4 Ways to Confront Social Media Zombies

How many zombies are among your Facebook fans or Twitter followers?

New research conducted by DDB indicates that fans and followers “unlike” brands who are too blabby or too irrelevant. Yet the numbers of disaffected fans who take the time to unlike your brands are in the minority. For every “unliker,” there are five former fans who have bailed out but not bothered to click the unlike button.

If social media users act like e-mail users (and there’s a 90+ percent overlap) you can assume that 12-15 percent of your base is the unidentified dead. Add to that the fact that an overwhelming majority of fans and followers visit your page once, sign-up and never return and you have to seriously recalibrate your expectations about engagement, as measured by content likes, comments, re-postings or opt-ins to games and promotions.

Too many posts, too often clogging up newsfeeds with too much information that is irrelevant or uninteresting drive fans and followers away.  Here’s a 4-step formula to prevent creating more social media zombies:

Develop a Cadence. Social media is not carpet-bombing. Less is more in crafting a message cadence. It’s a conversation. Stifle the impulse either to use it as a cheap advertising channel and/or to dominate the conversation. For most brands, a post every other day is sufficient. Build your posting strategy around the things your fans care about rather than a product introduction or promotion cycle. Consider the retail calendar and factor in customers expectations and ad clutter at predictable times.

Service Desire. Followers align with brands they care about and want deals from. Give them what they want. Don’t give in to corporate desires to turn a 2-way channel into a one-way megaphone. Fans want early inside information, a way to express their allegiance to a brand and the best deal you can offer. Build your content strategy around these clearly articulated customer wants.

Start Segmenting. Use emerging social CRM tools to identify individuals and segments and begin crafting one-to-many rather than one-size-fits-all messages. Look at geographies, demographics and activity levels as the first cut.  Experiment with direct messaging. Call out active users and measure the response.

Prompt Interactions. The best way to separate the living from the dead is to stimulate interaction, conversation or action. An open-ended question, polls, wry observations, simple language, photographs and comments about common experiences (e.g. Emmys, Superbowl, etc.) generally provoke the most likes, comments and reposts. Measure what percentage of your fan base interacts with your postings. Remember that only 30 percent of your total fan base will be active in any given 30-day period. Test the timing, language and content to measure the pulse of your fans. Try to continuously increase the number, percentage and quality of interactions.

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One Response to 4 Ways to Confront Social Media Zombies

  1. Nick Stamoulis September 29, 2011 at 5:44 am #

    It’s important to realize that not every fan or follower is seeing every message that you send. There’s a lot of noise in social media and in order to get noticed you need to stand out. Simply posting links all day is going to get you ignored. Switch it up and actually spend time interacting with your followers. After all, social media is meant to be social.