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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Outsourcing Via Crowdsourcing !!!

Definition:

Crowdsourcing is the act of taking a task traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people, in the form of an open call. Put in laymen’s terms, it’s the idea of taking a job you need done and making it available for anyone who wants to just show up and do it – preferably for free.

The king of crowdsourcing is Wikipedia. They’ve built their huge online encyclopedia by letting anyone and everyone write the entries and they’ve managed to avoid paying for it.

The most common scenario for a crowdsource project starts with a company with a problem. The company posts the problem on a crowdsourcing platform and requests solutions from the widely distributed Web community. Users upload solutions and the crowd votes on the best idea or project.

Examples:

Engaging your fans is the fundamental aim of crowdsourcing. There are many brands locally which adapted crowedsourcing  as a marketing tool and have been immensely successful.

 

Make the Ad Competition:

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.

 

Lipton Calls Students To Action With Lipton Talent Hunt:

Starting in October 2010, Lipton rolled out a Talent Hunt running a competition on multiple university grounds, with a task to build a facebook fan page consistent with Lipton’s tagline. With competing teams chosen from 7 leading business universities, the registration process accepted all the business plans submitted within the allocated budget for executing a social media campaign within 3 weeks.

It instantly became a hit due its specific target market i.e the educational institutes and also the highest number of social media users.

 

KFC  Ad War:

The IBA Marketing Club, in collaboration with KFC, recently held IBA’s first interuniversity ad-making competition.

Students were invited to make an electronic ad of KFC and get a chance of winning 50,000 Rps cash. The campaign was promoted on Facebook page and groups. This became a huge success as the student life does comprises of eating out with friends and having fun hence KFC hit a bulls eye by selecting the best target audience. Their idea of crowd sourcing worked really well for them.

 

Ufone GSM:

‘Ufone’ launched it self with the help of crowd sourcing. Announcements were made through electronic as well as print media asking the audience to suggest a name for the brand and hence the name “Ufone” was chosen after getting maximum number of votes from audience. This activity gained the brand alot of customers even before being launched .

 

 

The crowdsourcing possibilities have increased  over the last two decades as web applications have improved. It has become very easier to access your clients directly and get a feedback in a minimum span of time. Thanks to social media, it’s become easier to to ask your customers to contribute to product development or collaborate on other creative endeavors. Not only is it doable, it’s been done, and with great success, by major brands. It not only builds a strong relationship  between consumers and the products but  makes the consumer feel like a part of the brand as well.

Hence,  you can very easily out source your competitors by rightly

crowdsourcing.