So about this 'Facebook' thing...

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Posted on 9th Oct 2011 by Scott Goodson in Tips and Tricks

Ok, most brands these days have a Facebook page. But is it achieving all it could be? If you’re just social networking as a ‘me too’ exercise then you’re missing a huge trick. Not in terms of sales – Facebook isn’t a site that’s designed for this yet – but in long-term, loyal customer relationships.

So what are the best ways to really utilize the world’s largest social network to your advantage? Here’s some basic advice for starters.

Focus on what Facebook is for

Facebook wasn’t created or designed as a place for you to sell your products. It’s not an e-commerce site. It’s a place where people discuss, share and communicate. It’s a portal where you can directly talk to your customers, 24/7. So with this in mind, your page should always be about engagement. That magic word again!

Give them something new

Don’t make the mistake of making your Facebook page a copy of your brand’s website. You need to create exciting, entertaining content that gives your customers something new, that’s different from your website, just for Facebook alone. These ‘exclusives’, whether purely content or giveaways, promotions and offers to reward your fans, will drive your customers to your page because they can’t find it anywhere else.

Remember, it’s a two-way thing

Facebook allows users to share what they think instantly with others. It’s a place to have a conversation – so as a brand you need to be prepared to talk with your Facebook fans. So if someone asks a question, make sure you post a reply. Keep an eye on your page at all times so you can respond. Again, it’s all about engagement. Involving your fans will make them feel as a brand that you value what they think and their opinions. If they feel you are listening to them, they are more likely to support you and encourage others to do the same. Be open, honest and authentic. This builds brand loyalty in a way advertising alone just cannot do.

 Tell everyone you’re there

‘Word of mouth’ will grow your fan base amongst Facebook users, it’s a ripple effect as fans and friends of fans and so on realise you have something great to offer. But make the most of every opportunity you have to shout about your Facebook presence. Include your Facebook page address on every bit of publicity or advertising you produce.

Use it for campaigns

Facebook is a great tool for a campaign. Our ‘Against Dumb’ Cultural Movement for smart USA didn’t direct people to the smart website, it sent them to our dedicated Facebook page, where people could share their ideas and join the fight against mindless over-consumption, or take part in the ‘Great Dumb Trade In’ to win a new smart car. The result? During the campaign, smart’s Facebook fanbase grew by more than 750%. Daily comments and likes increased by more than 189%. And people are still commenting and joining in today about their love of smart. Of course, all of this has naturally increased sales of the little car. How smart is that?

Image Credit: Tom K! / Shutterstock.com

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