Over the years Zopim has built a substantial and engaged following on Facebook and to a lesser extent on Twitter. The virality of Zopim live chat has been the key to this success, however we have also had to carefully cultivate our presence on social media. In this article we highlight the tactics we employed to grow and cultivate our following on Facebook and Twitter.
1. Content is King
One of the most familiar idioms about social media is that “content is king” or the more content you have the better your page will do. While this may be obvious it is also important to keep in mind that the type of content you post is important. For example, at Zopim our followers are used to reading stories related to , sales, and marketing; so whenever we post something new, we ensure it sticks to these topics. In addition to our regular blog posts, we also provide service and status updates for Zopim live chat. Whenever there is any downtime or we release a new feature, we make sure our followers are the first to know about it.
Our robust content strategy has ensured that our follower count is always increasing. We may initially get followers because they either like our product or have seen an ad (see below), but we keep them because they love our content.
2. Ask for Feedback
A quick glance at our Facebook page reveals numerous comments from (mainly) satisfied customers. In fact, on an average day our Facebook page receives approximately 5 to 10 comments, some examples:
Experience has shown that people are more likely to leave a comment on social media if they have had a bad experience with a particular company. So how did we manage to buck this trend and get so much positive feedback on our Facebook page? It’s quite simple. Instead of hoping (or worse, assuming) that our customers would leave good feedback, after providing support we would directly ask them to share their experience with us. Be it positive or negative, we empowered our customers to share their stories so that others would have a better understanding of Zopim.
Our intention at Zopim has always been to build viral products, and so, we never targeted particular markets or advertised within certain industries. Instead, we rode on the back of our product’s popularity coupled with the evangelical zeal of our customers to help spread the word.
3. Respond to each comment personally
Once a customer has provided their feedback we make it our number one priority to respond to their comment in some shape or form (even if it just a “like”). So, while it is difficult to respond to everything at length, we always try to show our appreciation towards customers who take the time to share a heartfelt message. However, the one thing we never do is to use the same response more than once or worse use a template. Naturally some responses will be very similar, but it is important to craft a unique one each time. So, instead of replying to every single comment with a simple “thank you”, we try and highlight some of the points the customer has brought up and answer them directly.
4. Give your page personality
At Zopim we have spent years creating a distinct and unique identity for our brand. Similarly, crafting an identity for your brand is the key to a successful social media presence. Most of Facebook’s users are on the site to catch up with their friends and research has shown that they dislike being bombarded with marketing messages. That’s why engaging with users on a familiar and personal level can create a more meaningful impact. As mentioned above, we try and respond to each comment uniquely and this is important in creating a distinct identity for our brand. Indeed, for Zopim, we have essentially created a fictitious person to interact with our customers. A person with their own idiosyncrasies.
5. Don’t be afraid to spend money
The essential element of any marketing campaign is to get the word out and ensure your potential customers know you exist. Hence, spending money to spread the word about your social media page should be a no-brainer. But, spending ad dollars is an art. When we first started promoting our content on Facebook we realized that we were burning through our budget very fast. We also noticed that a large portion of our followers were coming from India. While India is a big market for us we wanted to also expand to other regions. So, we decided that instead of using a shotgun approach, we would split our budget. One portion of our budget would be solely targeted towards Indian users, and the remaining would be used for the rest of the world. Soon, we started getting followers from more regions.
In sum, the principles of ad-buying apply to social media in the same way they do to SEM or in print. Once you spend your initial budget, it is critical that you go back and look at the data to see if you are meeting your targets and goals. As a result of advertising and promoting our content on Facebook we significantly grew our following. Approximately 50% of our audience found our page through an ad, while the remaining 50% came organically.
6. Share your testimonials
Finally, once you have hit a critical mass on social media it is important to showcase your success. This can seem a little narcissistic at first, but remember your ultimate goal is to grow the company’s brand. There is nothing wrong with showing the rest of the world how popular your product is among your users.
We actually struggled with this while developing Zopim. Although we had great feedback, it was difficult to cut through the noise and highlight our favorite testimonials. Since we were unable to find a good alternative in the market, we decided to build our own social testimonial tool GetKudos. This platform lets us selectively highlight testimonials and then display them on our website. You can check it out right now at Zopim.com.
There you have it. 6 methods on how we grew our fledgling social media presence.
What tips do you have for best practices on social media? Have you built a successful presence for your brand on social media? Tell us in the comments!