In last week’s posts, we learned that Facebook can be an extremely powerful marketing tool in the hands of a brand that understands how to interact with its audience. This week we will discuss the framework for building interactivity into your brand’s Facebook fan page.
Before launching a strategy to create and/or enhance interactivity on your brand’s fan page, it is wise to begin by setting goals and expectations for what you plan on accomplishing and how you plan to accomplish it. If you manage a brand within a narrow niche, you must research the demographic and determine realistic expectations for the level of attention and participation you want to see on your fan page. On the other hand, if you manage a brand with a broad or multifaceted niche, be sure to develop a systematic approach to customer engagement and avoid confusing your audience with disjointed and inconsistent messages. As with all social media engagement, it is wise to begin with a plan and not attempt to fire shots in the dark hoping something sticks.
Effective Facebook fan pages have clear communication channels by which brands initiate conversations with their customers. These are the pages that don’t just have a high number of fans, they also have a high comment response. At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter how many people “like” your page. What matters the most is how many people are commenting on your page. Comments let you know who is listening, and you can bet that those who are listening are also talking to their friends about what they are hearing. Zero in on the content that produces comments and stop posting content that garners little to no response. If your customers are not talking back to you either they are not listening or they simply don’t care. The goal is to give them content they care about; that elicits a response and prompts them to share with others what you have shared with them.
If you are not sure what kind of content your customers want, ask them! Leverage the opportunities you have to really listen to those who “like” your page. Even if its only a small number, give your audience a chance to contribute to content development. Best case scenario, you will come away with dedicated evangelists for your brand. The advantage in enlisting customers on this level is that you not only get their buy-in and loyalty, you ultimately get the attention of that customer’s Facebook friends and expand your impact on new customers.
Opening up the brand to this level of customer interaction can be nerve-racking for traditional marketing practitioners. However,recruiting brand evangelists and creating freedom within boundaries for these “super fans” to communicate about your products or services can actually propel your brand forward in ways unmatched by traditional marketing efforts. In our next post we will look at some case studies of brands who are successfully incorporating Facebook fans into their online marketing strategy and how you could leverage some of these concepts to assist in your own strategy development.