Archive for : consumer behavior

5 Types of Facebook Fans and How to Win Them

Have you ever wondered what are the types of fans that have liked you on Facebook, beyond the given demographics? The thing is this – it is impossible to please every single one of them with a single update and at the same time, bombarding your fans with updates of different nature will drive them away too.

The trick: Talk to them, not at them.

Truth be told, there isn’t a need to engage every single one of your fans all the time simply because not all of them can be reached at one go. Instead of trying to please everyone, try identifying the types of fans you have and understanding the 5 different types of Facebook fans will help you engage them better, at their pace.

#1: The Friend

These are the people you know and maybe you’ve invited them to like your page and they did. Many pages started with this to get a head start in the number of fans (and it is absolutely fine) but that also poses a challenge – to keep them engaged or ‘entertained’. I say it’s a challenge because they may not actually like what you have to offer, but did it as a mere form of support.

What to do?

While they are a challenge, they can work to your advantage as you (should) have a better idea on their preferences. Try breaking them into smaller groups based on their interest (e.g. sports / cooking / gaming) and ask yourself, “What would they like to see?” and try creating content in that area.

They make great sounding boards too! Ask them for opinions to see how are you doing thus far – are your updates too frequent? Are they relevant? Are they eye-catching enough? These are great people to receive honest feedback from. Occasionally, consider getting them to promote your updates / content for you.

#2: The Observer

This group of fans may have liked your page for various reasons – whether its because a friend did the same, something you posted caught their attention or they liked you by accident (it happens). Regardless of how they liked your page, these are fans that prefers consuming content instead of participating.

What to do?

This is a tough one and there’s no one way to do it. Experiment. And keep experimenting. You’ll need to be able to sniff out what content sells and what does not. Are your fans more receptive to photos, quotes, videos, product updates, event updates or polls?

Note: most observers are reluctant to post a comment but they may be good ‘likers’. Use that as an initial indication to determine which content type works and see if you can push it further the next time by initiating a simple call-to-action.

#3: The Customer

It is common for brands to think that this is the most important group of fans – but they aren’t (we’ll come to that soon). These are fans that your brand has come in contact with in one way or another – through a roadshow, a past purchase, a flyer that has created an interest in them or fans that are saying “Let’s see what you’ve got”.

What to do?

Don’t sell. Instead, provide value. Consider providing them social exclusives. Show them how you are improving and how mindful you are to meet their needs and expectations and always look out for opportunities to reward their support. KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese went as far as producing a ‘Likeapella’ to say ‘Thank You’ to 4,800 fans that Liked them on their Facebook page. Now that’s one special way to say thank you!

#4: The Advocate

Nope, these aren’t the most important group of fans either. These fans are awesome to have for every business (who doesn’t want their customers talking about them anyway?) and will actively ‘Like’, ‘Share’, comment and even reply to other fans on your behalf.

What to do?

Don’t smile to yourself and leave them be. Acknowledge their support, contribution and help by simple rewards and recognition. Tools like Crowdbooster are great (and free!) to identify which are the most engaging fans on your page. Mashable went to the extend of putting up a wallpaper of all their Facebook fans in their office.

#5: The Haters

These fans are what brands fear the most. In fact, this is the reason why many brands do not want to have an online presence – the fear of negative comments and bashing from the fans. However, this group of fans is in fact the most important of them all for one reason: a chance to show them (and the other fans) your dedication and sincerity to them.

What to do?

Address them and address them quick. Negative comments spread like wildfire over social platforms and it is up to you to reply them almost as soon as you spot them, but tactfully. Do not, ever, delete or hide their complaints for whatever reasons or to defend yourself. Instead, apologize first and seek whatever clarifications you would require and always offer to compensate.

In most cases, your Advocates will step in to defend against your plight and this is the perfect opportunity to show them that you indeed care and value your fans and to turn haters into lovers.

Everyone is a Potential Customer

By now you should have noticed that regardless of the type of fan they are, every fan is a potential (repeating) customer. Take some time to understand, to experiment and to converse at their own pace and you will be seeing results soon.

What type of fans do you have and how have you been engaging them? I would love to hear your thoughts!

5 Words That Describe the Need of Today’s Gen-Social Media

Catching up with the next generation and “advertising” your brand to them requires fantastic stamina. From the late baby boomers to Gen-X and now Gen-Y, the next generation is blurred by overwhelming suggestions of terminology to describe the next generation in a boxed up category. In this digital and social media era, Gen-C may be the next most appropriate description to be carved into this rising generation. The letter “C” for “Connected”. Or GenSM, “SM” for “Social Media”. Call them whatever you like, the naked truth is that this fast growing generation stops for nothing and is highly connected to the web. It is in their second nature to receive information on the go and to plunge themselves into a world of fast paced connectivity and communication. Let us not fight to retain the next generation to an age old formula, but rather embrace and try to understand them, especially brands and companies that are trying so hard to reach their consumers in this social media generation.

TOP 5 WORDS TO UNDERSTAND & REMEMBER WHEN ENGAGING THE SOCIAL MEDIA GENERATION

#1: FAST

NOW! That’s what consumers urge for today. They don’t realize how amazing unseen transmissions get transferred by bouncing off a satellite thousands of miles away before returning to their device. That’s a menial activity, almost obsolete to them. The generation now requires speed-of-light information on the go. One may argue that it promotes impatience but t consumers, it’s viewed as efficiency. We can argue our points, but that one word, “FAST”, is only getting faster with the advancement of technology which leads to higher expectations. We need to understand the changing expectations of the social media generation and meet their needs with the appropriate social media tools to keep up with speed.

 #2:CHANGE

Change is the only constant. What an oxymoron statement that carries much truth. Due to the speed of information we receive from the web and especially social media, we tend to get bored very easily, always seeking for newer and fresher things. To target your next generation of consumers, you have to be as adventurous and daring as they are – Exploring out of the box, keeping a distance from conventional and producing fresh content and ideas on the fly.  

 #3:INVOLVE

There are 6 types of social media users but we will not go into detail for now. All of them have one thing in common, they want to be involved. Whether it be actively involved or passively involved. They all want to be included at some point and to be heard. Creating an avenue for the social media generation to participate holds much growth potential for brands and companies. Allow decisions to be shared among your fans/customers. Allow your target audience to be involved.  

#4:CONVERSATION

It is stereotype to think that the social media generation is silent and anti-social. Take a pip into their social networking world and you will find that they are far from being silent. Conversations do not only happen face to face in this age. This new generation converse profusely on social networking sites. Gone were the days where brand marketing was a one way communication. Consumers now want to have a conversation with the brand and have a 2 way conversation. Talk to them, listen to them and create a conversation instead of shoving information down their throats.  

#5:BELONG

Meeting the need for a sense of belonging from friends, family and the society will always be a carnal and an emotional desire. These people that build a community are slowly duplicating themselves on social networks. The social media generation tends to gravitate online for acceptance and a place where they can belong. Brands and companies that try so hard to build a rest stop out of their social media presence would not make the cut. We need to think community. Build a community that embodies a warmth and gentle place for all to feel they are wanted.

What do you think of the next generation? The Gen-Social Media. We would love to hear your thoughts!