How to do Facebook right
As part of the weekly London College of Fashion Industry Talks, Laura Grigerova of Socialbakers gave a lecture on Social Media in the Fashion industry on Tuesday. Here’s a summary of some insights she provided.
Laura Grigerova has five years of experience in media communications, fashion PR and consumer behaviour under her belt. She works for Socialbakers, a social media analytics agency that services customers from over 100 countries. Over 600’000 industry professionals access the site every day. So it sounds like they’ve got some pretty valuable infos! In her presentation, Laura spoke about the different stages corporate social media usages and gave tips for how to ‘get it right.’
The different stages of corporate social media use
Stage 1: Social Media Awareness
Most brands (65%) are in this stage. They have acknowledged the presence of social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter etc and created a presence on these respective channels. However, they only engage in campaigns on an irregular basis and do not engage the followers. This stage is the least effective, as the lack of audience engagement does not foster the building of brand-customer relationships. In order for a social media presence to be effective, relationships have to be built gradually, with brands posting content on a daily basis.
Stage 2: Social Media Analysis & Competition Monitoring
Here, companies go further than just creating a social media presence – they also look in to what the competition and the audience are doing and analyse it. The problem that brands face at this stage is that they don’t quite know what to do with the information and end up not putting it to its correct use.
Stage 3: From Monitoring to Actions
The social media giants are the only ones that are at this stage – Coca Cola, Converse, Burberry and the likes. They gather information from their social media audience and use it to base their ongoing decisions on it. They know their customers and their audience – where they are, who they are, and what they are doing.
How to be successful in Social Media
Companies need to move on from the shallow belief that creating a social media presence is all they need to do to become successful in this area. Social media channels should be used as a means of managing relationships with customers through engaging them. The primary goal should not be to grow the largest possible audience (ie have lots of likes) – brands need to start actually caring about their fans and users and open up a dialogue with them.
Social media today is about customer care.
– Laura Grigerova
Laura’s presentation focused mainly on Facebook, hence why the following tips are all specific to this channel – however it would make sense to transfer the recommended behaviour to the other social media channels as well. The most engaging content on Facebook are by far images – 93% of engagement on the site comes from images. Therefore, it is of the essence that brands post lots of images – these need to be relevant and posted at the right times of the day to reach maximum views and engagement.
Other things that need to be done in order to engage your community:
- Talk to the community! Ask questions, post polls, etc etc
- Post only local and relevant content (ie if you’re a fashion brand, don’t post random images of cats, unless of course it’s in some sort of fashion context)
- Benchmark your brand against competitors (eg if your main competitor posts at 10 am, you may want to consider posting at 9 am. No joke! Laura actually suggested this.)
- Post during holidays as well, since there is less buzz during this time and people have more time on their hands.
Furthermore, it is important that brands, on the whole, become socially devoted. This means that they have to be approachable and respond to the customer. If someone posts something on your Facebook wall, asks a question etc, don’t ignore them! According to Laura, a brand loses a customer each time they ignore a posted question.
There are loads of advantages to becoming more interactive on social media. A brand that manages its social media interactions with its audience and consumers effectively can gather lots of valuable information about them. And apart from perhaps having to invest in human resources to ensure that a team is always on call and able to respond to the community at all times of the day, it saves the company money. Online market budgets need not be as large as traditional advertising budgets, and can reach a more targeted audience, hence being more personalised and effective. The need for high spending on market research services will also wither, as information about consumers gathered over social media can lead to unique and significant insights that such services may not even be able to deliver.
It seems that brands are starting to understand how important it is to be socially devoted; according to Laura, brands’ Facebook response rates improved by 143% in the last year.
The brand that is by far the most devoted is….
Smart brands need to focus on:
- … the quality of the relationship they have with their fans
- … the quality of the contents they post
- … developing a consistent posting strategy
- … doing regular competitive analysis and acting on it to improve own social media interactions
Industries that fashion can learn from in terms of social media:
All images taken at Laura’s presentation at the London College of Fashion this week.
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