Taking your followers from “Like” to love

By May 24, 2011Social Media
Yesterday I gave some tips on how to gain more facebook “Likes” by offering value. This is a very important step in making the most out of facebook. The next step is keeping your followers engaged.

 

A SOCIAL Network

Many brands struggle to use social media as a profitable marketing tool. The problem, though, is just that – they view it as a marketing tool. Social Media, however, are not designed as marketing tools, they’re designed as SOCIAL tools.

This is the key to effectively using social media – be social. Customers are familiar with using social media to engage in conversation with friends. They use it to share experiences, create meaning, and stay connected. Each of these activities requires interaction.

So what does that mean for brands?

Well, first, it means that social media cannot simply be another platform for traditional advertising. Advertising is one-directional: brand to consumer. There is little room for interaction in advertising.

Second, and most importantly, it means that brands must find ways to interact with their customers using social media. Customers expect interaction in social media whether it be with a friend or a brand.


Let’s get started

There are countless ways to interact with your followers using facebook. Its important for each brand to consider:

  • The needs of their customers
  • When/how they use social media
  • Why they are following your brand

After you answer these questions, its time to be creative. How can you interact with your customers in a way that meets their needs, habits, and expectations?

To help you get started, I’ve provided a few basic ideas that many brands might find helpful:

1. Ask questions.

Asking questions is an easy way to initiate interaction with your fans. It also says a lot about your brand:
  • You are aware of your fan-base
  • You value the input of your fans
  • You are open to interaction

Asking questions is one of the fastest ways to jump-start fan interaction. However, it alone is not enough. This must be accompanied by –

2. Commenting.

Initiating interaction is not enough; you have to keep the ball rolling. Think in terms of conversation – you must have give and take.Respond to answers – Brand loyalty will skyrocket when you show that your followers were heard and appreciated.

And don’t forget your manners – “thank you” goes a long way in social media

3. Be yourself.

People interact with people, not with brands. Yes, you are representing the brand, but keep it as human as possible.Incorporate humor! People like to be happy (duh), and humor is easy way to make someone happy.

Show off your employees. Your employees are the most human side of your brand. Bring them into your brands story.

How are you interacting with your followers?

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