How To Interact With Your Fans On Facebook

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.

Care
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.

Reply
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.

Help
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.

Co-Create
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.

 

Maybe you also feel like reading:

» Spice Up Your Facebook Page

» A Guide On Wether To Use Facebook Page or Groups

» 5 Tips for Increasing Community Engagement

Get Ready for the Bots – on Facebook Messenger

2Facebook Messenger was released 5 years ago and now has over 900 million users. Originally receiving a flood of negativity towards a standalone messaging app, compared to one simple Facebook app, users seem to be warming to it. The decision to make it standalone does make a lot of sense, since messaging is a big part of people’s lives nowadays and Facebook even bought the domain messenger.com to launch a version for web browsers last year. Their 900 million users will more than likely be merged with Whatsapp’s 1 billion users, which means that Facebook will have the personal phone number of every single user – sounds like $19 billion well spent.

 

Open for Business

So that’s humans covered. Where to go next? Facebook is now venturing into their next Messenger-based project: bots. If you haven’t been keeping up, Facebook launched Messenger Platform last month, which holds within it, chatterbots. Luckily, these bots are not machine learning bots, such as the disaster that was Microsoft’s Tay. They do have some humorous replies if provoked but they ultimately steer the conversation back to the subject they’re designed to cater for. Thanks to their highly advanced Send/Receive API, these bots are able to reply with actual structured messages, including links, images, hotel reservations, the weather etc. You may immediately compare this to Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, Google Now and Amazon Echo, but what sets bots on Messenger apart is the fact that businesses can develop them, which in turn gives them another way to develop customer service. Simply put, bots could end up changing the world by replacing humans in such job sectors. Without the bespoke customer service integration that Messenger bots provide, the above voice-activated services will most likely not be able to solve business-related queries themselves. Having said that, the way bots behave is very reminiscent of the way Siri does. Maybe they’ll talk to each other one day and we’ll get the best of both.

 

Customer Service and Added Value

So how can these bots work for brands? Well, eventually, every major company in the world will have an account, which will be a first port of call when contacting their company. The reason this is almost definite is due to Facebook’s already-mammoth-sized network of users. It doesn’t get any bigger than Facebook when advertising to individual people, so connecting Messenger bots (as customer sales reps, for example) is extremely attractive. Messenger codes, one of many things taken from Snapchat, will also make it easier for businesses to connect with their customers. One industry example is how bots will almost certainly change how banking works for the consumer, replacing an app or web-based system with a dialogue with a machine that is able to understand your every need. The option to send money within Messenger itself is highly likely too, like Snapchat allows. This could also eliminate the hassle of speaking to a bank’s voice recognition system when calling by telephone – no more time (and money) wasted by the dreaded “I didn’t catch that. Please try again.” These voice recognition systems are essentially bots done badly, but they’re based on voice, which is a lot more difficult to translate into zeros and ones. Plus, you cannot autocorrect your voice (yet). I can see this whole system being replaced by bots – it could even connect you to a human advisor with ease, as you’re most likely already using your phone. Even if you’re using the desktop version or Facebook Chat, I’m sure they’ll figure something out. Besides banks, what other markets will benefit from this? Restaurants, travel and possibly supermarkets with online shopping services are big industries for it to thrive. The healthcare industry could also be a large portion – Healthtap have already created their bot, which isn’t surprising considering one of the first ever chatterbots was called DOCTOR and simulated a psychotherapist. In fact, the potential amount of markets are endless for this stream of interaction – just like it is with human customer service.

 

At the end of the day, customers are moving towards messaging as their preferred choice of customer service. And as generations progress, it will no doubt become the standard – a phone call will most likely be reserved for long, meaningful conversations with friends and family, which in turn will add even more meaning to them. The phone call will no longer be taken for granted, but talking to robots will be.