Have you thought about the customer service goals you want to accomplish in 2013? This article provides five New Years’ resolutions to help your company give your users a better Facebook experience in the coming year.
It’s the new year and odds are you’re thinking about goals and things you’d like to accomplish for 2013. Here are five New Years’ resolutions to help your company give your users a better Facebook experience and make the coming year even more successful than the last.
1. Run Facebook contests that get your fans excited (and give you data)
It’s a given that you collect data about your customers via your website. Perhaps you post verbiage that goes something like: “If you want to download our whitepaper, fill out this form” or “If you want to know about my newsletter, sign up here.” But thanks to Facebook, and other social channels, data collection can be much more fun and engaging.
On Facebook, you can use apps to create games or contests for users to enter in exchange for a little bit of information. In the past it was very expensive to create contests and custom apps, but thanks to third party apps these options are within reach of virtually any business.
2. Stop thinking about Facebook ROI
Tracking return on investment continues to be a hot topic. Even though major brands spend a fraction of their advertising and public relations budgets on Facebook and other social media, they still want to know how much a fan or a follower is “worth.” This is missing the point of social media.
Yes, you can try to establish correlations between social media engagement and sales. But trying to measure social ROI is sort of like trying to measure the effectiveness of a billboard.
Are billboards effective advertising tools? Undoubtedly, yes. Is it possible to track how billboard advertising boosts sales? It’s not impossible, but it would be difficult to obtain accurate data. A company could have a unique phone number or URL on a billboard, or even a special offer, but it would be hard to figure the true number of “generated actions” that came from it.
Instead, think about how your social presence builds loyalty, improves sentiment about your brand and increases brand awareness. That’s what social media is meant for and what it’s good at. I wrote about this topic a few months back in my article "Social Media ROI: It Doesn’t Really Matter (Really!)."
3. Rethink your Facebook advertising strategy
Stop running Facebook ads just for the purpose of getting Likes! Instead, make a promise in your ads and then give something of value to the people who click on those ads. Why? Facebook advertising should not be used only to “sell,” but rather to help users form their own opinion about the value that your company brings. Plus, it’s a better way to start a conversation.
Users need to be motivated to click “Like.” By using Facebook ads to redirect users to valuable content, users will feel good about Liking your Facebook Page because they will realize that your company is worth following. There are three primary advertising options on Facebook: traditional ads, Sponsored Stories and Promoted Posts. However, there are four other Facebook advertising options that you should work into your Facebook advertising strategy.
4. Get to know your target market better
More important than learning users’ ages or genders is getting to know what your target market’s interests are and who or what influences them. There are three effective ways to discover your market’s interests and the interests of people they follow.
Research experts or influential bloggers in your industry. Finding thought leaders who have large followings is a key to understanding what type of Facebook content your market likes. Following these people will also help your company recognize industry trends so that you can quickly adapt your marketing strategies to what your consumers want.
A trend that is becoming more prevalent is the shift in the way companies share industry news. A traditional news headline is not as appealing as a tip-centric, how-to article title. People are more attracted to posts that offer actionable take-away advice and tips. So instead of just sharing the news, offer an opinion on it, include suggestions or tie in best practices that relate to the news topic.
Look at your Google analytics. Your website’s Google analytics can provide your company with clear insight on the type of content and the exact websites or social platforms your users are consuming your content on most. Once you’re able to pinpoint the best sources of your traffic, meet your consumers there.
For example, many businesses have noticed a boost in web traffic coming from Pinterest. If the same is true for your business, refocus your efforts on Pinterest by creating more branded content for the platform and making it easy to get to Pinterest from your Facebook Page and your website.
Crowdsource for information. One easy and fun way to learn more about your target market is through crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is asking your community of users to offer suggestions for how you might solve a problem or address an issue. It’s a way for companies to get relevant information from their users and target audience. One reason crowdsourcing is effective is that it gives a business’ audience a voice and an opportunity for recognition.
In recent years, crowdsourcing has been adopted by many multinational companies. Social networks, including Facebook and Instagram, have made it easy for businesses to reach out to their community of friends and fans, and recruit new ones. Companies such as Dunkin’ Donuts and Vitamin Water have used crowdsourcing to come up with new flavors, and the t-shirt company Threadless lets its users decide which designs go to market.
5. Step up your content
Shama Kabani, the founder and CEO of the Marketing Zen Group, recently offered Inc.com some advice on how businesses can succeed in 2013. She said: “The best way to thrive online in 2013 will be to focus on improving the user experience. That means high-quality relevant content, a user-friendly interface, and an integrated search and social media effort.”
For both service-based and product-based companies, integrating blog content with your Facebook Page gives your brand an advantage when it comes search time. To encourage good Google ranking and strong traffic to your site, sharing content via various social platforms on a consistent basis is key. Another piece of the puzzle is that the content, in order to improve ranking and traffic, must be share-worthy and industry-appropriate.
I hope these tips give you ideas for how you can improve your presence on Facebook and how you can also improve your customers’ experience on the most ubiquitous social network. Do you have other ideas for 2013? I’d love to know what they are, so please share.
Editor's Note: To read more of Jim's Facebook tips, check out 8 Ways Businesses Can Use Facebook and Customer Relationship Management