Getting to “Like” Facebook as a Social Media Tool

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Companies today are increasingly leveraging the broad reach of Facebook as a social media tool. As the social media landscape continues evolving, there are a few trends we have noticed that should inform a company’s use of Facebook to reach its audience.

Using Facebook as a Social Media Tool

A few years ago, I was working as the media-relations person for a government ministry when I attended a meeting where a well-known politician was being briefed on an outreach strategy.

After listening to various tactics, this media savvy individual finally shrugged and said, “That’s a lot of effort to get TV cameras to follow me. Can’t I just go to where the cameras already are?”

I remembered this comment recently as I asked myself, “Why should companies use Facebook as a social media tool?”

There is a connection to my politician story. While most digital marketing strategies aspire to bring people to your website, Facebook brings your story to where people already are.

Facebook Offers Direct Access

Indeed, Facebook offers direct access to a massive audience.

Everybody is on Facebook. Okay, maybe not everyone – but very close.

Facebook has successfully passed the 1 billion member mark, so it’s a huge social network.

Also, Facebook pages appear on Internet searches, so the social network is dialed-in to the broader web community.

As you launch your organization’s presence on Facebook, remember these key points for keeping your brand top-of-mind.

Focus on Engagement

Facebook is not a replacement for your website, but it’s a cost-effective method to engage your audience online and offer teasers to bring them to your website.

Share interesting stories related to your product. Post relevant content and articles. Address the challenges that your target customers experience.

The catch? You have to make it interesting for them. MarketingWise can help here – some of our past blog posts offer helpful tips on how to generate interesting content.

A good tactic to keep your audience engaged is to offer people an interactive experience.

Interact with People

Don’t let your Facebook presence be a passive experience for your audience. Interact with them. Share questions. Ask for feedback. Some useful ideas are:

  • Solicit feedback on consumer experiences
  • Ask for product ideas
  • Hold a contest to name a product
  • Create a page for your employees to hang out and participate

Not only will these tactics engage your audience, but this approach also results in free market testing for your company. The respondents are providing you with direct insights about consumer needs and concerns. You can’t beat a free focus group.

Listen and Respond

When your audience shares its thoughts with you, take them seriously.

Your Facebook communication is not a one-way street. It’s not just about pushing information out to your audience. It’s also about listening to them.

Send them a proper response. They took the time to speak with you. You should be doing the same back to them.

The Biggest Question About Using Facebook

With all these ways to interact with your audience, you are probably asking yourself the biggest question of all. “Will Facebook help me get new customers?”

The honest answer is: probably not – unless you are thinking about Facebook advertising, but that’s a topic for another post.

The truth is people only click “Like” for stuff they already like. People like things they already have in their life. Most people don’t express a liking for products they haven’t used yet.

In the Facebook world, your audience will be the people who already use your product or service.

Facebook is the tool to keep your brand top-of-mind for your existing customers.

This doesn’t mean that all this talk about Facebook is for naught.

It’s a valuable resource for keeping in touch with your customers and helping build a robust network of followers. It’s a place to monitor and enhance your brand reputation. And as your business grows, you will add more and more followers to your Facebook page.

In today’s world, you need an ongoing dialogue with your customers, and Facebook is an accessible and widely used network for having these conversations.

Be Ready

Here is a final note of encouragement.

When you launch your Facebook page, remember that it’s a large social network and you cannot manage everyone’s behaviour.

Some people may visit your page to complain or criticize.

Be ready for it. You must be willing to answer the bad stuff and the good stuff.

Your Turn

Does your organization have a Facebook page?

How has it helped keep your brand top-of-mind with your stakeholders?

What challenges have you encountered?

Please leave your comments in the box below.

If you “Like” this post, don’t forget to share it.

Submitted by Paul Lalonde, MarketingWise’s Manager of Content Marketing and Social Media. Paul’s role at MarketingWise builds on his 15-year career as a communications and PR specialist with government ministries, trade associations and the investment industry.

 

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2 Comments

  •    Reply

    Engage on other people’s pages or profiles Paul. Too many P’s lol! You covered some critical pointers here; I would add that by reaching out and engaging on other pages you display that you are listening to their story and that you care. This is how to make friends, grow your network and attract customers.

    Facebook can be monetized if you are willing to hang and interact on pages or profiles other than your own. This I have seen, and I feel many struggle to grow their business on FB because they only socialize on their own – or FB’s ;) – real estate aka their profile or page.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Ryan

    •    Reply

      Thanks for your points, Ryan!

      I like your insight about interacting on FB pages beyond your own. Great advice for companies using FB as a strategic tool. I suppose it’s just an extension of doing business in the physical world — get out there and network!

      Thanks again!

      Cheers,

      Paul.

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