How to manage your Twitter and Facebook campaigns so your consumers don't feel like they are being stalked by your brand.
We've all been there: the party that runs an hour too long, the empty bar with the waitress that's shooting daggers at a table of stragglers. Overstaying one's welcome is a common social "faux pas," but it's something most of us know how to deal with. We can finagle our way out of the situation easily enough.
What happens when the culprit is your brand?
To this day, the media buying question I'm most often asked about is frequency capping. What's the optimal number of ad impressions per consumer? How much is too much? It's nice to know that marketers are thinking about this, because it's an issue that gets a lot of brands into trouble. Consumers don't like to feel as though they're being stalked online. It's akin to walking down a dark street and feeling like the strange man in the overcoat is waiting at every turn. In advertising, a few exposures - one, three, or even seven per unique user per day depending on the type of banner and campaign - can improve brand recall. Get a little too friendly, however, and you can bet your target audience will turn and run.
Faced with a plethora of new social media platforms and bigger, bolder display ads, digital marketers find themselves in a more difficult position than ever before. Not only must they consider how to manage their paid search and display ad impressions, but also their tweets, pins, YouTube videos, and Facebook posts as well. We sometimes forget that these are all part of a collective ad campaign designed to promote your products and your brand. Thus, the same attention to frequency that's given to display advertising must apply. And as with display ads, the optimal volume of exposures is specific to the medium at hand.
Here's how to manage your Twitter and Facebook campaigns.
Imagine opting in to receive emails from a brand you value, only to receive a dozen daily messages containing the same stale pitch. By following your brand on Twitter consumers are giving you permission to enter their online lives, but that doesn't mean you can beat them to death with your brand.
Instead of constantly tooting your own horn with product sales and third-party praises, tweet messages that deliver both brand value and interest: a timely or seasonal special offer, a behind-the-scenes look at your office or staff, a response to a consumer inquiry. It's also wise to vary your deployment strategy based on the day of the week. Email marketing company Yesmail's "Using Digital Marketing Intelligence to Drive Multi-Channel Success" report found that while 20 percent of branded Twitter posts are deployed on Fridays, this day typically displays the lowest customer engagement. Instead, the bulk of your brand's tweets should occur on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. And in its analysis of major retail brands like Gap, Ann Taylor, Ralph Lauren, and H&M, Yesmail noticed that brands that tweet too much will pay for their excessive enthusiasm. The studied brands that were found to be the most engaging (i.e., received the most retweets) posted 45 to 70 tweets per month, while the least engaging averaged 95 to 115.
Branded Facebook posts are a tricky thing. They must compete with status updates from family and friends, and do so without being overly intrusive. Those who have mastered the art of the Facebook campaign will tell you there's a delicate balance between being too present and being absent. The latter has caused many a brand to lose consumer likes.
According to social enterprise software company Buddy Media's "Strategies for Effective Wall Posts: A Timeline Analysis," there's incongruity between the number of interest consumers show in Facebook over the weekends and the number of Saturday and Sunday posts. In addition to upping weekend updates, brands should get to know their audiences, as user behavior varies based on industry. Automotive, entertainment, non-profit, and food/beverage brands will do well to post frequently on weekends, while retail shoppers favor interacting with brands on Thursdays and CPG buyers on Sundays and Wednesdays. The company advises brands to post no more than twice per day and up to seven times in a week.
Consumers are interested in your brand. If they weren't, they wouldn't have chosen to keep tabs on it through Facebook and Twitter. Show respect for their interest and engagement by ensuring that you don't overstay your welcome.
Annoyed Woman image on home page via Shutterstock.
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Tessa Wegert is a business reporter and former media strategist specializing in digital. In addition to writing for ClickZ since 2002, she has contributed to such publications as USA Today, Marketing Magazine, Mashable, and The Globe and Mail. Tessa manages marketing and communications for Enlighten, one of the first full-service digital marketing strategy agencies servicing such brands as Bioré, Food Network, illy, and Hunter Douglas. She has been working in online media since 1999.
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