Everyone has their little quirks. Other than being a social media professional (nerd) I am obsessed with Halloween and all things macabre. Most of my movie collection consists of horror flicks and I have this weird habit of decorating my house in early September for Halloween. As an admitted Halloween-freak, I take great care in deciding on what I want to be each year. During my research earlier this year, I came across an awesome company that intrigued me because not only do they have an awesome product, they absolutely get what it means to be a social company. Composite Effects (CFX) makes silicone masks and props for movies, haunted attractions and the average consumer. Their products are premium quality and they provide STELLAR customer service through their social accounts. I wanted to know more about CFX and how they manage to be so awesome at social media, so I reached out to Jonathan Simoneaux and he was kind enough to answer a few questions for us. Check out what he had to say!
Q: Can you give us some background info on Composite Effects?
A: Composite Effects was started by Wes Branton and Kenny Decker in 2006. Wes and Kenny met in LSU, and quickly realized they both had an interest in effects and prop work. Deciding that they would rather work for themselves, they created Composite Effects initially as a prop studio. It soon became apparent that there was a huge market for silicone masks, and so the focus of the company shifted. Today silicone masks are the majority of our business, and we have grown from a two man operation to a small business with over twenty employees, and we are still growing.
Q: How has the use of social media impacted the brand?
A: Social media has probably had one of the biggest influences on our company. The ability to reach out directly to our customers and receive immediate feedback is invaluable, and our use of Facebook has put our customer service on a whole new level. Also, especially with Facebook and Twitter, social media has allowed us to make business connections that we may not have been able to before.
Q: On your Facebook page it seems that your customer service team is VERY responsive, is it difficult to manage that as a growing company?
A: Staying active and responsive on social media is a demanding process, and often requires more than one person to manage. Since there is no one person that is dedicated to our social media, it often requires someone to multi-task, usually myself or our Marketing Director, Diana. We even check Facebook off the clock, just to keep an active and involved presence.
Q: What is one improvement that you would like to see brands make on Facebook?
A: Unfortunately the technique of strong-arm marketing has become very popular on Facebook. This typically involves constant status updates which flood the users' Facebook walls, posting offers directly to users' walls, and generally being very intrusive. We prefer a more subtle and nuanced approach, and while every post we make is in some way designed to increase sales, we try to maintain a very casual and almost conversational tone. This keeps the community interested and keeps them from being annoyed by us.
Q: What is your personal favorite social channel and why?
A: Right now, my personal favorite social channel is our own social site, Maskerade . It's not nearly as populated as Facebook, but it's ours, and as such we have complete control over it. We have a small but involved community there, and we try to make the interface a bit more interesting than you typically see. And Maskerade is still evolving as we add new features and optimize existing ones.
In the spirit of disclosure, I did end up purchasing a CFX mask. The only thing that has to do with this blog post is that throughout the buying process their team kept me informed, comfortable and excited all via their social accounts. In a time where every brand seems to want to constantly broadcast blatant marketing messages, it’s nice to see a young and successful company that really understands what people want from brands on social media. For an extra cool peek into CFX as a company, check out their YouTube channel where they have a new video series called “CFX Unboxed”.