Many businesses feel that having a Facebook presence is a must these days. After all, every business is on Facebook, right? However, not all businesses manage to actually get real value out of that presence. In fact, most don’t get much out of it at all. This is a huge missed opportunity. Facebook is the biggest social network, with the most active users, and people are constantly looking at information, and being triggered by what they see. If there is a chance to “meet” your target audience, it’s on Facebook. This is where your audience is, and if you want to reach them effectively, you need to optimize your presence.
It can be a challenge for many brands to put out the right messages to their audiences on Facebook. The social media platform remains one of the best ways for brands and consumers to connect, and the versatility of the platform gives brands the opportunity to really show what they are about via different kinds of media.
Facebook has become a crucial platform for brands to be present, and ready to engage with consumers. It provides a rich media, and interactive universe for brands and consumers to connect, but many brands are still optimizing their channel and the way their brand is presented.
Research has made the case that there is provable value for brands on the platform. According to one study by syncapse, the average value of a brand Facebook fan in key consumer categories increased 28 percent to $174 between 2010 and 2013. For certain brands, this can be even greater: a Zara fan on Facebook is said to be worth $405.54, and fan of BMW is said to be worth very healthy $1,611.13.
Another 2010 study of brand fans of the platform, by Vitrue (since acquired by Oracle), concluded that each fan generated $3.60 in media value based on an estimated average impressions value of $5. While slightly outdated now, by these calculations, brands with millions of fans are generating tens of millions of dollars in media value from their Facebook channels.
However, for every successful brand, there are several more who aren’t doing their brand justice. These days, engaging on Facebook isn’t about recycling the corporate ethos, or promoting a brand’s advertising, but providing consumers with a sense of authenticity, giving them a portal on which they can easily connect, and presenting a brand personality with whom customers can like and interact, just as they would with a friend on the social media network.
Show The Brand, Or Show The Company?
OK, so the two aren’t exactly mutually exclusive, but in the context of Facebook there may be a subtle distinction. A brand is an identifiable entity, a reference point for which consumers can associate a service or product. The company on the other hand, is who you are – the staff and personalities, and more importantly, the shared values and objectives which the brand holds dear.
To help brands work better on the channel, here are seven tips on how to maximize a brand’s presence on Facebook.
7 Tips For Presenting Your Company On Facebook
1. Be Authentic
Authenticity, and the ability for a brand to put out authentic content, is fast becoming one of the most valuable traits for a brand.
Especially among key target groups such as millennials, honestly and authenticity are seen as fundamental characteristics upon which consumers build the emotional connections they are looking for with brands.
Brands such as Modcloth allow their staff to engage personally with fans and users. This creates a sense of authenticity that encourages a healthy brand relationship. It’s very popular with their largely millennial audience.
2. Tell A Story With Your Product
Facebook is constantly being updated to support the platforms and media that consumers are using, and the content they are consuming. In our fast-paced digital lives, this isn’t just with words – it’s photos, videos, shares, and likes. Digital interactions have become so much a part of our lives that even a few clicks can have meaning today as a relatable experience.
On Facebook, a world of virtual entities and transient interactions, even otherwise inanimate objects – your products – can tell a story. So make your products come to life. This video from A.1. sauce is a perfect example of what’s possible with a little creativity:
3. Share How-Tos
How-tos provide genuine use for consumers, and are one of the best ways to encourage engagements, and build positive sentiment with consumers. This type of content can be a tremendously valuable asset for your company, especially for verticals such as fashion and makeup, where consumers actively seek out and appreciate how-tos.
4. Use Video
2015 has already been heralded to an extent to be a big year for Facebook Video, with the network rolling out sponsored video ads for brands within the News Feed for a $1 million-a-day price tag. In the brand video advertising arena, the battle lines are already being drawn between Facebook and YouTube, and this is a testament to the increased value of Facebook video advertising amongst consumers. As reported in this post by Kelly Wrather, 40 percent of John Lewis’ overall impressions for their hugely successful Christmas Video Campaign were sourced from Facebook.
Getting customer testimonials on Facebook can provide tremendous validation for your brand. Research has shown that a single social recommendation from a trusted source can improve positive sentiment by 9.5 percent, and can be considered more influential then price or brand factors in consumer mindsets.
A blog post by wishpond offers four strategies for increasing testimonials. Contests encouraging consumers to engage can be a great way to get them to share reviews and experiences of your products.
6. Respond To Questions & Complaints
The way consumers are voicing their complaints to brands is changing. Social media offer consumers empowerment, as well as convenience, and it’s no surprise that more people are turning to social media when they have a question or complaint.
Complaints can be a fantastic way for brands to address consumer grievances and provide reassurance to consumers who are having a negative experience.
Do you really want messages like these filling your feeds? Of course not. Thankfully complaints are a great opportunity for brands to address consumer grievances and reassure others.
7. Link Back To Your Website
Linking back to your website can help your customers or potential customers get a better understanding of your company or brand.
Generally, people like to read short and succinct stories on social sites. But sometimes you want to or need to go more in depth. In these cases you “trigger” your customers to click through to your website to read more (e.g., to a blog post or a page that explains a new feature).
Make sure you connect your channels by linking them together. In other words, don’t leave your customer on Facebook, take them to the next step – it’s a huge number of fans you can potentially connect to your website.