It only takes a few minutes of surfing Facebook to realize that everyone and their dog
has a Facebook page. On a more relevant note, most of your direct competitors are on Facebook. What separates businesses on Facebook, then, are the relationships they forge with their consumers.
Too many businesses create a presence on Facebook for the sake of being on Facebook. The fact is, it can be worse to have a static Facebook page than no page at all. Unsupervised comments, complaints, and spam can do serious damage to a brand. However, if you believe Facebook is the place for you business, you need to do your best to take advantage of what Facebook has to offer.
Use these five tips to encourage interactions and build relationships.
Probably the most engaging of all, events allow brands to interact with fans on a very real level. While you can hold virtual events
, I'd encourage you to promote real events using Facebook. Set up a Facebook deal for a certain day, plan a customer appreciation party, or even sponsor a larger event in your city. Make the plans, create a Facebook event
, and connect with your consumers where they live, eat, and work. They will appreciate your efforts and happy customers generate other customers.
As one of the richest forms of media right now, videos draw attention. Next time you want to tell your fans about your annual event coming up, put together a video of last year's event and create 60 seconds of visual excitement. You can voice over the video to express all the details, or even insert an informational slide at the end. The point is, if you can turn your update into a video, it's a great way to connect with your consumers. Let them see your face, hear your voice, and feel your enthusiasm.
Contests & Offers
This may be a fan's favorite form of interaction. Everyone loves getting something for nothing. Facebook recently introduced Facebook Deals
to allow for location-based marketing. Facebook also recently relaxed their guidlines for contests and promotions
, making it easier for brands to create specials and contests with their consumers. Take advantage of this and create fun offers or contests to engage your customers.
This is something I personally don't see very often, but have used on a few occasions. Depending on the size of your business, this may or may not work for you. But, hey, it never hurts to try. When crafting a Facebook post, you can 'tag' a person or fan page just like you would on Twitter. By using "@Michael Kasberg," when writing a post, I would actually be tagged in that post. For smaller businesses, you can use this to interact directly with specific fans. Perhaps you could highlight certain people each month as "customer of the month" or announce contest winners in this way. For larger businesses, maybe you tag other businesses, partners, or events in your statuses to draw attention to certain causes you are passionate about. Then, let the conversation roll from there.
Start a conversation by simply asking a question. Many businesses on Facebook overlook this super simple form of interaction. Ask a basic question; something that people can answer in 5-10 words, but not a simple yes/no question that stifles creativity. If you're a breakfast cafe or coffee shop, a great example would be, "Do you prefer breakfast or brunch?" Match.com on Facebook
does an extremely good job at this and they spark huge conversations daily. It's all about bringing people together and giving them a reason to talk.
In the end, it's about being real and interacting on a genuine level. Facebook is great for giving your brand a very personal image and it can be great to do so. People like to do business with people they know. Facebook allows your company to be personal and connect with people. Take advantage of it and start interacting!
Have you used other tactics to interact with your fans on Facebook? Have you used any of these?