The beauty of digital is that everything can be counted and measured. You can see how much people love or hate something, see the percentage of reactions to posts and basically setup measuring to any data you want captured. With that in mind it really blows my mind when I come across brand social media who cannot communicate effectively with its audience.
I was recently invited by a hotel chain who were frustrated with their social media agency who never seem to be able to connect with their audience. Sure they bring in the number of fans, but the number of conversations, impressions are low, non-existent to be more precise. You don’t need to have a degree in communications to see whats wrong here. They represent these beautiful hotels and the topic they regularly posts are about how beautiful the sites, rooms, service and food of other hotels in the world. They don’t even bother to ask or include the audience in their conversations.
Some other social media I’ve found tried to hard at being a super hero with contents catering to everyone. You can see contents for kids, teenagers, and adults in one social media in one whole day. People are literally confused who you are trying to talk to. Just because the social media is for a company that cater all ages, lets say a mall, you don’t have to talk to everyone, you need to talk to the people that matter, that can influence others and are decision makers.
Insights are Important
Yes, those sites that offer insights services are actually important. They can show you who follows you, their age groups, which topics are popular, and what day of the week or time of day they like to interact with you. From these information you should be able to begin to describe what your audience are like. You can be more advance by A-B testing posts and measure their sentiments, create surveys or activations that lures user involvements.
Don’t forget to consider what your competition is doing. Why go head to head with a competitor who’s doing the same thing first or have better funding. For instance, a competing motorcycle company is using communities to be part of a testimonial video series published weekly on their social media. Using communities in similar way is just a bad move, try getting community members to spend a day with a motoGP racer and see him in action. Record their faces and testimonial. There is more than one way to break an egg, be creative. So be sure to have insights on your competition by running a competitive review at least once a month.
Know your enemy and know yourself, find naught in fear for 100 battles. Know yourself but not your enemy, find level of loss and victory. Know thy enemy but not yourself, wallow in defeat every time. ~ Sun Tzu
After a month on social media, after market automotive parts producer Aspira has connected to a little over 10,000 fans on facebook and 2000 followers on twitter through an integrated campaign. We took another month to connect and engage the fans and followers through dishing out random posts that are according to the brand’s target market. We look at what post get the most likes, what post get the best shares, and what posts get them to comment. We also looked at the type of comment they make.
We find that our audience likes talking about automotive contents that relate to what they face each day: commuting, traffic jams, people who break traffic laws, etc. They love to comment on these topics both good and bad. The important thing is that it starts conversations with themselves.
Through these insights, we know that creating a post about the daily commuting life is easy, but we want something they can relate and share, even laugh at themselves. We wanted to tell a story, but we don’t want a long boring post. So we decided to take on comic strips as they can be sarcastic, funny, and have an emotional value all together.
We recruited comic artist Haryadhi Gee known for his comic strips KOSTUM to be part of the Komik Jalanan (street comic) project and deliver a satire of everyday life of motorcyclist in Indonesia. With a comic every 2 weeks, we started our first comic post on September 23rd 2013, and it was a big hit. We had 12x the impression, 5x more likes and share in the first day than other any other posts. The snowball grows bigger as we hit 33k impression in one day on the 5th issue, and the likes and shares have quadrupled from the first issue.
Listening to what your audience is like pays off, and in more ways than others. People are begining to download and share the comic on other social networks which Aspira has no investments in. Our team have found them shared on Path, Line, Kakao Talk, Blackberry Messenger groups, Whatsapp, even joke sites like 1cuk.com and na9a.com (9gag.com like sites). The comic went viral because its the content that the audience can relate to. With the brand on the comic, it was a bonus.
So start paying attention to your audience, because you are not talking to yourself. Your audience will leave you if your content can’t relate to what they expect of your brand.