Which Social Media Platforms Should Your Brand Be On?

The all encompassing social media has got everyone running at a marathon\’s pace to create a presence on the world wide web. With the online marketing cosmos having players such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, LinkedIn to name a few, the dilemma of making the right choice for marketing your product/blog/service is no less complicated than a three year old solving a Rubik\’s Cube.

Why Should You Be Present On Social Media?

  • Create a presence on social media to monitor what’s being said about you
  • Incredible tool for deepening connection with customers
  • Yield larger interest among customers through detailed marketing
  • Faster mode of communication
  • Minimal investment for small and medium scale businesses

With all the social media channels at our disposal, it is not a choice, but now a necessity to make one\’s presence in not one, but all the spheres of the online marketing. The social media channels not only enable way less cash outflow than traditional marketing techniques, but also channelizes our product and services through the right mediums enabling a larger market presence. The choice of the right channel or a multitude of channels however is the smart thing to do, helping you make sure that you are heard. So here\’s a basic checklist for business to determine which social media platforms they should be present and spending their resources on:

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Choosing The Right Platform

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A brand should focus their time and resources on practical social media platforms that work for them. Research has to be done to figure where their target audience is on social media and which platforms are most effective at creating brand awareness and engagement. If your target audience is minimal or non-existent on a particular platform, don’t waste your time on it. Read, research, plan, organize, schedule and make your way mark on social media.

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In the small scale sphere, Wed Me Good,  an online portal that helps you to find wedding inspirations, ideas and the professionals who create dream weddings took to Facebook in the month of February, 2014. In it, you can view gorgeous real weddings and see the vendors they hired, or browse wedding inspirations by color, theme and category. With great content, visuals and links, WedMeGood got itself more than 3,000 likes in a span of two months. This poses as a great example of what benefits you receive while choosing the right platform.

Using More Than 1 Platform

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With a list of social media channels available, it does not come as a surprise when we find other social media brands having accounts on rival social media channels. In August last year, Instagram went offline for over an hour. They eventually took to Twitter to share their technical issue. This was due to the all encompassing presence of these channels making it inevitable for these channels to have accounts with their rivals.

Essentially, choosing the right social media platform is an individualistic choice that varies from business to business. What works for your competitor may not work for your brand. Thorough research and analysis should be done, so that your efforts and resources are not wasted on creating a presence on a social platform that doesn\’t end up working for you brand.

Samsung\’s Boring Facebook Content Strategy Is A Big Hit!

Always on the lookout for the best content strategies being executed by brands the world over, we happened to stumble upon Samsung Mobile USA\’s Facebook page. As much as most of us really like their products and after services, we found their page to be nothing short of boring in an interesting way! Interesting, because their page gives a new meaning to personal touch. And the result is what every marketer looks forward to for their brand – engagement. Lots and lots of engagement.

Boring, because it\’s far too human. Here\’s a comprehensive look at their content strategy to get our point across.

The \’Human\’ Touch  

The marketers running this page firmly believe in tying back the roots of all their posts to the being \’relatable\’ rather than sounding too pushy for sales.

Images are the most shared content type across all social platforms and Samsung seems to be leveraging from the same.  Although these are mostly product shoots and don\’t feature real consumers, their images always gain a lot of likes, shares and comments because of the vibe they create. Something you\’ve been aiming at too?

Let\’s take a look at how Samsung leverages the most from images.

1. Indirect Promotion

Most of their images posted on Facebook contains their products, although done in an indirect way, it is still an obvious form of promotion that\’s done in a smart way. Isn\’t this an interesting way to tell their community how good Samsung\’s camera is?

Need another example of promotion? Have you seen Samsung\’s cool wrist gear?

2. Keeping Up With Events

Samsung sure doesn\’t skip a beat and with FIFA going on, there was just no chance they\’d lose out on a good conversation with their people.

3. Sharing Relevant Links

Even though the share rate of links is just about 9%, it\’s always a good idea to direct your customers in the direction of the action you want them to take rather than having to fend for themselves. An interactive promotional post along with a link could work magic.

Apart from their regular posts, we found the following things incorporated on their page, very engaging:

  • Guide To Galaxy: Now they have a huge range of gadgets under the name Galaxy and many might get confused about how they could make the most out of the one they use. This guide lets you choose the device and gives you a step by step accordingly.
  • Owner\’s Hub By Samsung: This for all those who own a Samsung product. Just like memberships, the hub offers its members discounts, invites to events, etc.  
  • Samsung Upgrade: Looking for a software upgrade for your device? You\’ll find them all here. Not just find, but also be notified of an upcoming upgrade.
  • Samsung Events: Love attending promotional events? Be notified of the events that interest you using this.
  • Customer Service:  Difficult to get through their help lines? Here\’s another way of availing customer services. All you need to do is fill up a short inbuilt form and submit.

The Big Question  

If you\’ve read the post thoroughly, we\’re sure you noticed a pattern here. The company that rolls out most of its products with a \’Designed for Humans\’ or \’Designed for Life\’ slogan, seems to be taking it too seriously with the human dominated posts. Not that we\’re complaining; these posts are driving in a lot of engagement for Samsung, and that\’s the end goal of every strategy a marketer works on.

But what comes off from this post is the big question that if a boring content strategy like this could work wonders, why the hell have we been spending hours trying to create different posts every time?

Do people tend to connect more with content that reflects them? Is this a strategy that all brands could adopt? We\’d love to know your take on the same.

10 Facebook Tips For Community Managers

Marketers worldwide have been crying foul about the sudden drop in organic reach on Facebook. As if marketers didn\’t already enough problems, organic reach has become yet another issue to worry about. Before we share with your 10 tips that we\’ve got for managing a Facebook page, here are 5 issues that marketers should be paying attention to on Facebook.

Facebook Reach

One of the most important things that we should be doing is to succumb to Facebook advertising because at the end of they day, a substantial reach is what we need and 2% organic reach just isn\’t going to cut it. That\’s the first tip and most important tip that we\’ve got for marketers who are handling Facebook pages.

Creating and Curating Content

If you don\’t want to pay for reach on Facebook, you\’ve got to wow your audiences with the content you produce or the content you curate. There\’s nothing wrong with sharing a meme or a humorous piece of content that has been created by someone else. As long as you know your audience will enjoy and share it, give them what they want. An even better scenario would be for you to create that content yourself. Also, don\’t develop cobwebs on any of your social media platforms. These days, the first thing that consumers do to learn more about a brand is to check their website or search for their Facebook page. Schedule 3 to 5 updates a day on your page to provide your followers with the information they want.

Focus on Customer Service

Secondly, more and more consumers are turning to brands online, especially social media platforms to voice out their opinions and share their feedback. Unlike Twitter, comments that are left on Facebook can be visible to anyone that visits that particular page. This could serve as a problem if negative comments or unsatisfied customers have expressed their disdain on your Facebook page. As a result, community managers need to be more vigilant and more \’human\’ on Facebook, addressing all feedback efficiently whether positive or negative.

Increasing Engagement

Engagement on Facebook doesn\’t only come from interaction from your posts, links, videos or images. Get involved with Facebook campaigns such as photo or video contests where your users can participate by sharing their own photos and videos which in turn, can be used as user generated content. Fans love contests, especially ones that have a driving factor behind them (and a great prize).

Analytics

Yes, analytics really is your hero. If you don\’t know what content your audience wants to see on your Facebook page, refer to your analytics to check out which type of posts and which type of content has garnered the most engagement. Also analyze when you should posting content for increased engagement.

For snappy and detailed tips to manage your Facebook page, take a look at the slideshare below we created and feel free to share this!

A Guide To Creating The Perfect Feedback Form

Everyone has a feedback form on their website, but not a lot of them put enough thought behind one. Most of the feedback forms that I see on websites and Facebook pages tend to have very similar characteristics. Enter your name, e-mail address, message and also solve this CAPTCHA created by Satan himself.

So how do you create the perfect feedback form? Or at least a really good one.

It\’s an important factor of your website to pay attention to, given that this is where you\’ll be generating sales leads, answering questions, getting feedback, growing your network, getting requests, it\’s essentially the contact portal in many ways between you and your customers.

For the purpose of illustration, I\’m going to use Circus Social\’s feedback form that\’s on their Facebook page and website. It was created using this tool.

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When I think about a perfect feedback form, there are four elements that I always like to pay attention to.

  • The header – The captivating visual at the top.
  • The form fields – What visitors are going to be filling out.
  • Messaging – Before your customers connect with you, are you connecting them as well?
  • Misc. – A collection of elements on your feedback form that complete the \”experience\” of connectivity.

None of these are more important than the other – I feel each of them should be given an equal amount of weightage. If either of these are lacking in quality, it won\’t make your customer not reach out to you perhaps, but it will make a dent in their experience, their expectations and their overall opinion of you and your brand.

So how do you sharpen these areas?

The Header

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Here\’s where the magic happens. Your header should ideally be a place where you\’ve got a really catchy image, something that reflects your brand\’s persona. If you\’re an insurance company, please don\’t use a stock photo of a man shaking someone else\’s hand. You can do better. What\’s your brand about? What sets you apart? What do you do better than other insurance companies?

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For Circus Social – the pitch of the brand has always been that like the troupe of a circus, each person brings something unique to the table that helps their clients. The banner has everyone in the team, having a good time and being jovial. It makes someone reaching out understand what the \”tone\” of the company is most likely to be.

And beneath that – a catchy little one liner that tells visitors what they should reach out to you for. Should they get in touch for technical questions? Questions about new hires? Anything at all? It\’s important that make it very clear what this particular form is for, especially if you have a number of forms that are handled by different people.

The Form Fields

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The general rule for this is always to keep it simple. You don\’t want a long drawn out series of questions and entries here that ask your visitors about their date of birth, where they last had lunch and what their preferred choice of pasta sauce is. It\’s irrelevant. Ask only what truly matters in the very first interaction.

Hi, what\’s your name and how I can help?

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In this particular instance, for Circus Social, there\’s a slightly personal connection formed. You can choose to be connected to a particular person if you\’d like. If you already know someone from the team, perfect. If you\’re reaching out because you saw something someone in the team mentioned – great! If you\’re looking to reach out to no one in particular, just pick someone who looks friendliest in the banner. 😉

It\’s little things like this that make feedback forms a little bit of fun, add a slight personal touch and excite the visitor – and eventually add up to making it a perfect feedback form.

Misc. Elements and Messaging

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So you have the banner and you have your form fields. That cover the basic elements of your feedback form, and that\’s where most people usually stop. But there\’s always that question, \”What else?\”

And it\’s hard to find where to stop. The two very basic things that you should definitely have in your feedback forms after you\’re done with your form fields and banner image:

  • Alternate ways your visitors can contact you.
  • Links to your social profiles.
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As in the example above, it\’s also useful to add either a map that locates where your business is located, or perhaps just a picture of where the business is. It adds that little \”natural\” element that makes the business appear a lot more real. Now of course, huge companies like Apple, Microsoft need not do this – but for smaller brands, entrepreneurs, cafes and the rest – it\’s not something that you can skip out on.

And finally of course – who does the message go to? Hopefully not the CEO. All messages from the feedback form should go to someone in your communications department, or someone in charge of client relations / sales if your team isn\’t quite big enough to have its own marketing department. If you\’re an entrepreneur, you\’ll be very tempted to have all the messages come to you. Be very cautious, if you feel you\’ll have the time and bandwidth to reply to these messages – go for it.

If you\’re looking to set up a perfect feedback form – here\’s the tool that you should use to create one!

Which Is The Best Social Media Platform For Customer Service?

Social media is not just a fad amongst teenagers anymore, businesses are using it for marketing purposes and a lot more the world over. It is increasingly being recognized as a platform where customers can raise their concerns (good or bad) related to that business’s products/ services. “A lot of people think that Twitter is a fad and you can’t really use it effectively to talk to customers,” said Bianca Buckridee, Vice President of Social Media Operations for JP Morgan Chase clearly indicating that there are many businesses out there who haven’t explored the full potential of even the most popular social media platforms – Twitter and Facebook.

Marketing and customer service are poles apart and shouldn’t be confused. Even though one platform might serve as a great marketing avenue, it might not really up your customer services. Considering that both Twitter and Facebook have millions of users the world over, which platform serves as the best for businesses to up their customer services?

Facebook vs Twitter

Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg reaffirms that the company is all about “connecting everyone and improving the world through sharing”. While on the other hand, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo calls Twitter the “global town square” of social media. The company states its aim as “to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.”

Even though the visions seem to overlap in terms of delivering a platform for connecting and sharing to everyone, both have distinctive features making Facebook known more for “connecting” and Twitter popularising for “sharing ideas and information.” If the ongoing competition between the two confuses you too and you can’t decide which platform you can use to deliver promising customer services, here is a comprehensive breakdown of each.

Twitter As A Customer Service Platform

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Chirag Shah, the Senior Manager (Digital Marketing), Group Marketing at Singapore Post Ltd says, “In my experience so far, I have found that Twitter is great for one on one conversations – most complaints/ feedback are conversation starters – consumers gravitate towards Twitter to have those conversations – and hence, Twitter is a great platform to immediately address service/ product issues customers are facing.”

Though he also believes that depending on the demographics of the organization, each platform can turn out to be great customer platform. “Facebook on the other hand is great for creating a community like environment that shares knowledge/ experience about a company’s product/ service – and hence, a good place to bring your customers to for education and for FAQ,” says Shah.

Facebook As A Customer Service Platform

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Alex Stojkovic, Marketing and Communications Manager at Blue-Pencil Information Security Inc. says, “Personally, I believe Facebook is the better customer service platform for many reasons. Without an understanding of your audience or market place and speaking in generalities, Facebook offers a more robust platform for customers with problems or concerns to reach out.”

Many businesses out there are already using this platform actively for customer services and Stojkovic breaks down the primary reasons for them to do so:

  • As a customer with a question or concern, it would be extremely difficult to explain to customer service representative your problem within 140 characters. Facebook definitely has the advantage over Twitter in this regard.
  • Given its sheer popularity, Facebook is far more advantageous over Twitter. Twitter’s audience of users tend to be younger and stark contrast to Facebook which has a wider demographic user-base.

But being in the business for long, he too has one tip to share:

“The determination of which platform to use for customer service should ultimately rely on reaching out to existing customers in the form of an online or email survey and see what they say. If 90% of your customer base is on Twitter and you decide to go to Facebook, such a decision is going to have catastrophic business consequences.”

So Which Is The Better Platform For Customer Care?

As seen from the infographics above, both platforms are far from perfect in terms of features. Ultimately the decision you make while choosing the social platform(s) for customer service depends on where the majority of your audience is active on. Should there be an a 50/50 or 60/40 spread of your audience across both platforms, the platform that you choose should be determined by the demographics of your audience and the the products and services of your business. We would suggest going on board both platforms to better connect with your audience, but if you have to choose between Twitter or Facebook, we’ll conclude with:

  • Twitter is great to track conversations around your business, promoting your products and resolving your customer\’s issues in a swift manner. You can join in conversations with your followers as well as others outside of your community, creating more effective social customer care.
  • Facebook is better platform for creating communities to share in-depth information of your products or services. The posts and replies published on your page can also be seen by everyone in your community, increasing the effectiveness of broadcasting announcements.

With so many other social platforms springing up alongside them, businesses might feel the need to be visible on all but that\’s not true. It\’s the audience that determines where you need to be present to reap the maximum benefits from social media.

Did you know that irrespective of the platform you chose for your customer service, you can get real time social data from that platform augmented with AI only on social listening platform provided by Circus Social.

A User\’s Guide to Keeping Track of Facebook Page Updates

The entire realm of social media marketing has been buzzing about the significant drop in organic Facebook post views. The social media giant rolled out a new algorithm late last year, which has resulted in a significant decrease in post views for many Facebook pages. We’ve touched on this issue before here and since then, the numbers have continued to dwindle. The competitiveness of what goes into a user’s newsfeed is partially to blame with the continual bombardment of content from every direction. Thus the number and type of posts seen on one’s newsfeed would have to be tapered down.

It also seems that Facebook is heeding advice from the famous saying, “If you’re good at something, never do it for free”. More organisations are grudgingly moving towards paid posts in order to get their intended reach across to their target audience. Naturally, many have not taken to this unwelcomed change very well.

Don’t fret – we’ve got a solution that enables you keep track of all the updates you want to receive. Marketers can be sure to view updates from particular pages and consumers can keep an eye on particular brands or personalities on Facebook.

Create Lists

Facebook lists have been around for a while now but it still remains as an underutilized tool for many. Lists allow you to organize your updates according to different groups and the best part is that you get to see every single update from these pages. Making lists on Facebook is so simple, it would only take 5 minutes or less to set one up. Here\’s a quick how-to:

On the left side of your News Feed, you will see the heading \’Interests\’. Hover your mouse over it and click on \’More\’ to \’Add Interest\’.

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Begin by adding pages, personalities or friends into a new list.

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Once you have filled the list, you can move on to customizing the settings. Toggle between different visibility settings. Making a list public would allow your friends or anyone else to subscribe to your list and follow them.

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To ensure that you are receiving all updates from these pages, edit your settings by clicking \’Manage List\” and ticking on all update types.

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Quick wasn\’t it? Facebook Lists will ensure you\’re getting all the updates that have been previously sucked out of your News Feed. We often follow certain pages because of the content being produced, but now that Facebook has streamlined the News Feeds, we\’re being robbed of these updates.

So share this post with your followers to help them keep track of your updates on Facebook. It\’s much quicker than opening each page up one by one. Community managers can use lists to be updated about your brands in an efficient manner as well!

Facebook Page for KFC USA

A One Day 400,000+ Increase in Facebook Page Likes Explained

Being rated as one of the most coveted fast food brands in the world doesn\’t come easy. Apart from keeping the best quality standard around the food making it ‘talk of the town’ requires a robust marketing strategy. Like all other businesses fast food brands have endorsed ‘Social Media’ as the new marketing mantra, and are in the race for more Facebook page likes.

The big question is how many of them are doing it right? We had shared with you in an earlier story about how McDonald’s  went wrong in its strategy and we assumed that this may just be the approach of food brands in general, till we witnessed a 400,000+ surge of likes on the Facebook page of an internationally renowned fast food brand! No guesses here, yes we are talking about KFC.

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#HowDoYouKFC

KFC wanted to promote its limited time Extra Crispy Boneless Chicken (sorry the product is off-shelf now) with an aim to elevate and empower its real user connection and hence devised a comprehensive campaign for the same with the hashtag #HowDoYouKFC, striking the right cord with the audience. March 27th, 2014 became an epic day in history of KFC when this campaign broke all barriers.

The campaign gave the consumers an avenue to connect with the brand in a minimalistic and informal way. What made #HowDoYouKFC work was the basic principle of any business i.e ‘Customer is the king’. Let’s dive in to analyze this campaign better.

Keeping it Simple

“If you can\’t explain it to a six year old, you don\’t understand it yourself” – Albert Einstein

Social Media strategies that are elaborate are passé, especially when the target audience (read: customers) have very little attention span. A crisp and clear strategy thus would work best for any brand. KFC kept this campaign very simple by directing customers to upload a review on any chosen social network with the hashtag #HowDoYouKFC using their iPhone and then pasting the link in the pre-assigned URL bar on their website and voila it’s done! This user generated content gave the brand, opportunity to analyse the consumer’s authentic love for KFC products and also provided a unique opportunity to its followers.

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Cross Promotion Through Facebook

#HowDoYouKFC campaign gained momentum since the customers could participate on the run without compromising on time. The growing herd of food Instagrammers propelled the campaign further. All in all, this integrated approach increased the social footprint of the campaign.

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KFC also cross promoted entries from other platform on its Facebook page such as YouTube videos and vine videos which added to the virality of the campaign thereby boosting the Facebook fan page growth. The presence of celebrities added the right fuel to the fire.

Keep the Conversation Going

Ask any Social Media manager about the biggest challenge while managing their brand’s fan page and they are sure to mention about constant conversation. Daily comment moderation can get pretty daunting especially when the volume of conversation is huge. In contrast to this situation the customer psychology works pretty differently. For a customer, interaction with a brand through social media has become much personalized and everyone needs to be attended to especially when the comments are negative. KFC stuck to this philosophy and handled huge volumes of conversation on their Facebook page during #HowDoYouKFC campaign as well, without disappointing its loyal and new fans.

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Great Content Always Wins

We harp on this aspect over and over again, but isn\’t it true? A great content goes a long way with your audience. There is also much truth in the fact that for a brand to gain such a hiatus during a campaign doesn\’t happen instantly. KFC has been sharing high quality content on its Facebook page consistently. In contrast to McDonalds’s content strategy, KFC has made sure to infuse a variety in their content by talking more than just pleasing ‘food images’. During the campaign #HowDoYouKFC the brand shared posts and visuals which had a much personalized and emotional extension. KFC’s Facebook page also consciously showcased how families can have fun with KFC products .Needless to say this keeps the followers engaged in the brand beyond the food offering.

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Gratifying the Customer – Win Hearts

Social Media contest and gratification go hand in hand today. To say that a campaign would lack momentum in absence of gratification is partially true. KFC used the same concept however with a twist. The best entries got a chance to feature on the cover picture on their Facebook page. The unique videos created by followers could also be used by KFC in their future ads. 14 chosen winners each week could also win $100 Visa Gift card!

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The #HowDoYouKFC campaign is more than just a marketing campaign and has indeed taken customer relationship to a new level. This campaign is a great learning for all online community managers,  in plain English ‘It’s Finger Lickin’ Good!’

Facebook Content Strategy and Page Review: Dreyer\’s Singapore

Success of a brand page on Facebook is all about proportion, engagement, genre and strategy. We have already dissected the content strategies of XBOX and Intel on Beta21. The two brands are from different genres and have different target audiences. However, both content strategies address a wider consumer net to build brand equity.

Let\’s take a look today at an F&B company\’s content strategy, more specifically, Dreyer\’s Singapore – a page that we really love! It may not have half a million fans and be covered on Mashable every 25 days, but it\’s definitely good enough for Beta21 to talk about!

Almost everyone in this world loves ice-cream. You might think that the content strategy is obsolete for a dessert brand like Dreyer\’s and acquiring likes for a post is quite easy. As it turns out, Dreyer\’s has been attempting to find a perfect fit for a content strategy and faced a lot of obstacles through the way. Or so we believe – judging by the post engagement.

When you visit Dreyer\’s Singapore on Facebook right now, you see a beautiful cover page with cupid aiming arrows at a heart filled with Dreyer\’s ice-cream. This spreads the message that Valentine\’s season is here, and you expect to see more exciting, graphical and timely posts as you scroll down.

Content Analysis

Dreyer\’s Singapore, at the time of writing this post, has close to 10,500 fans on Facebook and an 120 people talking about the brand. Like most other pages, Dreyer\’s Singapore is no exception to falling victim to the change in the Facebook algorithm, and as a result their page has seen a decrease in engagement over the last few months. And we really wish it didn\’t. It\’s obvious that a lot of thought and planning goes into the page\’s content.

Fan Brand Evangelists

The page features a few branded images of happy fans trying out Dreyer\’s ice-cream as a method of recommend the brand to their peers. Rather than using celebrities to spread the message, Dreyer\’s has leveraged a slightly tweaked Word-of-mouth concept.

Consumers are more likely to heed the words of other consumers regarding product reviews. Although there are no written reviews, just a happy expression says it all.

Product Spotlights

Maximum number of Dreyer\’s posts feature their product line. A very old yet effective strategy, posting enticing images of dessert with catchy captions has gained a lot of fans for brands like McDonald’s India or Ben & Jerry\’s.

Thankfully, the number of \”Look at our product!\” posts are a lot less compared to McDonald\’s, whose page we… err, were less than happy with in a previous review.

The Recipe Room

Ah! Every content marketer should know that you do not succeed until you invest your time in some thought leadership. Once in a while, Dreyer\’s does share recipes for interesting desserts based on ice-creams for the fans to try. Although the idea is brilliant, content curation strategy does not really help the brand to build any equity.

https://www.facebook.com/dreyers.sg/posts/10152198834385871

A link to an external recipe blog is posted on the brand page. Not all fans would blindly like a link without visiting the website. Since it is an external website, anything they share will benefit the blog holder rather than Dreyer\’s.

The Milkshake DIY is a great original post to promote the brand and Dreyer\’s can use the same idea to replace linking recipes to external websites.

The Talk Back

Instead of redundantly posting something just to grab everyone’s attention, the brand also has a couple of posts that generate active fan participation.

The Guess What post is quite original in the making and visually appealing. It has however, failed to generate any replies from the audience because of ambiguity in the post content and the caption.

Decode the missing flavor seems to have generated a measurable amount of comments from fans unlike most of the other posts. Visual quite appealing the post has been described to be “fun” by one of the fans, and it certainly is one way of pulling crowd if not a “quality” method.

Activity-based posts like the Maze and Crossword encourages fans to participate in a conversation with the brand.

The Fact Fever

Every brand seems to be embracing the factoid post in their own way. A celebrity factoid like the one below about Rupert Grint is one of the most popular page posts on the brand page, while random facts about ice-cream or the brand seem to be irrelevant to the fans.

The Takeaways From Dreyer\’s

Social media is not a sporadic activity: Everyone knows that you need to be more social on social media to be successful. If the brand is actively posting interesting content, fan acquisition becomes easy. If you have enough content, keep the number of posts a day between 1-3. It is well below the spam line and still manages to keep you in your fan\’s radar.

Use the insights tool: The tactic of generating reach on Facebook is all about schedule. There is no point in scheduling posts at a time when your target audience is not online. The Page Insights tool fulfills this purpose by telling you all you need to know about your target audience.

Text and image get equal points: Original content and images always rule on Facebook and both need to have equal importance in a post. Ensure that the post delivers the message in a simple and clear manner for a common man to understand.

The DIY mania: Original posts are more appreciated and shared while compared to curated content. Rather than posting something from Pinterest or Blogs.Babble.com, brands can created their own DIYs from their image database and present it on their page.

Assorted Menu: Fans will eventually get bored after scrolling down a couple of times and seeing the same kind of posts. Include new and exciting inventories every month, contests, polls, reviews, testimonials and other such posts to stay fresh in the minds of your fans.

Facebook Content Strategy and Page Review: Expedia

In this installment of our Facebook Page Reviews we will be turning our attention to the travel industry, which has recently been recognized for its exceptional performance on its social media platforms. Will they hold up to the hype? What are they currently doing on social media?

Visuals

One of the most important aspects of a brand’s Facebook page are the visuals. These are the first thing that visitors to the page will see, and visuals tend to take up the majority of space on the page itself.

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Expedia puts its visual opportunities to use by featuring the Expedia logo as the page’s default–a practice that should be standard for any brand, as it reinforces the brand name and image.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151856609672680

The most memorable visual feature of a Facebook page is the cover photo. For their cover photo, Expedia features a scenic, picturesque photograph of Venice, Italy, with the phrase “Find Your #Storybook” across the top. This is a subtle but very effective marketing strategy, as it invites fans of the Facebook page to follow Expedia on other social media platforms, such as Instagram and Twitter, where they can share their own vacation photos with the advertised hash-tag.

Photos

On the topic of visuals, the photos that a brand has posted to its page are also important. These can be used to promote fan engagement, or even showcase pictures from fans.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151854858912680

As a travel company, Expedia can get the best of both worlds from their photos. Pictures that they post themselves can act as advertisements for travel to specific locations, while fan photos through the #storybook campaign promote a strong social media community for the brand.

Promos and Deals

Offering promotions and deals on your Facebook page is a great way to get fans involved with your social media endeavors, as it gives them strong incentive to frequent your page, instead of simply “Liking” it, and then forgetting that it exists.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151838880017680

One of my favorite things about the Expedia Facebook page is that they are always promoting a wide array of deals. All of their deals are also accompanied by a visually stimulating travel photo, which is a very nice touch.

Customer Service

Unfortunately, this is where Expedia loses some serious points. Unlike other brand pages I have seen thus far, Expedia has had relatively poor levels of engagement and customer service. Scrolling through their posts, I saw a multitude of complaints from customers which went unanswered–and the ones that were answered were few and far between.

Molding a strong bond between the brand and fans through social media is one of the most important aspects of social media marketing. If you aren’t going to listen to and converse with your fans on a regular basis, why bother have the page in the first place?

To improve your brand engagement, check out our article here!

What Could be Improved

There is always room for improvement on a brand’s Facebook page, or any social media platform for that matter. Here are some ways in which Expedia could raise the social media bar.

Travel Videos – adding the occasional travel video, or even a slideshow of an album of travel photos would be a nice change of pace.

Reviews – The page could up its informative side by posting reviews of hotels, cruise-lines, etc., to further help fans of the brand. Of course, crowdsourced positive reviews – it\’s not like Expedia would like to expose their prospective customers to the horrible hotels they\’d like you to stay at!

Better Engagement – Expedia needs to assess their current lack of customer service and fan engagement on their Facebook page–this is their number one problem. Respond to customers who are experiencing issues or who are dissatisfied with a service, it can go a long way.

Rating

Expedia’s Facebook page has a lot going for it. Great content, excellent visuals, and enticing deals and promotions. However, it is really hurting itself with its sub-par fan engagement and customer service.

Got some interesting ideas for how Expedia can do better on their Facebook page?Tweet them to us at @BetaTwentyOne and we’ll add them here! We’re always listening.

Want your page reviewed? Get in touch with us here, and we\’ll take it from there!

Facebook Content Strategy and Page Review: HBO

Yeah, Game of Thrones (GOT) belongs to the channel and yada yada yada, but, come on, would you believe it if I said that HBO’s official Facebook page had more likes (10,638,803 likes), than that of GOT (8,662,059 likes)? I mean, HOW? For the brand, of course, this is a happy case of win-win. Even so, it is interesting to note that the heavyweight channel’s official FB page has a dynamic that is quite different from those of its star, social media-driven shows- GOT and Girls. The page tries to be a reel-y nice reflection of reality, simply put. Does it succeed? Sure.

It isn’t, naturally, just a happy coincidence that HBO’s FB page is as popular as its channel. After all, the brand, which brought its social media marketing in-house in 2007, enlisted the services of award-winning digital agency 360i, to supplement its internal work, in 2013.

HBO is among the Top 10 Media Brands on Facebook and receives a plethora of awards every year- from the OMMAs to the Shortys. So of course, we thought it would be a good idea to see what the Facebook content on this page is like! Its page’s most popular week thus far has been January 5, 2014, and surprisingly, even though it is targeted at US and Canadian audiences, it is the most popular in Dhaka, Bangladesh! But then again – Facebook\’s like system has always befuddled many marketers.

Those in the age group of 18-24 years are its biggest fans. Not a huge shocker. The page itself has a formula in place. It either focuses on leveraging its shows- with trailers and teasers, or giving the everyday a TV touch. The page has a section called HBO FAQs, which is as informative as it blank. But, the rest of it is quite nicely done. Not aggressive, but nice and smooth. So what\’s their Facebook content like?

Here’s what the page functions as:

Your HBO guide

That’s right. If you’re a TV show addict who lives in the US or Canada, visiting this page will alert you to new seasons, new twists in the tale, new shows and even arm you with the line-up for the weekend. So, you can arrange for the popcorn and beer well in advance and prepare to vegetate in front of the idiot box. Yipee!

Functional Friend

So, let’s say you are someone who thinks the sole purpose of a social media page should be the delivery of to-the-point information. Well, if you’re on the HBO page, then, chances are you’re either looking for show timings or wondering how to get the channel. You’ll find both the answers here. If you don’t have HBO at home already, you’ll be guided as to how best you can view your favourite show, by clicking on Get HBO Now.

Reality Check

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152153528163933

For some reason, I found this post super apt and hilarious. So, did a ton of other people too, obviously… going by the number of likes and shares. This post was put up sometime back, when the winter was just about to begin. See what I mean by ‘reel-y’ nice reflection of reality? No? Look at the next picture then!

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152210246353933

 You gotta admit, they hit the jackpot with this one! Witty and pity.

Past Perfect

HBO has made an art of reminiscing. After all, it does have a long, rich history of nurturing couch potatoes… since the 1970s.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152216769393933

And, be ready to be taken by surprise. For example, this post (above), which was put up to pay tribute to The Sopranos, ended up also doubling as a tribute to James Gandolfini, who died last year. Equals double the number of likes.

Video killed no one

Here\’s where HBO lost me a little. Videos seem to work wonderfully on Facebook. Their official YouTube channel has a ton of subscribers and it\’s not like they don\’t have ready content available for them that they can use on their Facebook page. Scrolling down the HBO page – I noticed that there weren\’t very many trailers or videos, and had to back to November to find the first video.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10102811588495936

Awards? Meh.

 The whole world is fixated with Girls and Queen Bey, isn’t it? Well, it sure doesn’t translate on this page. None of the posts about awards and awardees has gotten more than a few hundred likes. In fact, many such posts only get within 100 likes. It’s a mystery, this one.

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So, in a nutshell, here are some Facebook marketing takeaways from HBO

  •  Wit always wins! Make sure it is in context though. If you think your product or service doesn\’t lend itself to humour, you\’re wrong. That\’s the whole beauty of humour- it can be found and incorporated anywhere… even in eulogies! Keep it tasteful.
  • Videos get the most hits. Not random videos, or ones that are made for the sake of it. Videos can be teasers, trailers, behind-the-scenes action…make them short and succinct. Remember, cyber citizens have the attention span of toddlers these days.
  • Stop boasting about your achievements. Yes, congrats, but not many people might care. I mean, if only 299 people in the world cared about Julia-Louis Dreyfus breaking Emmy records…. That said, a post or two lauding yourself won\’t do harm. Just don\’t go for the overkill.
  • Nostalgia will help you form an emotional bond with your customers. Think of different ways in which you can take them down memory lane, with your product holding their hands along the way.
  • Mark all or most special occasions/festivals with a clever post. Think outside the box for ideas- just a lame \’Merry Christmas\’ alongside a picture of a snowman won\’t do! The post needs to fit with your brand image.
  • Facebook doesn\’t really lend itself to newsjacking, but that shouldn\’t stop you from incorporating interesting bits of daily news into your posts. Context is king, bear in mind