a presence. Next, extend your appreciation to them by offering gifts, such as discounts or free shipping. When they receive affirmation they will remain loyal.
The Casual Liker:
Past experience is what this user relies on to determine which brands and services to follow. They like some of the things you post and they want to be viewed by their friends as a legitimate source of consumer information. So, these people will like, share and repost whenever they see something on your page that interests them. The potential leads they generate for you are virtually incalculable, so use it to your advantage. Remember that over 81 percent of consumers say that their purchasing decisions are impacted by information shared through social media connections. In contrast, only 14 percent of social media users trust ads. Given those numbers, wisdom would dictate that you might consider spending more time trying to facilitate an ongoing relationship with the casual liker than trying to create the next snazzy ad.
Keep the casual liker interested and engaged in your products and services by continuing to roll out interesting posts and relevant information about new products and services. Don’t forget to include a blurb requesting that they share the information, too.
The Quiet Follower:
A follower of your page simply because his friends are, the quiet follower is the most neutral of social media users. He doesn’t really do any harm to your business, but you don’t gain any benefit from him either. In fact, he may not even be a customer. This social media user seldom, if ever, shares information from your site.
The trick to engaging the quiet follower is through enticement, or a call to action. Since you already know that this user is a follower of his friend’s habits, create interesting product polls that will move him to participate on your site. The more he participates, the more connected he will feel to your brand. The goal with this social media user is to change him from a quiet follower to a cheerleader for your brand.
The name says it all. This social media titan is your number one fan. He loves everything about you, your business, your brand, your products, and your services, and he regularly shares your images, videos and posts. He is a regular comment contributor to your site, and “likes” everything you put out there. In short, he is your one man ad agency.
It may feel like you can do no wrong with the cheerleader, but you have to keep your content fresh and inspiring. In other words, make sure you always have something worth sharing. Posting ‘limited-time offers’ or promotions is a great way to keep him excited, and the urgency of the message will prompt him to share it with others.
These people are sometimes known as “trolls”. They are intent on picking virtual fights and have strong opinions about everything. Most often, these aren’t even customers of yours, and what they are complaining about is inflammatory and not related to your product at all. They bring negativity to your business nonetheless.
The strategy here is not to engage in anything that is not business-related. Consider the gripe, and assess whether or not there are any relevant components contained within it that should be addressed. If you do respond, maintain a calm, professional demeanor, and only speak on their product or service related comments.
Of course, social media users don’t always fall into just one of the seven simplified categories. They can move from one to the other, and they can overlap, depending on the day. However, there are five types of social media content that all social media users want, and each is appealing to different degrees to each of them.