By Caitlin Brennan

June 10th, 2016

Every master was once an apprentice. Some call it absorbing the wisdom of generations. Social media managers call it best practices. It hasn’t yet been “generations,” per se, but more than a few brands already seem to have it all figured out. Take a seat and learn from the best.

#1 – Customer service matters
Social media is not just a firehose of promotional content. When users speak, you have to listen.
Customer service on social isn’t just nice to have, it’s what people have come to expect. Nothing looks worse than screen after screen of unanswered questions and requests.

High-end home appliance maker Fisher & Paykel has carved out a niche for itself as a maker of designer equipment. They can charge premium prices based on reputation, quality, and features, but so can their competitors. That’s why they must continue to deliver value to customers after the purchase. Here, they could have just referred the customer to a hotline, but the community manager went the extra step of getting some information that shows he’s not talking to a robot.

fisher

Sometimes, making a person feel like someone is working on their problem is nearly as good as actually solving it.

#2 – Videos
With 25 million fans on Facebook alone, Kit Kat must be doing something right. The candy heavyweight is taking advantage of autoplay videos to stop scrollers right in their tracks. Powerful visuals are important, so don’t just toss up some stock photography. Use something that moves!

Here, they take the internet’s favorite animal – the cat – and dare you not to watch it on repeat. The lesson here is not to use cats (though it’s usually not a bad idea), but that attention is fickle and motion is powerful.

#3 – Have clear community guidelines
Amazon.com has over 26 million fans on Facebook – more than the population of Australia. Just like a country of millions must have laws in order to operate smoothly and fairly, a social media presence must come with some rules of the road.

If it hasn’t already, the day will come when you have to delete a post or ban a user. Sometimes, it has to be done. But even in obvious cases of abuse or inappropriateness, perpetrators take offense and feel like they have been wronged. Simple, easy-to-understand rules make it clear that you are not being arbitrary. They also show that you are invested in creating a space that is well-moderated and under control.

brands on facebook like amazon

#4 – Keep it short
Sometimes, the best thing to say is nothing at all – or at least, close to nothing. Studies have shown that
engagement can increase 60% or more by keeping Facebook posts below 250 words or under. Why? Blocks of text are intimidating, or at least boring, to the casual browser on their phone waiting for an elevator. Photos or video provide a bigger initial impression with a lot less work required of the reader than long sentences.

Brevity works wonders for Angry Birds. Besides letting the visual content speak for itself, staying brief makes its non-English speaking fan base from feeling left out from the narrative.

birds

Conclusion: follow the leaders
While using your personal social media accounts, be on the lookout for brands to serve as your mentors from afar. Did a company do a good job of answering your question? Follow them. Did you buy based on a retailer’s promoted post? Pay attention to their verbiage and mix of content. Don’t be afraid to adopt the strategies of brands you admire to fit your own needs. Imitation isn’t just the sincerest form of flattery, it’s how newbies become power users.

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