Fan Page Subscribers: How to Attract and Engage Them | New Zealand business magazine

Are you a silent follower, a cheerleader or a peacock? A University of Auckland researcher has ranked people who follow companies on social media based on their behavior on so-called fan pages.

The study was part of research conducted by PhD candidate Hamidreza Shahbaznezhad that also identified how companies can engage current subscribers and attract new ones – in short, by creating eye-catching content that will generate buzz among subscribers. , which in turn will attract new fans.

“Air New Zealand is recognized as a leader in its use of social media – its safety videos are going viral. What does he do well? Shahbaznezhad asks.

To better understand the secret to the success of popular fan pages and what customers do on fan pages, in a series of studies, he analyzed data from 36 international airlines’ fan pages hosted on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

“I chose the airlines because customers check them frequently via social media and are particularly sensitive to airline service, given that you are putting your life in their hands when you fly with them,” says Shahbaznezhad, who is based at the Center of Digital Enterprise at the University of Auckland Business School.

“Social media is an increasingly important communication channel between businesses and customers,” he says. “Between early 2014 and late 2017, Air New Zealand’s Twitter followers grew from 275,000 to 646,000, while their Facebook followers grew from around 700,000 to 1.5 million.

“Social media also has the potential to influence companies’ financial results and brand image. But less than one percent of companies’ followers actively engage, and there’s little research to guide companies’ social media strategy.

For one study, he analyzed activity on Air New Zealand and Jetstar’s Twitter accounts over five years. It focused on followers who had made at least one comment, hashtag, retweet or “like” during this period (4,196 on Air New Zealand and 539 on Jetstar). Consistent with previous research, Shahbaznezhad found that fans fall into seven categories.

Silent Followers rarely participate in corporate promotional events. Cheerleaders, on the other hand, actively participating and devoting most of their comments and shares to a single company. loyal fansas you would expect, also join the posts and follow them frequently.
Super loyal fans (often employees) use all available features to promote events and are primarily active only on this fan page.
peacockson the other hand, are active on many fan pages, suggesting that their motivation is to increase their own exposure and follower count.
Occasional learners make a modest amount of posts/tweets, hashtags and comments, but frequently hit “favorite” and “retweet” company tweets. The reverse is true for Occasional writers.

Next, he analyzed which fans the airlines “follow” and found that, surprisingly, they were more likely to be silent followers than vocal cheerleaders. “This may be because some of the cheerleaders will be employees or associates of the company, and by following them, the company may signal to customers that this person is an ‘agent,’ which would be detrimental to their positive influence.

There were also differences between the airlines. “Air New Zealand, which is a full-service airline, appears to follow fans who upload or create a wide range of content, from safety videos and offers to people’s flight experience.
On the other hand, low-cost airline Jetstar seems to follow fans who focus on operational issues, such as offers, services and flight information.

In another study, he analyzed the Twitter fan pages of 36 airlines around the world to find out what attracts new followers. Overall, he found that the best airlines for attracting new subscribers also cover the widest range of topics on their fan pages – both airline and fan topics.

“By comparing topics pushed by companies and those raised by users on fan pages, companies can find gaps and refocus their content generation to fill those gaps,” says Shahbaznezhad.

By controlling the airline’s international ranking, the more active the airline was on its fan page, and the more often fans clicked “favorites” (now “Like”) on the company’s tweets, the more it attracted fans. subscribers.

Responding to customer tweets (both negative and positive) seems to boost engagement from current fans, but doesn’t seem to directly attract new ones.

In another part of the study, using publicly available social media data from Facebook and Instagram in 2016, it examined the impact of the type, format (video, image) and freshness of social media posts. company on user engagement.

He found that information-based posts, such as calendar updates, attracted more comments but fewer likes. Sales-related posts, such as contests and special offers, received more reviews and more positive comments, as did entertaining posts, such as Air New Zealand’s safety videos. Videos attracted more positive comments than photos, and overall Facebook posts got more comments while Instagram posts got more likes.

“We need to understand what users are doing and what they think about company content in order to inform companies’ social media strategy.”

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