International speaker and corporate trainer Dr Frank Peter was in Karachi from July 3-6, 2019 to conduct training sessions on digital marketing and digital transformation. Organised by Octara, these sessions and workshops were attended by employees from various organisations in Pakistan including Aman Foundation, EFU Insurance, HBL, Mitsubishi Motors, Khaadi, Reckitt Benckiser Pakistan and others.
At the Social Media Tactics workshop (held on July 3), Dr Peter provided tips and tricks on how to successfully manage and analyse a business’ social media pages. Here are five talking points from the session which were especially relevant.
1. ‘Like’ and ‘Follow’ are “vanity measures”
Don’t use the number of followers on your social media platform as a metric to gauge how successful it is. Although you can get a high number of followers using paid media, these ‘followers’ will not necessarily engage with your page as honestly and passionately as a smaller, more targeted audience base will, which may consist of 3,000 fans as opposed to 10,000. Instead, use your Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn handles as long-term communication platforms to establish your credibility as an authority in your respective field. Therefore, rather than spending $500 on getting more “likes” via sponsored ads, build a reputation by responding to comments and queries in a timely and responsible manner.
2. Facebook should be used to educate rather than to sell
Most companies use social media as a tool for selling their products and services online, and telling the world how “great” they are. Dr Peter suggests that instead of constantly putting up posts that advertise your products to boost sales, or telling the world how great you are as a company, let consumers talk about how great you are. You can do this by gaining consumer trust – which can be achieved by establishing your expertise, interacting with potential customers, and actively listening to customer feedback on the platform. For instance, a new grocery store should focus on content that educates potential customers about who they are as a company and what makes them different (loyalty cards, affordable prices, the team behind the grocery store operations etc) rather than simply telling customers “We’re new, visit our new outlet”.
3. Don’t ignore your audience!
The whole point of creating social media pages is to provide customers with the opportunity to engage with your brand in real-time. Instead of constantly attracting new fans, pay attention to retaining your established fans by actively listening to what their needs are, and catering to them accordingly. For instance, if a customer complains about an issue they are facing and you message them privately telling them to call a customer service number, this may lead to the customer feeling frustrated and fed up; meanwhile, other customers will think that a complaint is being ignored. The correct way is to respond to the complaint publicly, letting the customer know that you will put them in touch with the relevant department, or offering a solution to the problem right there and then.
4. Harness the power of micro influencers, not celebrities
When you see a celebrity endorsing a product, you know they are being paid to do so. Therefore, opt for micro-influencers; they are able to interact with your audiences more frequently compared to celebrities and are also able to respond to questions/comments in a timely manner. For example, an up and coming shoe store could hire a local fashion blogger who has 1,000 followers interested in shoes, as opposed to opting for a fashion model with two million fans who are primarily interested in keeping up with her lifestyle.
5. Create a user persona and reach audiences effectively
Instead of trying to reach Facebook’s or Instagram’s entire user base, cater to a specific audience which will most likely be interested in your brand. Do this by creating a web/user persona, which is essentially a fictional description of a person (their characteristics, demographics, needs, motivations). For instance, if you own a fast food chain that specialises in premium-beef burgers, your target customer should not be someone who simply likes food. Instead, zero in on a specific audience type with the help of the following user persona: “Omar is a 29-year-old banker from Sec A, and stays up to date with the latest eateries in town. He finds out about new food places by following food bloggers on Instagram, or by talking to friends and co-workers. He prefers eating at a restaurant rather than ordering food to his home or office.” Once you have outlined a user persona, use the tools available on each platform to reach your desired audience.