Before we start I want to iterate two words: SOCIAL MEDIA.
Like most of the billion people that make up today’s Facebook community, I follow certain brand pages. Yet, it amazes me how many brands fail to recognize the fact that their brand page is SOCIAL. I mean, isn’t it ironic to consider that 95% of Facebook wall posts are not answered by brands?!
Unfortunately, many brands are using Facebook as primarily a self-promotion platform, scattering their page with product links, telling their followers (short term) all about their product or service. This is a big mistake.
Facebook is a powerful tool that can increase leads, build awareness, and facilitate conversions, if handled correctly. I believe that brands should base their social content strategy on the 70/20/10 model. Seventy percent of content should be engaging, 20% should be educational, and the remaining 10% should be reserved for self-promotion. Bottom line, brands need to use Facebook as a tool to listen to, and connect with their audience. After all, the brand extends far beyond that of product positioning or sales strategy. Every brand need to recognize that their is a human element, quite possibly more important that any other brand element when it comes to the long term sustainability of a business’ bottom line.
Why? Because it is the social – or human – element of a brand that ultimately builds connection, and it is this connection that fosters loyalty, which my friends, is the key ingredient to growing life time customer value.
The reasoning is simple, we all like to be heard, and we all like to know that our feedback, or opinion, is valued. Social channels allow brands to listen to their consumers.
Social channels are engagement channels. Here are some examples of how you can engage with your customers, build a connection, grow a community, and create a brand image that has a loyal following:
+ Be responsive to customers. Golden Rule: show you are listening by responding within 24hrs.
+ Poll your audience for fun, or research
+ Humorous jokes and images – Photoshop is gold here, take at look at Grubhub and Seamless FB pages
+ Ask your audience to fill in the caption on a photo
+ Word association games can be fun – when I say “………”, you say “_________” ?
+ Create and post events
+ Facilitate User-generated content (UGC). For example, ask members to post photos/ content to your wall
+ Always recognize competition winners
+ Post photos of employees so they can meet the team ( really personalize the brand)
+ Post case studies and testimonials
+ Provide product or service tips that provide value and are related to the benefit your business offers
+ Ask poll questions and publish the results
These are just some ideas. But you get the picture. The word of the day here is engagement. This should be the primary goal. Brands need to provide a platform by which they exude a persona, because without it you will not be able to build a relationship with your customers, and without that relationship it is hard to build loyalty, and without loyalty, lets face it, customers are going elsewhere, in a hurry!
Let me know your thoughts?