The Route To Success On Social: Content Is King But Context Is Queen

Just back from Social Media Week and my head is buzzing.

So many great and inspiring talks from the industry top bods and brands – it really brought home how important and mainstream social has become. Just a few years ago, social was thought of as a separate entity – one or two young people with a Facebook account, parked in a cupboard doing their own thing. Now, most marketing teams have social integrated within their teams. Currently, there are 1.5 million jobs in the world related to social!

Adam Smith, Deputy Community Editor at the Economist talked about how this 173 year old newspaper had evolved and put together a social team as recently as last year. They are now embedded with their journalists, creating native social content and experimenting with new and innovative ways of sharing their stories across their social channels to reach a whole new audience and demographic.

Social is now a huge driver of change in a world where everything and everyone is connected but we are so bombarded with new information that we struggle to focus on anything longer than a tweet.

I went to a fascinating talk by Neil Davidson at HeyHuman who talked about the need for ‘brain friendly social’, a reaction to the increasingly shallow relationships that people have with brands. Did you know that we unlock our phones over 80 times a day?! We are, in essence, hooked on digital interaction and checking your Instagram or Facebook account is now the new cigarette break. Our brains are busier than ever before and it seems, we are not good multi-taskers.

Neuroscience research has shown that all this has a real effect on the brain. Simply noticing there’s a new email in your in-box while trying to concentrate on a different task reduces your IQ by 10 points! Moving between 3 screens platforms is too much for brain to deal with – there is 90% brand recall when using just one screen but this goes down to 31% when using more than one screen.

So what does all this mean for social? Marketers will need to create more emotionally engaging and relevant content that uses the senses more intelligently. As social continues to evolve and be used across multi-devices, it is vital for brands to be on the pulse and engage with audiences in the right places.

For businesses, with so many social platforms to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know which is best for your brand and increasingly difficult to create stand out messaging that will grab your audience’s attention. Crucially, by digging deeper into insights on how consumers engage with content on social media platforms, we can make sure we market the right content in the right context.

If you need help with getting your social media campaign on track and creating an engaging campaign that will help you stand out from the crowd, call me for chat..

Telephone – 01722 580800 | [email protected]

Want to know about the current social media trends and where are we headed? Stay tuned…I’ll cover this in my next blog.

Leveraging social media for customer service

According to JD Power, an estimated 67% of consumers now tap networks like Twitter and Facebook for customer service. These are a new breed of customer, enabled by technology, posting both positive and negative reviews in public forums, on blogs and Facebook and Twitter for all to see including your current or potential customers!

Whilst people will tell their friends about a good customer experience on social media, significantly more will talk about a bad one. It’s down to psychology – one tends to be more motivated by anger – the prevalence of platforms in which to express this anger, combined with the ‘satisfaction’ that you are warning others of your experience, ensures that negative social comments need to be managed, so ignore them at your peril!

I run the social media for Chalke Valley History Festival, a week long Festival set in 5 acres of farm land in the South West of UK. This year we experienced ongoing rainfall prior to the Festival which made the ground fairly wet but manageable, followed by an unprecedented amount of rain in very short periods during the Festival. This was a recipe for mud and more mud as we went through 3 contingency plans – to say they were very challenging conditions for the organisers is an understatement. Naturally, we received some complaints from visitors who got their cars stuck, the toilets were muddy, the pathways had been subsumed into the mud, or were delayed due to the difficult conditions in the car park. But we tackled the issues head on with a proactive plan and messaging that demonstrated we were aware of the problems and doing everything we could to deal with the issues. We responded to any queries as soon as we could (i.e. within minutes) via Twitter and Facebook, posting updates on the blog as well as using these forums to keep updating those coming of the conditions underfoot.

Of course, you can’t please everyone but on the whole the response was positive and the mood at the festival was fun, many embracing the ‘Glasto-History Festival’ mud and thankful they had been reminded to bring appropriate footwear!

So, my advice to those of you ignoring those complaints – Don’t, it can quickly overwhelm and turn into a PR nightmare. Instead define a clear comms plan, understand what needs to be communicated how and when and then go for it. And don’t forget you need to build in flexibility – things change, and fast. Remember if you are using your social channels for customer services, you need to empathise with customers and do what you can to be helpful. Done right, customer service via social is a huge opportunity to engage in conversation around your brand and show others in the industry how you can make a positive impact.

When companies engage and respond to customer service requests over social media, those customers end up spending 20% to 40% more with the company (Bain & Company)

57% of consumers say they’d be somewhat or very influenced to think more highly of a business after seeing positive comments or praise online (Direct Marketing)

Take away tips:

Hearing what customers say about you on social media can be an invaluable tool.

  • Do encourage and respond to feedback but make complaints your priority and set up a policy to deal with them swiftly and efficiently.
  • Develop a comms plan, but be flexible as things change.
  • Use any suggestions to generate ideas to improve your product or service and deal with negative feedback quickly to avoid a PR disaster.
  • How is everyone else doing it? Keep an eye on how your competitors deal with feedback. Note what they are doing right and how you could improve on that.

For larger companies, overwhelmed by the volume of interaction – there are useful tools to automate and streamline the Customer Service offering. Tools like Conversocial and Lithium Reach help by delegating the conversations for handling by different team members, as well as ensuring that requests are properly queued to be addressed by employees in the customer service department.

If you are a small company, get your processes in order and make sure you’re doing all you can to ensure your social accounts are active and manned by someone familiar with the speedy and personal responses that customers expect and and you will reap the rewards of stronger customer loyalty.

Want to outsource your customer service offering on social? Give us a call!

Telephone – 01722 580800 | [email protected]

How to Build a Social Media Strategy

The first thing that struck me when I started running Social Media campaigns is that there is no quick fix. There are a zillion tools available that can help you streamline your campaign but with 500 million tweets sent each day (6,000 Tweets every second¹) getting noticed is tough and you need to work hard to cut through the noise.

Every 60 seconds on Facebook: 510 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated, and 136,000 photos are uploaded². This means a huge number of engaged and active users, but also a hell of a lot of information competing for their attention, so quality and strategy matter.

But no matter how good the quality of your content (and that it is very important) – it’s no good going to the trouble of creating and sharing it if it’s only being seen by a handful of people.

Gone are the days when your Facebook audience would see your every post – new algorithms introduced in 2012 mean Facebook filter the news feed in an attempt to show the most relevant posts. The decline in organic reach for Facebook Pages means you have to be more savvy in what you create and how you put your message across – remember, users don’t like being sold to!

People tend to forget that social media is just that, “social” and about building relationships. And guess what? It takes time to nurture relationships, build trust and build the right audience.

Oh and one more thing – trial and error. Don’t worry about making mistakes – not every tactic will work and you don’t know until you try right? I know this from experience – what might work for one client, might not work for another. There is no one-size-fits all strategy but consistency is key.

Having a structured social media marketing plan with short, medium or long-term goals is the only way to take your marketing forward. Build a strong strategy that takes into account what you are trying to achieve with logical steps on how to get there. Make sure you know who are your customers and what are your competitors doing!

Start your social media campaign with a plan. Download my FREE Social Media Checklist and discover the best social media strategy for your business.

¹Source: Brandwatch
²Source: The Social Skinny

Now, where to begin?