Why your fans stopped following youArticle added by Amy McIlwain on May 6, 2011
Amy McIlwain

Amy McIlwain

Denver, CO

Joined: August 26, 2010

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The great thing about social media is its ability to harvest relationships between users. Because of this interdependence, most things that change or impact one member of the relationship will have some level of impact on the other member. This is why understanding the strategic dynamic between organizations and users online has become so important.

According to ExactTarget, 41 percent of users who have un-followed a brand on Twitter did so because of too much push marketing. Similarly, 43 percent of Facebook users who have “unliked” a brand or fan page do so for the same reasons. We all know the exponential growth of social media and the inequitable abilities it has given organizations to market their brand. We also know the all-powerful rule that “content is king,” and sending out relevant, useful and valuable information is the key to engaging your followers.

Universal McCann found that 78.6 percent of consumers have joined a company’s community to get more information on the company. These statistics paint an enlightening picture for companies and brand managers alike: the infiltration of business marketing in the social media ecosystem has created a powerful relationship where consumers hold more pull. The question is, when does social media marketing become too much for the user?

The push-pull marketing strategy can be defined as the communication between a buyer and seller. Depending upon the medium, the communication can be either interactive or non-interactive: think the traditional marketing model versus the social media marketing model. Of course the social media marketing model lies in the interactive sphere, which is why it is such a powerful marketing tool. It gives consumers the ability to pull the product through the delivery system and decide what exactly they wish to engage with. For example, if a user on Facebook is interested in learning more about a company, they can “like” their fan page, follower their tweets, and start following their company page on LinkedIn.

These are all examples of pull marketing, where the buyer is in demand of a product, service and its information.

Push marketing, on the other hand, is driven by the seller. Imagine a radio, TV or magazine advertisement, all of which are interactive mediums. So where does push marketing come in using social media networks? Even though a user has found his or her way to a specific company page or subscribed to its newsfeeds, too much push marketing can still be overwhelming – too many status updates, too many advertisements, and so on.

It’s essential to find the right balance of push and pull marketing, especially in the social media world, but we’ll go into more detail on that later on.
The great thing about social media is its ability to harvest relationships between users. A relationship, either between two individuals or between an individual and a company, should be treated the same.

Social media acts as the perfect social and cultural context in which relationships can be built and nurtured. Each party within a relationship influences the other; they share their thoughts and feelings, and can engage in activities together. Because of this interdependence, most things that change or impact one member of the relationship will have some level of impact on the other member. This is why understanding the strategic dynamic between organizations and users online has become so important.

If Universal McCann’s data is accurate, and 78.6 percent of consumers have joined a company’s community to get more information about that company, brand managers and marketers have something to get excited about.

Sure, your marketers have done an excellent job exposing and attracting users to your social networks, but what do you do once you have those consumers within your community?

This is where it gets tricky. In order to successfully keep a relationship between your followers and your brand, you must implement the perfect harmony of original content, news and information, updates and so on. Here are a few tricks we’ve learned about maintaining a progressive and equal relationship with our users:
  • Find an equal balance between RSS feeds, original content, questions and engagement.

  • Don’t overload your Facebook fan page — one or two posts a day is the perfect amount.

  • Twitter is like a radio station — there are many different listeners at any given time, so keep the content flowing.

  • Posting several times a day to your LinkedIn status is fine, but don’t overdue posting in groups — once a week is a good schedule.

  • Encourage engagement among your fans and followers.

  • Don’t post something unless it is of interest or adds value to your audience.
Think about your organization’s relationship with its users as you would a business relationship offline. Too much push marketing will simply put off your clients and consumers and create a negative brand perspective. Too little marketing and you’ll find your users won’t be interested in following you. Finding the right dynamic is what will create valuable, lasting relationships, as well as make your company’s marketing strategy successful.
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