Social Media Is For Sharing…Beauty Brands Should Respond
Conversation has been stimulated once again on Twitter…this time in the beauty blogging community, about brands that have social accounts but don’t behave in a social way.
We’ve all noticed them…brands that have millions of Twitter followers, follow no-one and never engage. And those who follow a small percentage of their followers, occasionally ‘favouriting’ blogs or comments that highly praise them, yet leaving their streams 100% broadcast.
This flies in the face of social wisdom…to listen, acknowledge, share and where pertinent, chat. Robert Hunter’s article Social Media Platforms Aren’t Websites, They’re Venues advocates that users are looking for a place to digitally meet with other people and interact with them. Every social media platform has its own community and its own etiquette on how best to connect.
If we turn the clock back, engagement began to grow for those who realised that businesses needed to shift much of their messaging away from company specifics towards the industry in general, in a way that has relevancy to the lives of their followers. It’s soOo much more effective to video a helpful winged eyeliner tutorial than repeating that you’ve launched the product.
And that’s where beauty bloggers, vloggers and enthusiasts come into their speciality. They’re passionate about the industry and the products it markets. They love to test products and to share their thoughts with brands and their own followers. Sometimes they’re given products to try…sometimes they buy them themselves. All hope that their differing voices will be heard…and how much more effective that is, when a brand follows and retweets to their fan base.
It goes without saying that we all appreciate acknowledgement and thanks, but just ‘favouriting’ a brand mention isn’t supporting the unwritten ‘deal’ between brands and commentators. If someone has taken the time to write or video a review that’s good enough to ‘favourite’, then surely it should be shared with the brand’s supporters too? Many consumers wait for blogger approval of products before they buy…sharing will facilitate this.
Social media is meant to be just that: social.
When communication is one-sided, the other can’t turn up the volume on their voice. When someone follows you, it’s a pleasing compliment. When they send a personal message, that’s soOo much more engaging and really gives the impression they value you. You’ll then retweet to show your friends…and it’ll be seen by a much wider audience than just a single follower…so a worthwhile brand win.
So, how does a brand decide which followers to follow on Twitter?
A vital part of Twitter’s service is the encouragement to follow other users’ accounts. Some brands follow accounts because they actually read the tweets, while others follow out of courtesy. With the advent of sophisticated keyword search tools, pertinent results will be available without scrolling down an ever increasing Home feed.
Reciprocating ‘follows’ is a good thing, but really should be done by plan. If it’s a relatively new Twitter account then following everyone that follows them may have value, to create connection with the fans that are active, and to tie into hot topics and trends.
As a brand matures, it’s best not to follow everyone, as it diminishes the value of who is followed. Be selective, but generous in the assessment of others suitability:
- Are they part of the industry?
- Do they have valuable content?
- Are they regularly active on Twitter?
- Do they retweet your tweets?
- Do they tweet you with questions or comments?
Beyond that, brands need to engage those followers to help build their social community. Just following shows you’re alive… conversation shows you have a heart… and might just make someone’s day. That must be good for business.