Having one voice could stop you engaging with customers

Lee Kenny
Lee Kenny

How does your business talk to your fans and followers on social media? We are taught to have consistency. One voice. Whilst that can work for a big brand it could actually be holding you back in engaging with your customers effectively.

Whether you know who your customers are instinctively or have had research carried out, you often have an idea of age, gender and profile. This is great at a top-level but when it comes to social media, you will not always attract an “average” customer equally across all platforms.

I sat with a large company this week with tens of thousands of engaged fans across two social media platforms and by all accounts a thriving and growing business and website. They had a clear picture of the average customer profile and almost a 50/50 split between males and females.

One of their social media accounts was thriving with lots of engagement and activity, whilst the other was lagging behind significantly. This was despite virtually identical communications going out on both Twitter & Facebook.

You see the challenge they had was that whilst the audience and fan base was generated the same way, they were in fact two very different demographics. Facebook has an audience that was 62% female and 38% male whereas Twitter was 58% Male and 42% female. Each social network also had different times of day that most of their followers were active. The male dominated channel typically had a larger audience from 7.30am to 8.30am and again at 10pm to 11.30pm than it female-friendly counterpart.

Someone once told me that if you put your head in the freezer and feet in the oven at the same time your average temperature should be just about normal! They were making a point about how ridiculous “average” can be and this certainly applies to online marketing. The most successful companies ae those that learn to segment their audience and communications effectively.

For you non-business readers (I’m hoping reading this column is your guilty pleasure!) this isn’t an attempt to manipulate what you see. It’s more a case of trying to communicate something that will actually be of interest and value to you! Your time, choices and ability to choose anyone other than us, should keep us on or toes!

So here’s how to ensure you are using your social media channels effectively:

l Use Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics to check exactly who your audience is on that particular social media network and post topics relevant to that audience.

l Don’t auto-post tweets to Facebook or vice-versa. Why limit your Facebook posts to 140 characters?

l Ask for feedback separately on each network. What do your fans and followers want?

l Post exclusive content that you can only find on one of your social media channels. Give people a reason to follow you on both Twitter and Facebook

When we try and please everyone, all of the time we usually end up pleasing nobody. Take a few extra minutes to personalise the social media updates according to your fan base and you will reap the rewards.

Lee Kenny, Managing Director, Snowflake Media