By Genae Girard
Every company is trying to use Facebook in an attempt to move their business forward and stay connected to their customers in this fast paced world. Why are some companies more successful at this than others? Content is the key to staying in touch with your customers and keeping them informed. The content however must be a rich mix of information, education, humor and fun. Use the HICCUP approach to make your Facebook page more successful:
Humor allows your audience to come away with a warm fuzzy feeling and a friendly attachment to your message. It doesn’t have to be industry specific, although it can be. You can do viral searches on YouTube and/or sites that plug social media. Always watch a video all the way through before posting as you don’t want it to include any profanity or other unmentionables. Remember video is king. Written blogs are being trumped by the clever, colorful and often fun video blogs.
Don’t be afraid to ask open-ended questions to your group. For example, if you are a financial advisor, you may want to ask, “what is your biggest concern with the down economy?” The purpose here is to begin the conversation. People posting their answers will create a community buzz. Letting the responses unfold naturally also gives you a marketing advantage. The financial advisor can track the concerns and create future training or webinars around his/her consumer’s needs.
If you don’t provide a myriad of interesting topics, information and current trends, current customers as well as future customers simply go away. Clicking “Unlike” on Facebook is just as easy as clicking “Like.” Smart, clever and challenging content will keep your audience waiting for more. With most companies having a presence on Facebook, competition will become fierce and you have to stand out.
If you haven’t done so already, get plugged in to all online media, and/or trade publications online. When something interesting pops up, pass it along for other people’s knowledge. If something political occurs that impacts your industry for example, pass it along. Never make a personal judgment about the event. Let your community unfold. Use Google Alerts in which you can program in key words to notify you of events and news feeds that pertain to your industry. Use a program like Hootsuite to consolidate and Tweet events out to all of your feeds and accounts at one time.
UTILIZING INDUSTRY FACTS
Keep your followers abreast of changes in your particular industry and relate them back to your own business. For example, if you are an accountant and there are some tax changes around the corner, keep people aware by posting them on Facebook. If you are a medical office, you may want to post information on when a flu vaccine is available and what days and times you can sign up for the office visit. These are specific actions that endear your customers to your brand.
PROMOS and SPECIALS
Mention specials, promotions, new products and services. You can get creative here and run a coupon or contest. Talk about new employees, business awards or articles written by your staff. You can drive traffic to your business and services by using this concept. The one caution is that you shouldn’t overuse Facebook to market to your customer base. They can grow tired of it and quickly choose “Unlike” on your page, causing you to lose a potential client.
To be successful, all categories should be represented on your posts daily. If you personally don’t have time, assign this process to an employee or virtual assistant. Give them these rules for your industry and explain the process. Generally creative, idea-generating minds are the best individuals suited for this task. If you follow this model for promoting your business on Facebook, customers will stick around to see what you post next. As the Facebook community grows, we will all have to fight for the attention of the consumer.