Ever wonder how big businesses develop incredible social platforms full of raving fans? It’s probably not the way that you think. Believe it or not, you don’t need a big budget or huge clientele to create a thriving social presence. Check out these four tips from the Facebook Social Success Summit that will have you at the same table as the high rollers in no time.
Planning is key.
Set up a weekly schedule with the number of posts you plan to disseminate. Utilize your Facebook insights to determine the most effective times to launch these posts based on subscriber activity. Remember to stay focused on themes, such as holidays, product launches or campaigns, and if possible, find a way to tie current events in with your brand. Once you’re better acquainted with your fan base, you’ll have a whole new understanding of what they want to talk about and when they want to talk about it.
Know what to post.
Every once in a while, it’s ok to step out of the realm of your business’ core objectives. Don’t be afraid to stray, as long as there is some connection between your brand and the content you’re posting. You want to give your fans any excuse to talk about themselves and by introducing fresh or quirky content; you can determine what type of conversation is most important for your business to have on Facebook. The questions that require a quick and easy answer will gain more comments from fans, but the hypothetical or lengthier questions will create more of an opportunity for engagement.
It’s impossible to please all of your fans all of the time, so target niches within your fan base. It’s a great idea to share content from outside resources, and as long as the topics are relevant, it’s a way to show that you’re in touch with the current happenings of your trade. You’ll want to do this periodically, making sure to carefully map out the best times to share external content in the planning stage.
Know when to moderate.
Off topic posts can become a viral plague on your Facebook wall, quickly infecting healthy discussions from your most valued customers. It’s important to be stern, but fair when moderating conversations. Don’t be afraid to remove a post or ban a user if they are creating a hostile or inappropriate atmosphere for your subscribers. If they’re criticizing a valid aspect of your business, be sure to quickly address their concerns and direct them to the appropriate place for resolution.
That being said, you don’t want negative posts to be the only thing you’re responding to, so be sure to interact with customers who post positive comments. These are the fans who will really appreciate your efforts, and encouraging them is one of fastest way to turn them into lifetime customers. As mentioned in our previous post, 5 Tips for Facebook Community Building, it’s a good idea to create a set of house rules to drive a standard for behavior on your page. Every audience is different, so build a policy that best suits your needs.
Promote in all the right places.
Use your existing channels, i.e. website, emails, blogs, television, radio, etc. to help grow your social channels. A small Facebook icon or mention of your page in these communication pieces can help dramatically grow your social channels and keep your brand top of mind. This seems like an obvious suggestion, but it’s the one that people most often forget. Simply said, if you ask customers to check out your Facebook page, they will.
There you have it! These techniques will help ensure a professional social media environment that competes with the big boys. Remember, you have much more flexibility as a small business than the large corporate bureaucracies. Use this to your advantage, target your audience carefully, and make your customers happy so they’ll make you profitable!
Feel free to follow the Twitter Stream #FBSS11 to join the conversation and learn more about how to leverage your social presence.
Lauren Hill, Social Media Associate, Volusion