What Denny’s Can Teach Us All About Social Media

Nearly half the world’s population now uses social media. That fact alone makes it a crucial element of any marketing strategy.

If you aren’t effectively engaging with your followers on social media, you’re missing out. Done right, it’s the perfect channel for building relationships with your audience, raising your brand profile, and making more money.

But despite the importance of social media platforms, it’s rare to see a brand getting it just right. Now and then, you’ll see a company that manages to nail its social media voice and engage with its users in the perfect way.

Denny’s is one of those companies. It might come as a surprise that a restaurant chain — not a slick tech startup or marketing firm — is the example we pick for social media dominance. But if you want a lesson in how to use Twitter (and other platforms) to significant effect, take a look at Denny’s.

What we can learn from Denny’s

Denny’s has mastered the art of connecting with their Twitter audience.

Twitter has 145 million monetizable daily active users, making it the perfect channel to connect with your audience, build your brand, and grow your revenue if done right.

It’s also a mostly young audience — 38% of American Twitter users are between 18 and 29. That means the approach needed for Twitter success is going to sound a little different from the one you’d use for Facebook or LinkedIn.

Denny’s have nailed that voice, effortlessly using a colloquial tone with light-hearted topics, jokes, and the liberal application of memes.

It’s a technique that wouldn’t work on other platforms — Denny’s Facebook strategy, for example, is very different and appeals to an older and more conservative audience. But when it comes to Twitter, they’re killing it.

So how can you do the same? Simply imitating Denny’s won’t work — every audience is different and requires a tailored approach. Still, there are some rules to follow that can get you off to a good start.

How to build a social media voice that works

Know your audience

By far, the most critical part of any social media strategy is getting to know your followers. The best way to do this is simply by talking to them and spending time in the same online spaces.

Ask questions, encourage discussion, carry out polls and surveys, engage with the comments on your blog posts, and try to understand your follower’s pain points, goals, and worries as much as possible. That will allow you to engage more effectively and create posts and content that resonate with them.

Know your platform

Every social media platform is different. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram — these all require a very distinct voice and approach.

Make sure you know the demographics using each platform and the style required to connect with them. For example, Twitter and Instagram tend to skew young, whereas Facebook and LinkedIn users are typically older and more conservative.

That is one place where Denny’s excels — creating Tweets geared towards a younger and more laid-back audience.

Provide real value

Denny’s likes to joke around on Twitter, but they also share valuable info. In their case, the humor is often value in itself — people want entertainment.

This kind of approach works well on Twitter, but on other platforms like LinkedIn, your audience will expect something more concrete and actionable. Not every post has to be pure information, but most should contain something your reader can take away and apply.

Inject personality into your voice

That is especially important on more casual, laid-back platforms like Twitter, but it also matters on LinkedIn. It’s essential to develop a distinctive, memorable voice that people will recognize before they even see your brand name.

That will make you stand out among other brands that use a more cautious, cookie-cutter approach to their posts. If possible, match your voice to the personality of your followers — this is yet another area where it helps to know your audience intimately.

Post with the right frequency

The right number of times to post per day varies quite a bit depending on the platform. Studies show that 15 Tweets per day is an excellent place to start, whereas with Facebook and LinkedIn, you might be best keeping it to just one or two.

Posting too often might annoy your audience members and cause them to unfollow you, but if you post too infrequently, they might forget about you. They’ll never really engage with your brand, defeating the primary purpose of social media marketing. 

Getting your brand voice and social media strategy right is a challenge and can take a lot of research and time. We can help you get there, as we have with countless other companies. To find out more, get in touch.

This post was written by Louis Moran. 

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