This week’s blog article is based upon the Hodis et al. (2015) article “Interact with me on my terms: a four segment Facebook engagement framework for marketers”.
The paper covers off some great research about why segmentation is so important for Facebook engagement and identifies four clear segments for consideration.
- Attention seekers – users looking for admiration and appreciation (low levels of consumption and high levels of creation)
- Entertainment chasers -people trying to escape boredom (consuming small bursts of entertaining content)
- Devotees – addicted to Facebook users (high level of consumption and creation)
- Connection seekers – Connecting with friends / family is their primary reason for using Facebook (High level of consumption and low level of creation)
The essence of the article is around breaking down the audience to specific audience types, tailoring the content accordingly and then to consider using paid advertising to support your Social Media activity on Facebook. This allows you to get much higher engagement than a fit-for-all-approach as the relevancy of the message increases and in-turn the organic reach increases (the amount of times the message is distributed).
But is this enough?
In fact, research from Sashittal et al. (2012) suggests paid targeted advertising can actually work against you to the point that really well targeted advertising on Facebook was often viewed by the audience as creepy, and the more targeted and specific the advert, the more uncomfortable the audience potentially viewed it.
Segmentation as a way to increase engagement isn’t exactly breaking news, so is there more we can add to the mix if we really want to maximise engagement?
For example, empowering your business; such as your employees, volunteers and stakeholders (as well as your existing audience) to extend engagement through Social Media interaction rather than just using organic reach and Facebook paid advertising to achieve this. (If all of your staff liked and shared your posts, overall engagement would increase as a result as would the organic reach).
Here is a great article from Ryan Holmes at Fast Company on this topic which talks about the success Companies such as Starbucks, Zappos and Southwest Airlines in the US have had with their employee advocacy programs.
Either way, Social Media interaction is critical for driving engagement and maintaining an active brand presence, so getting it right and engaging with your audience becomes a high priority and by doing so, you have a real opportunity to influence your audience’s behaviour.
There are a couple of good blog articles from Deluca (2011) and Goad (2011) that note that a user’s shopping behaviour becomes increasingly influenced by their social media interactions and social media consumer to consumer communication can make a big difference in how your message is picked up by your audience.
This is supported by Li and Bernhoff in the book Groundswell, who note there has been a shift in how consumers now use technology to get from each other what they would traditionally get from corporations, and de Valck et al. (2009) extends this further noting that “word-of-mouse” is just as powerful in impacting consumer decision making as face to face influence.
So, if engagement is the key to success; empowering the people in the business to get behind your Social Media activity, encouraging them to engage with your audience and to interact with them (and each other) would certainly be a strategy worth considering.