Social Media Marketing December 11th, 2014
In the early days of social media expansion, community management was mainly two ideas: being present on all the major networks and occasionally buying media space. Nowadays, as the number of companies competing for audiences’ attention are growing at a rapid pace, the rules of the game have changed in an enormous extent.
Apart from the fact that social networks keep changing their algorithms, people’s attitude towards company pages are significantly changing too. Namely, the average number of pages people follow and engage with is limited, which makes it painfully difficult for a company to differentiate themselves from its competitors. Therefore, it’s important to focus on strategy rather than the time spent. This is why it may be useful to consider some proven tactics for engaging your fans.
When planning a social media strategy, the first thing a community manager must take into account is people’s overall perception of company pages. Although social media users increasingly follow brands on their social media channels, they’re still unlikely to engage with the page unless it shares a highly valuable offer or an interesting piece of content.
A Social Habit study from 2012 showed that the average number of brands people follow on social networks grows at an amazing rate – from 16 in 2010 to 33 in 2012. However, the portion of people who are ready to engage by liking, commenting, retweeting constitutes only a small portion of the overall number.
In fact, people are most likely to take action only when they’re offered something valuable, such as coupons, promo codes, etc. In a related research, 70% of Facebook users stated that they follow brands in order to be notified about special offers and promotions.
This is the first clue in finding different ways to increase the number of active fans. To create a successful page, you must make your audience feel special about belonging to the community. By giving your audience an actual reason to engage with your company, they’re more likely to do so. Thus, if special offers are what appeals to them most, consider using them as a part of your strategy.
The secret of creating a company page that stands out is certainly not relying on one’s hunch, but rather following some rules to create a post that generates the most impact.
One of the rules that has been widely talked about among marketers is the 90-9-1 rule. This rule proposes that in every group of 100 people, there will be a single influencer or a main communicator, while the rest would either engage in conversation when prompted (9 people) or only listen to and follow the rest of the group (90 people).
In terms of social media engagement, this rule means that it’s not actually page likes or follows that count. Rather, your company benefits from the people who are influencing other people and are ready to talk about their positive experience with your brand or your page.
This rule, however, doesn’t necessarily work this way. Namely, as Paul Schneider from Socious earlier pointed out, today these proportions are closer to 70-20-10 due to the increased number of social searches and shares. Certainly, he does give some convincing evidence in support of his view, but the general idea is rather similar: you need to know who your fans are and how you can influence them.
Which brings us to the following.
The digits may reflect the previously described Schneider’s rule, but this one doesn’t refer to the proportion of fans who would be active on a page. It is, however, related to the type of content you should share.
The 70-20-10 posting rule is yet another guideline marketers have been relying on for years, which was first defined by Crystal Vilkaitis, the head of Crystal media. According to this rule, your social content should be distributed the following way:
This rule seems to be a proper mix that can keep your audience’s attention. In fact, it is commonly used by some of the most engaging company pages on Facebook. For example, one would hardly assume that a company like Intel would be able to develop an active community. In fact, their page is still one of the top corporate/tech pages on Facebook, which certainly has a lot to do with the strategy they use.
Similarly, although in a completely unrelated branch, Starbucks have always had quite a few fresh ideas up their sleeve when it comes to community management. Even though they rely mostly on keeping their community entertained by promotional offers, they too follow the 70:20:10 rule to a certain extent.
If you’ve been struggling to keep your social media community active, perhaps these mathematically defined formulas could help you succeed. Of course, there isn’t a single strategy applicable to all brands, but it’s always useful to consider the tactics of those who’ve made significant impact in the social media space. The two rules have been handy to a number of successful pages and there seems to be no reason why more companies shouldn’t try them out.