We take pride in creating and growing deep, long-lasting, mutually-beneficial connections between our clients and their customers. In the past few years, we’ve begun to apply our tactics in marketing’s newest arena, social media. Take a look at some helpful hints and habits we’ve developed along the way as we adapted the Jackrabbit Design philosophy for use in a new and ever-changing world.
We’re in This Together.
Social media is unique in that it allows the customer, or follower, to be part of the process. You’re no longer marketing to the customer, but with them. Social media is a two-way stream of communication.
Think of it as a chat with a fellow enthusiast or the person sitting next to you at the bar. (Remember those good old days?) Broadcasting a clear, branded message is important, but so is listening to feedback and being aware of how your message is received. You must be willing to adapt and alter to their needs.
Depending on your client, you might also find that your followers are often responsible for a significant portion of your content. This could run the gamut from a great photograph that you re-share, or in the case of Dutchman Dental, a fantastic Yelp review that gets turned into a graphic overlay for a post a fantastic Yelp review that gets turned into a graphic overlay for a post.
Quality Over Quantity.
Having a steady stream of content is important, however, you should avoid posting just for the sake of posting.
Keeping with the theme of a two-way conversation—it’s better to say something with purpose than to talk just to make noise. Remember that fictional person sitting next to you at the bar? If they speak just to hear their own voice, would you really listen or care? Don’t be that person.
Make It Quick.
Social media never sleeps. This one isn’t always easy but it’s pretty obvious.
This means the day doesn’t end once you leave the office, or after you hit “post”. A prompt response can keep an important conversation going and even start a meaningful connection, whereas a long delay might cause the communication to fizzle out. How do you feel when you ask a question and get ignored? Again, don’t be that person.
Having loads of followers is great, having a smaller number of engaged brand loyalists is better. Followers who genuinely believe in your brand are key.
Going back to the “marketing with, not at” mantra, nurturing a community of followers into brand ambassadors has been a tremendous help for our clients. They build brand reach and recognition. Not every one of Southport’s followers can afford a brand new 33-foot center console. However, they know what a Southport is and what the brand stands for. They’re also happy to talk about it.
If you’ve done the right thing and built up a loyal following, you’ll have to put in some work to keep it going. People love recognition from a brand they believe in. I’m not the kind of person who gets excited to see movie stars or athletes but as a Mopar guy, when Ralph Gilles (Global Head of Design at FCA) personally responded to a comment I made on one of his Instagram posts, you bet I nerded out. If an Instagram blogger features Fancypants Baking Co. cookies in a post, we make sure to add in a genuine compliment. “Yummy” is nice, but “So happy to help you satisfy your sweet tooth and maintain a healthy balance at the same time!” has a much greater impact.
Do Your Homework.
Every client is different. As I stated before, you need some speed to succeed. You might encounter questions that need help from the client (such as pricing details, or when a dental appointment can be booked) but there’s no reason that you can’t figure some things out on your own. With a trusting client, you can keep the conversation rolling since you’re not waiting for an approved response.
Get familiar with what the client does and learn as much as you can about their industry. Not only does this help with timely responses to questions, but it simplifies the creative aspect as well. On a photoshoot with The Middlesex Corporation, we got a bunch of really cool shots of equipment working in the field. An image of a wheeled excavator became an opportunity to inform the general public why it was used on the project instead of a tracked machine. Pulling a model number off the side of the excavator and spending a few minutes on Google allowed us to provide some details for a hiring post that would appeal to a heavy equipment operator.
Know Your Client Like They Know Their Customers.
When the client sees that you care and that you know your stuff, your client is more likely to trust you. At Jackrabbit we help clients build relationships with customers because we build relationships with our clients. Our size and subsequent agility as a firm helps here.
Username “X” on Instagram is a real person taking a photograph and sharing something they’re proud of with you. Your client is a real person who is as much a member of the team as anyone on the Jackrabbit payroll. Have a client coming to town? Let them know what the best coffee shop is, where they can track down that elusive IPA they’ve been yearning to try or a great place for dinner. Bonus points if you can set up the reservation and make their drinks. I’ll admit I’ve used my bartending gig and experience as an advantage here, it’s just another tool in my box.
While we’re on the subject, make sure you’re available for your clients. It’s one thing to maintain contact through email, but having the option to send a quick text or make a phone call on the fly is nice. Many of our clients are local businesses so I’ve found that it’s a huge help to be able to contact someone in the office for a quick visit when content opportunities pop up. The occasional check-in or personalized text also goes a long way.