Engaging the “social” customer is a topic that is getting a lot of air time these days and for good reason. The more customers migrate to the social web the more engagement becomes a priority for successful brands and is tied to the overall customer experience. Moving from a strictly transactional relationship to one of trust and engagement is fundamentally about customer experience and a positive or negative experience overtakes everything else.
Simply setting up a page is not enough. It requires vigilance and energy with a mix of content. A key point to be stressed is that social media efforts need to be tailored to what your target audience is interested in and it should be done in a way that stimulates discussion and interaction. So you have to have a handle on what your audience is interested in. Coming across like you’re broadcasting (the “old school” marketing monologue) is the kiss of death.
Marketing on Facebook is lots of fun and lots of work. Here are a few “best practices”:
- Post frequently to keep content fresh. Generally the best times to post are mornings, around lunch time and early evenings. Posting too frequently is not advisable. Facebook is an engagement platform, so don’t broadcast.
- “Like” and “Share” are powerful tools that can be used together to increase engagement. On your company web site and blog you can encourage the use of “Like” for products and services, and the use of “Share” for asking questions and letting others showcase items that peak their interest.
- Make your page interactive. Solicit interactions by asking questions.
- Personal connections are powerful, personalize your posts… use names and other personalization often.
- Respond to comments and do it in a timely manner. Conversation is engaging.
- If you have company blogs syndicate the content on your Facebook page by using Notes.
- Add value to the conversation and bring in outside content that is relevant to show folks that you want to provide value, not just sell them something.
- People like free stuff, so offer coupons, discounts, specials if you can, but don’t over do it.
- Mix in the use of other media like video. This helps engage customers.
- Deal with negativity and misinformation openly and clearly. Don’t overreact or attack.
- Share the love. promote and recognize other members of your community.
- Make it easy to connect to your other social and online efforts by posting links to your other accounts like Twitter, YouTube, your BLOGs, Websites, etc.
- Include Facebook and Twitter tags on all of your traditional media.
- Analyze and use the data to improve your Facebook presence.
- If you make a mistake (and everyone makes mistakes), apologize!
What do you think?
- How Do I Get People to “Like” My Facebook Page? (blogs.constantcontact.com)
- Facebook Fan Page Best Practices with Mari Smith [@InboundNow #18] (hubspot.com)
- Important Q & A on Facebook Marketing for small businesses (onlinecashatm.wordpress.com)
- Engage with Purpose (briansolis.com)