Many companies merely tick the social media box – they create a token Facebook page but miss the enormous business opportunities it can offer. Need some ideas on how to build a following, generate interactions, and increase brand loyalty? Read on!
Capture your audience
The first step is to identify the best content for your target market. Who are you aiming to reach and what’s your main objective? It is important when creating content for your followers to provide them with more than just news about your company/work, but something they can relate to. A great example is Barack Obama, whose Facebook page plays a key role in his communications with “the people” and provides a glance into his work, schedule and opinions. On his Facebook Election 2008 page, more than 5.4 million users clicked on an “I Voted” button to let their friends know they made it to the polls. Today, with over 19 million likes, Obama utilizes Facebook as a tool for the 2012 election campaign.
Give them the stage
Engagement is key in any social media interaction – think what will interest your audience, invite them to share their experiences, start discussions and let them shape the content.
Take for example Coca-Cola – on their Facebook wall, the content is generated by users. The company adopted a page originally created by two devoted fans. The collaboration between the company and the page founders let Coca-Cola leverage the existing connections with its fans.
Let’s Face(book) it – Why it’s important to listen to negative feedback
Good or bad, any feedback is valuable as long as you correctly interpret it and respond quickly. Listening to all types of comments will allow you to get a comprehensive understanding of your brand.
As an example, Dell recognized that the number of negative posts on their Facebook wall presented an opportunity to learn from their customers. A special team from customer service, social media and public relations was put in charge of responding to the negative posts. As a result, 1/3 of the negative posters turned around and posted positive feedback on Dell’s Facebook page. This illustrates that when you take the time to show your customers you care, they will show their appreciation.
Your staff is your biggest asset – How could you use them?
IBM’s idea is to reflect the brand by encouraging its employees to share their knowledge and expertise using social media. Many of IBM’s social media efforts began internally, offering new opportunities for employees to learn from each other, build morale and collaborate productively. The gain for IBM was the development of new products.
Creating a long-term relationship
Great, they “liked” your page, but now what? How do you ensure your audience returns to your page, and also interacts with you? The answer lies in what you offer.
BT promises exclusive deals, news and specials for its Facebook community, creating a loyal group of commentators.
Get what you need from them
With a strong and inviting call to action, the American Red Cross Facebook page is not just brilliantly designed, but is also effectively used for receiving donations.
In my next post, I will investigate why B2B marketers are slow to adopt social media tools and share my thoughts about Google’s desire to focus on social media across their company.