If you’re using social media to market your company, you know that social media fans are not all alike.
Many different types of people follow you on social networks. While every person is different, social media fans and customers can be broken down into roughly 7 categories. Once you understand who these customers are, it’s easier to target them to improve brand awareness, find leads, and drive sales. Here’s a look a who they are, why they’re following your brand on social media, and what to do to get the most out of them.
The folks at ReachLocal, a localized-marketing agency, have illustrated the 7 popular types of social media fans in the infographic below. Here’s a quick take on these different personas:
1. The Quiet Follower
This fan has liked your business on Facebook or followed you on Twitter, but they don’t say much and don’t really engage with you. One of the easiest ways to reach them is by ask them to do something — create stronger calls to action by requesting that they retweet or “like” your posts. Getting these fans to engage with your brand on Facebook means that your content will appear more often in their news feeds. (See my post Understanding Facebook Edgerank to learn how to give your Facebook posts a higher probability of appearing at the top of news feeds.)
2. The Casual “Liker”
This person occasionally retweets your Twitter content or “likes” your Facebook or LinkedIn posts. They probably followed your business because they want to let their friends know that they buy products from your company and/or because they genuinely enjoy your content. Use calls to action on your Facebook posts encourage your fans to share your content. Example: If you own a coffee shop, you could share a photo of the new hot drink you’ve just introduced with a caption that says, “Share this if you love coffee!” This will help turn casual fans into brand advocates.
3. The Deal Seeker
This fan wants exclusive access to coupons, deals, incentives, and events. There are a lot of deal-seekers out there: Studies have shown that more than half of Facebook users expect access to sales or to receive discounts or promotions after “liking” a brand on Facebook:
Reach these customers by regularly posting deals-of-the-week, offers, contests, and specials for your social media audiences. Companies that regularly do this attract new fans.
4. The Unhappy Customer
No one wants unhappy customers — let alone seeing their negativity on your social media sites — but people are using social media more and more as a form of public communication with brands. Posts on Facebook pages or @mentions on Twitter are used to complain about customer service, and can harm your reputation. It’s important to continually monitor your pages and quickly respond to feedback and complaints. This sends the message that you care and are listening, and that you put your customers first.
5. The Negative Detractor
We’ve all seen cases of companies being bombarded with negative comments from people on social media sites, whether they’re fans or not. Sometimes these complaints aren’t even related to specific experiences with you — they can arise from ideological, cultural, political, or personal issues that have come to light in public. Keep your reputation safe — don’t make off-brand, controversial public statements that have the propensity to make people angry. Case in point: Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro fed the trolls and demonstrated a valuable lesson for every brand — needless to say, it’s time to work with a PR professional if something like this happens to you:
6. The Enthusiastic Cheerleader
OMG!! Awesome! These social media followers think You Rock! These great fans don’t necessarily do business with you on a regular basis, but they comment, like, share, and retweet all of your posts. They also enter all of your contests, write ecstatic reviews about you, spread the word about your company and products, and spice up your pages with their happiness. Make it a point to share their content and fan photos, and ask them if they want to be part of one of your social media marketing campaigns or brand promotions.
7. The Loyal Customer
These fans recommend you to everyone they know, and they have a high referral rate. You recognize them by their profile picture, and you’d immediately know them if they walked into your store. They are true fans of your business. Ask them to share their stories in case studies, in quotes you can use on your website, and in video testimonials, and offer them appreciation in the form of loyalty discounts, reward programs, and other outreach efforts that encourage them to keep promoting your brand.