When we asked “Why should anyone follow your brand on Facebook,” we were serious. No one needs more white noise in their lives — especially if that noise is being generated by the undying roar of a heartless sales machine.
Yes, we know that you want people to like your company, but you can’t make someone care about you. (You should have already learned that in junior high school, but it’s a lifelong lesson that’s worth repeating.)
So, what’s a brand to do? Here are five suggestions that should increase your Facebook fandom, boost your ego (and your sales) and help you feel better about yourself, your job, and your life in general.
1. Be Useful Because You Actually Enjoy Helping Others.
Every business has the same purpose: to solve someone else’s problems, for a fee. That fee is incurred when people realize they need to pay for something that you don’t give away for free. But that doesn’t mean you need to charge for everything, nor does it mean that everyone automatically understands why they should be paying you in the first place.
Who does your business exist to help? What information can you share in order to make someone else’s life easier? Which resources do you have at hand that could make a huge difference in someone else’s workflow? Sharing these types of status updates on Facebook allows your existing (and potential) customers to see you as an ally instead of a bar code.
2. Thank Your Customers Profusely.
Where would you be without your customers? Exactly: you’d be out of business. Deep down, you know this — and so do they.
Before the Internet existed, businesses lived and died according to how well they treated their customers in person. The web hasn’t changed that; it’s just made your personal touch even more valuable, because now a personal touch takes time.
So recognize your loyal customers, and reward them with personalized discounts, attention, linkbacks, promotions, or even a kind word. By showing your customers that they’re worth your time and attention, you’ll set yourself apart from the robots, the interns and the number crunchers, because you’re demonstrating a personal appreciation of people.
3. It’s Not About You.
You’re already a known quantity. You’re a company. You’re Googlable.
But what don’t you know about your customers?
The more questions you ask your audience — about themselves, their habits, the ways they use your products, what they like (and what they don’t), etc., — the more you learn about them and about your own company. Often, the way you think you’re being perceived is very different from the way your customers would summarize your value in their lives. And you won’t find out just how divergent those perceptions are if you’re not talking to your customers every day, and asking them the questions that will improve their experience and yours.
4. What Happens on Facebook Stays on Facebook?
Well, not really, because it’s still searchable. But we digress…
If your Facebook page is comprised of the exact same information that anybody could find about your company simply by visiting your website… or your print ads… or your catalogs… or a billboard… or the side of a bus… then you’re wasting their time and yours.
Do you want people to spend time on your Facebook page? Do you want them to actually look forward to your status updates, rather than ignoring them with a yawn? Then post information to Facebook that you don’t post anywhere else. Make your Facebook presence into a one-of-a-kind experience and your customers will want to be there — and they’ll tell their friends.
5. Give People Something to Talk About.
Here’s a secret: people spend all day on Facebook because people like to talk — and people always need something new to talk about. By sharing your own branded media, information, insights and inspiration (and sometimes posting links to other people’s incredible content), you’re helping your customers become more interesting… as long as what you’re sharing actually is worth talking about.
Not sure if something’s worth sharing? Give it a sniff test: would you click on the link you’re about to post? If not, reword it until you would. Because if you would, so would someone else.
Feel Better Yet?
Wish you could feel this good every day? Hire us; we’re like a happy pill for your bottom line.