A recent report found that Facebook Tab engagement is down a whopping 53 percent since Timeline for Brand Pages launched. While Tabs have played a significant role in how brands use Facebook to reach their customers, this report points to a much deeper issue regarding any brand’s social strategy. Tabs are only part of the equation, but quality content is what continuously inspires genuine engagement.
Now, the main connection point between a brand and its fans is the newsfeed -- the only surefire place to reach a brand’s Facebook audience. For a Facebook strategy to be effective, brands need to engage more earnestly with their audience by focusing on content that breaks through the clutter. In turn, this compelling content heightens engagement and increases the likelihood that the Facebook Edgerank algorithm will incorporate these types of updates in the future. And for brands, this means knowing and thinking like their audience. Here are ten ways to get into the mindset of a Fan, demand attention in the newsfeed and maximize engagement.
Reveal some personality
Once a customer becomes a Fan, it’s up to brands to remind them why they “liked” them in the first place. Insight on company culture, employees and events allows Fans to connect with a brand in a more direct and personal way. Provide reasons to feel connected.
Skip the 1000-word updates
Facebook users scan their newsfeeds multiple times a day. Multimedia updates that stand out next to long text blurbs tend to catch their attention and attract more comments, clicks and shares. Avoid text overload with visuals.
Show industry chops
Fans are interested in learning from the brands they follow and look to them for new ideas as a leader in their industry. Sharing intriguing assets, positioning posts and white papers helps to position brands as thought leaders and set them apart from competitors. Continuously teach and inspire with leadership.
Be more than interesting - be helpful
Surprising Fans with interesting content they didn’t even seek out is fun, but helping find that product, TV episode or answer to an obscure question is exciting. Nothing makes Fans more excited than finding something serendipitously in their newsfeed that they were looking for.
Don’t market with a megaphone - be relevant
Fans based in New York don’t care about promos in San Francisco. Facebook’s new promotion capabilities unlock unmatched targeting capabilities, so use them tactfully -- target updates based on personal location or interests. Share the right content with the right people for increased relevancy.
Embrace the opportunity to “make things right”
Social media has provided brands with a platform to not only broadcast to their audience but to also interact with them in real-time. As customers increasingly use brand pages to express problems and concerns with the company, it has become more important to address them in a timely manner. Brands that provide valuable help create customers who create word-of-mouth marketing from positive experiences.
Actually ask what Fans think
Fans like knowing their opinions matter. The newsfeed is a great place to find out how Fans use a product or what they think about an issue through comments and polls. In addition, when they interact with a brand’s content, the newsfeed encourages their friends to chime in by ensuring this engagement is shared in their newsfeeds, too.
Give the VIP treatment
Everyone loves getting VIP treatment and Fans appreciate knowing that they are valued. Provide discounts, specials and exclusives on products and services just for Fans -- they will not only be encouraged to try something new, but also spread the word about their exclusive deal to friends.
Circle the conversation back to the page
Fans need a reason to check out the “full view” of brand pages -- and the newsfeed is a perfect place to draw them in to do so. Promos, contests and engagement opportunities posted in the newsfeed are a great way to raise interest and direct them to a brand’s Timeline or even a custom-designed application.
In the end, Facebook is rewarding companies that master the compelling content challenge: raise interest in Facebook content, resonate and inspire engagement, then better secure placement of future content in the newsfeed. Rinse. Repeat.
This is a great post and reinforces that quality content matters. With the recent changes to Penguin at Google, there's been lots of chatter about search rankings falling off the page for companies but it all circles back to one thing - quality content. This applies to FB, Google or wherever.