7 Types of Customers on Social Media (And What They Mean for Your Business)

7 Types of Customers on Social Media (And What They Mean for Your Business)

Any business using social media to market their company online, share about their business, and engage with customers will quickly learn that there are many types of people who follow their brand’s social media pages. No matter what social media platforms you are using, you are likely to run across these seven different types of customers. Here’s a look a who they are, why they’re following your brand on social media, and what to do to get the most out of them!

1) The Quiet Follower

This customer may have quietly liked your business on Facebook or followed you on Twitter to stay in touch with your brand, but they don’t say much and may seem like they aren’t engaging with you. These types of followers don’t do any harm, but you can potentially get more engagement by creating stronger calls to action on your posts, such as by asking your followers to like or “retweet” your posts. Sometimes all it takes to create more engagement is simply to ask for it! The bonus: on Facebook, the more you can get “quiet” followers to engage with your content, the more your content will show up in their news feeds.

2) The Casual “Liker”

The casual “liker” occasionally “likes” your Facebook or LinkedIn posts or retweets your content on Twitter. They most likely have followed your business because they genuinely enjoy the kinds of content you share or want to showcase to their friends that they are a fan of your business. To get more out of the “liker,” types, try using calls to action on your Facebook posts that ask your fans to share your content. For example, a restaurant could share a photo of their famous dessert with the caption, “Share this post if you love chocolate!” Or, a spa could post a photo of the latest trend in nail polish color with the caption “Share this if you’re wild about green this spring!” By asking your fans to share your posts, you help turn casual “liking” fans into more vocal advocates for your brand and potentially spread the word about your business to the friends of your fans.

3) The Deal Seeker

This customer follows your business on social media sites for access to exclusive deals, coupons, and customer appreciation incentives and events. And there are lots of this type of follower! In fact, research shows that 58% of Facebook users expect access to sales or to receive discounts or promotions after “liking” a brand on Facebook. So, make sure you’re giving this type of customer a reason to stay up to date with your brand by posting regular deals, offers, and specials for your social media audiences. For example, some businesses offer a “deal of the week” or a special contest each month that appeals to the deal-seeker type of fan. Bonus: Businesses that are regularly sharing sales, coupons, or contests are giving new consumers a good reason to follow their social pages, so this can also help you grow your follower numbers.

4) The Unhappy Customer

Negativity is never something you want to see on your social media pages, but it happens even to the best of us. The fact of the matter is, more and more people are using social media as a way to more publicly communicate with brands by leaving posts on their Facebook pages or through @mentions on Twitter, often in hopes of getting more timely or satisfactory customer service. And, due to the public, transparent nature of social media, sometimes that means that unhappy customers who want to complain publicly will be seen by more than just your business.

To minimize the negative impact of unhappy customers, it’s important to have a good reputation management process in place so your business can respond in a timely manner to customer complaints on your social media pages. By monitoring your pages for feedback and complaints, then responding quickly and appropriately (when needed), you communicate to that follower that your business is listening and that you care. Plus, publicly responding to these customers shows all your current and prospective fans and followers that you put the customer first. Pro tip: Set up a dedicated email address or phone number you can share publicly on negative comments like these so you can take the resolution process offline to best address the customer’s needs.

5) The Negative Detractor

As much as we’d like all negative comments to come from customers who have legitimate complaints that can be resolved, we have seen case after case of businesses getting slammed with negative comments on social media from fans and non-fans alike , sometimes for issues not related to specific experiences with your business. Often, these stem from political, ideological, cultural, or other personal issues that have come into public spotlight. In order to keep your business safe from the threat of social media detractors, it’s best to steer clear of making potentially controversial public statements that risk drawing ire from the public at large. Should your business ever find itself in a social media firestorm, it’s probably best to consult with a good public relations or crisis communications firm for strategic guidance on how to proceed.

6) The Enthusiastic Cheerleader

Everything! Is! Awesome! Including these passionate social media followers. They may or may not do a ton of business with you, but they retweet, like, comment on, and share every single post from your business. They enter every contest and tag your business in happy reviews on their personal wall. These are great fans to have because they spread the word about your business to their networks, they add life and charisma to your social pages, and they help keep the momentum in your community going. Make the most of these social media fans by highlighting them as a fan of the week, sharing their user-generated content like fan photos, or asking them to participate in a social media campaign or promotion for your brand.

7) The Loyal Customer

You know them by their profile picture because you’d also recognize them if they walked through your door tomorrow. They recommend you to everyone they know, and their lifetime customer value is way beyond typical because their referral rate is so high. These are the true fans of your business because they’re the life and soul of your customer base. To really benefit from these customers, ask them to star in a video testimonial for your business or share their success stories as case studies or quotes on your website. And, offer value to them in return by showing your appreciation for their loyal business through customer reward programs, appreciation events, or loyalty discounts.

Have you run across these customers on your social media sites? What other customer types did we miss? Share your thoughts in a comment!

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