Marketing 101: Engage your fans on Facebook!

By Ayesha Shuaib
Published: May 30, 2011

Social media networks are among the most effective marketing tools in modern business. DESIGN: S.JAMAL

The social media boom simply cannot be ignored. Over the past few years Facebook has witnessed a remarkable rise in new users and right now has more than 500 million users and with that has come the opportunity for brands to amalgamate directly with existing customers and connect to new ones through fan pages. It is like having an amazing advertising campaign without paying a penny. All the tools and applications used are free of cost and the best part is the rewards are instant.

Fan pages allow you to brand your business, use your logo and customise your page style just as you would your website. With this extremely valuable tool available, you can keep your brand stable across the board as it relates to all aspects of your online presence. There are numerous ways for brands to promote themselves on Facebook by having a single “Fan” page.

Your brand’s fan page allows you to have an unlimited number of “fans”. Some Facebook fan pages have thousands and even millions of fans. As per the latest statistic Facebook page Texas Hold’em Poker tops the list with 43,552,626 fans. While the fan page for Facebook itself is at 2nd spot with 41,951,143 fans, Eminem takes third place with 37,420,794 fans, followed by pop star, Lady Gaga and YouTube – the video sharing website – with more than 35 million fans each. Hence, if any promotional update is posted on any one of these pages it appears in the news feed of each fan. Imagine how easy it is to reach out to millions of people with your message by just having a single fan page.

Be dynamic

However, creating a fan page, generating a promotion and sitting back will not lead to success. One needs to engage the fans-customers. When fans “like” a certain brand’s page they need to be provided with content or activities to keep them active on the page. You can share content, videos, photos, run contests, ask questions, create polls etc. The interaction will build relationships with your fans which are your target market. Otherwise, having a fan page without interaction or input from the fans will lead to nothing. Just a dead end.

To keep your page alive it is important to launch an interactive activity every day. Facebook has provided and is coming up with new interesting tabs and tools which can be utilised by brands for maximum outreach. Easiest way to do that is by daily status updates. The more engaging your status update, the greater the chances of having interaction on it, in form of “like” and comments and greater word-of-mouth marketing for your business in return.

Keep it short and simple

The shorter your communication the easier it is for your fans to read, the more likely it is for them to respond. Keep your status updates short and simple. Facebook allows you have up to 420 characters per update, but shorter is better. For longer updates, one can use the Notes app or write a blog post and update. Do the same for any kind of advertising campaign. If you are introducing any contest make its communication simple and to the point.

Be direct with your fans. Use the word “you” more often “What do you think?”, “What are your thoughts?” etc. This makes customers/fans feel valued, respected and included. They would like to participate in activities on your page and make their presence felt. Most people will come back to your fan page only if there’s a real sense of community.

Contests are one of the most effective ways of keeping your fans interested and engaged. Introduce various competitions with giveaways to keep the fans involved.

Be timely

A study found that daily Facebook engagement has three peaks: early morning, after work and late at night. Therefore, posting all of your updates during the workday means you’re missing key prospects to engage fans at non-work hours. It does vary from brand to brand so get to know when your fans are most responsive. Depending on which part of the world the majority of your fans are, you might want to post between 9 am and 2 pm in your time zone.

Do your best to respond to fan wall posts as punctually as possible, at least within 24 hours or so. By leaving your fans unanswered might discourage them to contribute any further and you, as a brand, wouldn’t want that.

Use the apps provided

Facebook recently introduced a new Question application. It helps you have surveys, random interaction, fans views and suggestion in shorter span of time. Make sure you don’t overdo it. Try for a maximum of three to four updates a day, preferably just two updates in a day. Otherwise, your fans might restrict your posts from their news feed and hence they won’t be getting any information of the promotional activity you do.
There is no denying the fact that Facebook pages are breeding grounds for excellent feedback and engagement with your customers. It’s simple and always available. And best of all, its free!

The writer is a social media manager at Prymus Technologies and blogs at https://socialyzd.wordpress.com
Published in The Express Tribune, May 30th, 2011
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Be Virtually Social ….

Over the past few years Facebook has witnessed a remarkable rise in new user s and with that rise has come the opportunity for brands to interact directly with existing customers and connect to new ones. Fan pages allow you to brand your business, use your logo and customize your “style” just as you would a website. With this extremely valuable tool available to you, you can keep your brand consistent across the board as it relates to all aspects of your online presence. There are numerous ways for brands to market themselves on Facebook by having a single “Fan” page.

 

Your brand’s fan page allows you to have an unlimited number of “fans”.  Some celebrity fan pages number into the thousands and even millions of fans.If the brand is coming up with a new promotions, products or campaigns what better way then to update your fans on individually by sending an update to their inbox. Also, your Facebook fan page permits you to have a more personal communication with your fans than you can have through your website.

Creating a fan page, generating a promotion and sitting back will not lead to success. One needs to make sure you engage your fans/customers as well. Only then can the brands get their desired marketing results.

When fans “like” brand’s page they need to be provided with content or activities to keep them active on the page. You can share content, videos, photos, run contests, ask questions, create polls etc. This interaction will build relationships with your fans which is your target market.  Encouraging interaction and building a sense of community will ensure that they keep coming back. Otherwise, having a fan page without interaction or fan’s input will lead to nothing. Just a dead end.

To keep your page alive it is important to launch an interactive activity every day. Easiest way to do that is by updating a status daily. The status can be a general one or related to your product as well. For example, a cosmetic brand can give single line beauty tip each day to keep its fan interested. Brand also introduces various competitions with give aways to keep the fans interested. Brands or businesses can also introduce online catalog of their products which provide the information to fans by just a single click of the mouse.

The lasted social media boom can not be ignored. It is like having an amazing advertising campaign without paying a penny. All the tools and applications used are totally FREE of cost and the best part is getting their share of rewards instantly.

Be Virtually Active!!

 

It is vital to have on and off activity for fans of your Facebook page. Otherwise an idle page is of no benefit.  After each competition give some time to fans to settle down and once you sense calm and idleness from them, come up with a new activity.

One easy activity is to keep posting material that might be indirectly related to promoting your product. For example, for one of our cosmetic brand we upload an interactive as well as attractive photo album each week. It mostly have 1 or 2 good looking model’s picture along few pictures of food, fruits and vegetables that have always been good for healthy living and glowing skin, we caption each picture with its benefits for attaining same beauty as that of the model in the picture which attracts male and female fans alike.

 

One such event that we launched for one of our clients was “Make the Ad” competition. We asked our fans to make an electronic ad about one of our product. We announced attractive gifts for winners and runner ups. That worked really well as a marketing tool for our clients and we received numerous ads. In order to indulge with fans further we asked our fans to vote for top 8 ads. Again, the voting lead to engaging fans who themselves were not directly related to the competition. This activity was extended till more than a month which gained us thousands of fans and also generated lively interaction.

 

 

One of our most successful contests that we did for our client came with an opportunity for fans as well. We held a “Model Hunt” contest and gave the aspiring models to take advantage of the competition and market themselves. In doing that we also marketed our brand and its product. Once more we used the tool of voting for the best contestant to engage those fans who were not taking part in the competition but they did participate by giving their views and comments.

 

 

 

Timeliness also plays a very crucial role. It is important to take benefit of recent event or festivals that are being celebrated. One such recent example is of Valentine’s Day. As the day approaches many brands come out with or launches a campaign that is relate it with this day and hence it generates maximum response. That’s what we did with one of our client’s page. We launched a competition in which we asked the fans to send us their Valentine Greetings; the one with most “likes” will win the competition. We also asked the participants to share and promote their greeting in order to get more votes which in return were beneficial for us, as with in the span of two days, our fan list was increased by 3,000 fans. This gave our brand’s page a boost of new customers and brand exposure as well.

 

So the question in the end is if you build a fan page with plenty of quality content, would your fans  come and would they stay? The answer is they will come and they will stay ONLY if you give your fans good reason to engage and keep them active.