In any discussion about connecting with customers on social media, one of the first social networks mentioned is Facebook. Not surprisingly, since at the end of 2011 Facebook had over 845 million monthly active users and 483 million daily users according to Facebook’s own figures.
Over 37 Million Can’t Be Wrong
Facebook also reported there were over 37 million Pages with ten or more “Likes” on the social network.
Different from Facebook personal profiles, Facebook “Fan” pages as they are called, since they ask the user to “Like” them in order to interact, are used by public figures, brands and businesses and, as the figures show, over 37 million such entities have taken advantage of this feature.
However, as it is also alluded to in Facebook’s reporting, not all pages built on Facebook have ten or more “Likes”. This brings us to the point of this post: how to connect with customers on Facebook.
Don’t Just Sit There, Connect
Just like websites, blogs and everything else on the web, you cannot be successful just filling in the information in the profile and posting a little bit of basic information on the page and then letting it sit. In fact, it may very well hurt your credibility if a potential customer finds your Facebook Page and sees that it has not been updated for a while and there appears to be no effort being made. Even if it does not hurt your credibility, it certainly does not give your customers any incentive to connect.
Since the whole reason for building a Facebook Page to promote your business is for the added interaction and opportunity to gain more customers, it is important to try to give your potential customer some reason to interact.
It’s All About Networking
Facebook, like any other social media marketing tool is about networking. This means “liking” other pages in your target market and participating in their discussions while deftly mentioning your own. Also helpful is joining relevant groups with interests in your product and/or starting your own group.
However, what should you do while you’re waiting for your networking to pay off? Connect with your existing customers first. If they “Like” you on Facebook, that will give their friends incentive to “Like” you, too. To give your page credibility, you might want to get Facebook fans from a reputable vendor.
Give Them a Reason to Visit
You have to make your page into a place people want to visit. Remember the key word here is to make a connection, which means you do not have to be all business. People love pictures and peeks behind the scenes. Share videos, company news and updates, and photos of your staff or other human-interest stories about your company or your brand.
Interact by sharing useful comment provoking information, even if it is not your own. Link to relevant content you know is of interest to your customers. Find other Facebook pages that are writing about your industry and give them some love by linking them to your page.
Start a Conversation
Use Facebook Pages as a customer service tool. Start conversations and get feedback by asking questions: what product features they like; what product features would they like to see? What are they happy about; what are they unhappy about. Respond to followers’ questions and conversations in a timely manner. Share product information and invite comments.
Make it Easy to Connect
Offer promotions on your website and on your Facebook Page exclusively to those who connect to your Facebook Page. Put up special promotions on your Facebook Page to try your website. Use the Facebook Connect feature on your website to make your Fan page easier to join. Allow your visitors to comment on Facebook using your website or share links from your website on Facebook to increase your visibility.
Promote Your Facebook Page
Promoting your Facebook page on your website, in your newsletters and other marketing will help; but building connections is the key to success to using Facebook to promote your business.
Remember, it will take time to build trust with your followers and like anything will not happen over night. However, the rewards for spending a little time to interact with your customers on Facebook? It could be priceless.