The best marketing professionals today create loyal fans by engaging with their audience in comments and messages. By approaching every conversation with genuine interest, they use social media to foster an extraordinary and memorable user experience that fans keep coming back to. But how exactly can you create this outstanding user experience on social media?
One marketer who has mastered the art of social media to drive a better user experience is Bryanna Evans. She is the social media manager at Southern Elegance Candle Company (SECC), a home fragrant and uplifting brand for a life that conquers the warmth and hospitality for which the South is known. Not only has the focus on engagement helped them build loyal fans, but it has also helped them double or triple their revenue, as its founder and CEO D’Shawn Russell told us: “Our social media brings us a lot of money. working maybe $ 20,000-30,000 a month just posting beautiful pictures at over $ 100,000 a month simply by engaging people.“
Read on to see what the SECC looks like behind the scenes creates a positive user experience on social media that brings customers back again and again. You will hear directly from Bryanne Evans, Social Media Manager at SECC, and you will learn:
- How a positive user experience on social media can bring significant value to your business
- How your audience can help you with your business marketing strategy and product development
- A tool that Bryanna uses to more effectively engage with the SECC audience
- Which social platforms are most successful for engaging users
This post is part of the #BufferBrandSpotlight, a Buffer series of social media that sheds light on people helping to build outstanding brands through social media, community building, content creation and brand storytelling.
This series was created on Instagram stories, which means you can watch the original interview in our Highlights on our Instagram profile @buffer.
Tell us more about yourself! What is it about at Southern Elegance Candle Co. (SECC) and what is your role there?
Southern Elegance Candle Company is a domestic fragrant and uplifting lifestyle brand that conquers 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, who grew up in the South. Through our products, individuals can experience the joys of southern living no matter where they are located.
My name is Bryanna Evans and the role I play in Southern Elegance is multiple, but my main responsibilities include managing social media and overseeing customer service. Although many consider them separate entities, I feel they overlap quite a bit. They both help me in the process of developing strategies that appeal to consumers, creating content, and building authentic connections with our audience.
Why is the user experience on social media important?
In this digitally charged age, everything is at our fingertips. We are conditioned to expect information as quickly as we consume it. The same goes for the user experience on social media. This is often the first impression that potential consumers leave about the company and whether it pays to invest in them (browsing their social media, tracking accounts, buying products). It can create or break a brand.
How does the SECC create a positive user experience on social media?
We use our platforms to nurture a comfortable environment focused on unity and inclusiveness. Our slogan “Modern values, southern charm” plays a huge role in our process of creating content – from graphics to inscriptions, we try our best to ensure that everyone who comes across our feed feels accepted. We collaborate with our audience as if we have been friends for many years, whether they follow them from the beginning or just visit out of curiosity. That energy also translates into the way we approach questions, respond to comments, emails, and DM messages.
We collaborate with our audience as if we have been friends for many years, whether they follow them from the beginning or just visit out of curiosity. That energy also translates into the way we approach questions, respond to comments, emails, and DM messages.
What are the SECC’s most successful social platforms for user engagement and why?
Instagram and Facebook are our most successful platforms, and TikTok is on their heels. I would attribute our success to our true interests in our audience. The Internet has put many in doubt- It is often difficult to know if a brand really cares about you as a consumer or just about your money. This feeling can be enhanced through robotic calls and chatbot assistants. If someone comments on our posts, we respond with a comment. If they are called, they are greeted by a welcoming voice. We start conversations through quizzes, videos, contests and giveaways.
I would attribute our success to our true interests in our audience. If someone comments on our posts, we respond with a comment. If they are called, they are greeted by a welcoming voice. We start conversations through quizzes, videos, contests and giveaways.
How do you learn from your community to help guide your marketing and product development strategy?
Our community is very loud about what they want from us. We often get messages about scents and products they want to return or see. However, in case we decide to launch a new product or fragrance, we try to include them in the process as much as possible. We allow them to try out scents, vote for new scents, and name candles. We actively seek their feedback and test interest in future projects through surveys, surveys and asking questions.
What does managing the day-to-day account and SECC community on social media look like?
There’s always a lot going on, so content is planned weekly. Personally, organization is key. I have to manage my time wisely; for that I use a personal planner, a social media planner and two whiteboards. One board has a time-based outline. This allows me to turn around if something shows up and I have to help on the floor or have an influx of calls for the day. The second contains important reminders for upcoming projects and tasks.
My work day usually starts at 8am. When I arrive I review my planners and reminders for the day. The next hour of work is dedicated to responding to customer service email. For the next half hour, I create the graphics I need for the day and schedule a few posts, if I haven’t done so over the weekend. After that, I dived straight into our Instagram and Facebook DMs. I also respond to comments from thirty minutes to an hour. Then I take some time to check my business email and take a few things off my to-do list. I also use this opportunity to plan and run at least one TickTok video per week for the company account.
We post stories on Instagram and Facebook every day- depending on what’s going on on the floor I post behind-the-scenes footage around 11:30 or 1:00 p.m. I share stories we’ve been tagged about or important announcements like sales all day. After lunch I return to respond to all new customer service emails, schedule all other posts if needed, reply to DM, reply to stories and comments. My day usually ends at 4 p.m. Before I leave for the day, I will definitely respond to lengthy emails.
We post stories on Instagram and Facebook every day- depending on what’s going on on the floor I post behind-the-scenes footage around 11:30 or 1:00 p.m. I share stories we’ve been tagged about or important announcements like sales all day.
Let us know how you use our new engagement tool. What are your favorite features?
Buffer’s new engagement tool has really helped increase the efficiency of responding to comments. My favorite engagement function is alerts because they save time. I like how they allow me to set priorities that I need to respond to as soon as possible. When I see a shopping cart or question icon, I know I may need detailed information about that person. An added benefit is that the tool makes it easy to navigate through comments on each post and locate those annoying spambot comments so they can be removed or hidden.
What advice do you have for brands looking to start using social media to build a community of loyal followers?
My advice for brands looking to use social media to build a loyal community is start conversations, gather feedback and be real with your followers. Social networking can be daunting, but at the end of the day there is no wrong or right way to do it. What works for Southern Elegance may not work for another company. Everything is trial and error. For brands, it’s important to experiment with different approaches and see what holds. A good start is to study the topics, trends and habits of your target audience and use that information to gather interesting content.
What works for Southern Elegance may not work for another company. Everything is trial and error. For brands, it’s important to experiment with different approaches and see what holds. A good start is to study the topics, trends and habits of your target audience and use that information to gather interesting content.
How are you up to date with social media trends?
I actually follow some of my professors from college. They regularly publish articles, start conversations about new trends, social media, public relations and marketing practices. I try to stay active on social media – even if I don’t post every day, I take the time to go through each platform, record memes, recurring themes, popular hashtags, and more. If I see something I think I can apply or rework to fit into Souther Elegance, I take notes and dig deeper.
In addition, in my free time I attend online courses and attend “YouTube University”. Social media is constantly changing and I’ve found that the best way to stay up to date with algorithm changes, updates, and the latest strategies is to just leave time for active learning.
What is your favorite SECC product and why?
My favorite Southern Elegance product would have to be our wax melters and heaters. I just turn on the heater, put in the melted wax and do my day. My favorite scents are our Charleston: Sweet Tea and our Savannah: Peach & Champagne because they remind me of my time spent in Georgia and attending Southern University alma mater Georgia.
Do you have questions for Bryanna? Feel free to answer your questions on the Twitter post below and Bryanna or someone from the Buffer team will get back to you as soon as possible.
Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.