The thing about social media marketing is the social part. When companies stepped into the social media platforms there was a great number of companies that followed. Everyone had to do what their competitors did. Facebook pages and other accounts were created without any clear purpose or strategy. This often results in fans and followers who already are loyal customers. They join and then they disappear without visiting the page more than once. Here are some advice on what you can do to interact with your fans to maintain and expand your online community along with examples of companies who’ve succeeded.
Dove created their Facebook page Dove Self-Esteem Fund to educate and inspire girls to build a stronger self-esteem and get a wider definition of beauty. They encourage people to start workshops and join self-esteem organizations. They focus on the company’s beliefs instead of promoting products.
When creating a Facebook page, have in mind to share more than company and product information. What’s your company all about? Build a community of people who share your beliefs. The interest will hold the community together. Focus on what your company represents and let your product itself be a bit out of the spotlight.
I see a lot of companies that share links or updates and get great response such as comments and like’s – but they never reply. This is not interaction. This is advertising. If you want to show your interest in your fans and let them know that you actually read what they are saying to you – reply. Answer. Give their comments a “like”. Dell is one of those companies that show that even with more than a hundred thousand people, you can interact and reply.
Asos, the online fashion webshop, is always ready to assist their fans when they have problems or questions. With Asos Helpers they try to explain the cause of the problems, answer questions and help out when needed.
Help your fans if they have a problem with your product or if they have any questions about your company. Give them answers and try to solve what otherwise could be a loss of a customer. Every once a while we make mistakes that could put the company’s appearance on the line and we’re all aware of word-of-mouth. If you quickly respond and admit your slip – the problem is gone. To make mistakes and admit them makes you human – and people want to talk to humans, not logos.
Vitamin Water proves to be a good example of how to use co-creation as bait. They let their fans compete to name and create a flavour for a new Vitamin Water drink. A new product has now been produced with help from their fans.
By collaborating with your fans you let them know how important they are. You get an active audience and a database of new and honest ideas from your customers. Collaborations are also a great way to get people to visit your page rather than just becoming fans and then disappearing. Let your audience want to go to your page by creating something amusing to do.
When developing your strategy for using social media as a marketing tool, keep in mind how you are going to use it to make it as effective as possible. If you have any other advice or tips about companies using Facebook successfully, you are welcome to share.
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