Today’s best marketers create loyal fans by engaging their audience in comments and messages. Approaching each conversation with real interest, they use social media to drive a remarkable and unforgettable customer experience whose fans come back again and again. But how exactly can you create this remarkable customer experience on social media?
One marketer who has acquired the art of social media for a better customer experience is Bryanna Evans. He is the head of social media at Southern Elegance candle company (SECC) is a homey aroma and hopeful lifestyle brand that captures the warmth and hospitality for which the South is known. Not only has the focus on engagement helped them build loyal fans, it also helps them double or triple their income, as its founder and CEO D’Shawn Russell said: “Our social media makes us a lot of money … We went by doing maybe $ 20,000 to $ 30,000 a month posting beautiful pictures, which is now over $ 100,000 a month just involving more people.“
Read more on how to watch behind the tents, how to SECC creates a positive customer experience on social media, which customers come back to again and again. You can hear directly from SECC social media administrator Bryanna Evans and find out:
- How a positive customer experience on social media can bring significant value to your business
- How an audience can help you with your company’s marketing and product development strategy
- A tool that Bryanna uses to communicate more effectively with the SECC audience
- Which social platforms are most successful in engaging customers
This post is part of the social media series Buffer #BufferBrandSpotlight, which focuses on people who help build significant brands through social media, community building, content creation and brand stories.
This series was born from Instagram stories, which means you can watch the original interview from our featured page @ buffer Instagram profile.
Tell us more about yourself! What is Southern Elegance Candle Co. (SECC) and what is your role there?
Southern Elegance candle company is a brand of home-scented and promising lifestyles that embraces the warmth and hospitality for which the South is known. The fragrances we offer are inspired by the experience of our CEO D’Shawn Russell growing up in the south. Through our products, people can experience the joys of living in the South, no matter where they are.
My name is Bryanna Evans and the role I play in Southern Elegance is multifaceted, but my main responsibilities are social media management and customer service oversight. Although many consider them to be separate entities, I feel that they overlap quite a lot. Both help me develop strategies that engage my consumers, create content, and build real connections with our audience.
Why is customer experience important on social media?
This digitally charged timing is all at our fingertips. We have had the condition that we expect information as soon as we consume. The same goes for the customer experience on social media. Potential consumers often have a first impression of the company and whether it is worth investing in it (browsing their social media platforms, tracking accounts, buying products). This may change or break the trademark.
How does SECC create a positive customer experience on social media?
We use our platforms to welcome a welcoming environment that focuses on unity and inclusion. Our label “Contemporary Values, Southern Charm” plays a huge role in the process of creating our content – from graphics to captions – and we try our best to make everyone who comes into contact with our stream feel accepted. We communicate with our audience as if we were long-time friends, whether they have watched from the beginning or simply visited out of curiosity. This energy also means how we approach questions, respond to comments, respond to emails and DMs.
We communicate with our audience as if we were long-time friends, whether they have watched from the beginning or simply visited out of curiosity. This energy also means how we approach questions, respond to comments, respond to emails and DMs.
What are SECC’s most successful communication platforms for customer engagement and why?
Instagram and Facebook are our most successful platforms, TikTok. I would acknowledge our success for our true interests in our audience. The Internet has made a lot of skeptics – it’s often hard to know if a brand really cares about you as a consumer or just your money. This feeling can be amplified by robotic calls and chat robot assistants. If someone comments on our posts, we will comment back. When they call, they meet in a welcoming voice. We generate conversations through quizzes, videos, contests and gifts.
I would acknowledge our success for our true interests in our audience. If someone comments on our posts, we will comment back. When they call, they meet in a welcoming voice. We generate conversations through quizzes, videos, contests and gifts.
How do you learn from your community to guide your marketing and product development strategy?
Our community is very vocal in what they want from us. We often receive notifications about fragrances and products they want to return or see. However, when we decide to launch a new product or fragrance, we try to involve them as much as possible in the process. We allow them to experiment with fragrances, vote for new fragrances and name candles. We actively seek their feedback through these surveys, inquiries and questions, and test interest in future projects.
What does SECC social media account and community management look like on a daily basis?
We always have a lot to do, so content is planned on a weekly basis. Personally, the organization is key. I need to manage my time wisely; for this I use a personal planner, a social media planner and two whiteboards. An initial time-based schedule is written on one board. It allows me to turn when something comes up and I need to help out on the floor or make calls in for that day. The second contains important reminders about upcoming projects and tasks.
My workday usually starts at 8 in the morning. When I arrive, I review my planners and reminders for the day. The next business hour is dedicated to answering customer service emails. For the next half hour, I’ll create all the graphics for the day and plan some posts if I haven’t done it over the weekend. After that, I dive straight into our Instagram and Facebook DMs. I also respond to comments that range from thirty minutes to an hour. Then I take some time to check my work emails and tap a few things on the to-do list. I also use this opportunity to plan and run at least one TikTok video per week for a Company account.
We post to our Instagram and Facebook stories every day – depending on what’s going on on the floor, I’ll post shots of the scene at about 11:30 or 1 p.m. Throughout the day, I share stories that have been flagged by us, or important announcements such as sales. In the afternoon, I’ll be back to respond to new customer service emails, schedule all other posts as needed, respond to DMs, chat replies, and comments. My day usually ends at 4 p.m. Before leaving for the day, I will definitely answer the e-mails in any case.
We post to our Instagram and Facebook stories every day – depending on what’s going on on the floor, I’ll post shots of the scene at about 11:30 or 1 p.m. Throughout the day, I share stories that have been tagged by us, or important announcements such as sales.
Tell us how you use our new engagement tool. What are your favorite features?
New buffer engagement tool has helped to increase the efficiency of responding to comments. My favorite linking feature is alerts as they save a huge amount of time. I like how they allow me to prioritize the ones I need to respond to ASAP. If I see a cart or question icon, I know that this person may need detailed information. An added benefit is that the tool makes it easy to browse comments on each post and find those annoying spam comments so they can be removed or hidden.
What do you recommend for brands that want to start using social media to create a community of loyal followers?
My advice to brands that want to use social media to build a loyal community is Start conversations, get feedback, and be real with your followers. Social media can be scary, but by the end of the day, there’s no wrong or right way to go. What works for Southern Elegance may not work for another company. It’s all a trial and error method. It is important for brands to experiment with different approaches and see what sticks. A good start is to research the topics, trends and habits of the target group and use this information to curate engaging content.
What works for Southern Elegance may not work for another company. It’s all a trial and error method. It is important for brands to experiment with different approaches and see what sticks. A good start is to research the topics, trends and habits of the target group and use this information to curate engaging content.
How to keep up with social media trends?
I’m actually following some of my professors from university. They regularly post articles, start conversations on emerging trends, social media, public relations and marketing practices. I try to be active on social media – even if I don’t post every day, I shared time to go through each platform, taking note of memes, recurring topics, trend-recognized hashtags, and more. When I see something, I think I can apply or rework it to the elegance of the South, then take notes and get deeper.
In addition, I take online courses in my spare time and go to YouTube University. Social media is constantly changing, and I’ve found that the best way to keep up with algorithm changes, updates, and the latest strategies is to simply take the time to actively learn.
What is your favorite SECC product and why?
My favorite Southern Elegance product should be our wax melters and warmers. I just turn on my heater, put on the wax and move on with my day. My favorite fragrances are our Charleston: sweet tea and our Savannah: peach and champagne, as they are reminiscent of my time growing up in Georgia and my alma mater while attending Southern Georgia University.
Do you have any questions for Bryanna? Feel free to answer your questions in the Twitter post below and Bryanna or someone on the Buffer team will reach them as soon as possible.