Brands and businesses and Facebook

15 July 2011
Seems like every company I come across recently “wants to be on Facebook”. When asked what they would like to do, they usually respond “I dunno, but I just gotta be there!!!!!!” They are desperate to be there, not having a clue why they should, or what they are going to do when they get there. It’s like the un-cool kids getting to the party and standing around not knowing what to do and none of the cool kids will talk to them.

Like everything else marketing related, there needs to be a strategy for Facebook. It’s one of the few mediums that can be two way interaction with the audience. This means that Fans need to be engaged and entertained, frequently and with quality material. If you are not going to do a good job of it, you should not bother. Doing a bad job is worse than doing nothing at all, in the case of social media.

And remember that it’s instant. Nestle had a problem a couple of years ago when the Facebook administrator entered into a heated discussion with a visitor that got quite nasty that was witnessed by thousands of Facebookers. There was a lot of negative publicity over the incident. Google it if you want the details.

So, if you are going to have a brand on Facebook, here are some pointers:

•Create professional custom pages with relevant and/or entertaining content. Update it at least once a quarter.

•Utilise mechanisms such as competitions or special offers to increase your fan base. Again, update to keep interest.

•Make quality posts on a regular basis. This means at least once a week, but unless you are a breaking news    organisation please please please do not post 10, 20, 30 times a day – that will annoy your fans & they will go away.

•Plan your posts in advance, and have a clear strategy/story/concept for your posts. Meh postings will also make  your fans disappear. “Yipee it’s Friday” posts every week are meaningless unless they have context or relevance for  the fan. By contrast “yippee it’s Friday and our store is giving a 5% discount today only on Acme widgets! Tell the  checkout clerk that you saw it on Facebook!” is a post that a fan will actually be interested in.

•Respond to queries or comments posted by fans as soon as possible. There’s no excuse here.

•Reference your Facebook page clearly in all your other media outlets. Let people know that you are there and that  there is wonderful content waiting for them.

Above all, treat your Facebook page seriously. If you can’t do that you really shouldn’t bother.

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