Facebook continues to grow in users and time on site. Why? Because facebook has essentially replaced RSS feeds as a source of information.
Not too long ago we followed some Internet users, online for a month in return for an Amazon.com gift card. We found that more people were checking their facebook pages several times a day, but our client wanted to know more so we checked with several people on our panel. We found that rather than checking in and learning what friends were up to users were using facebook as a way to stay current on news that interested them. In face we were surprised to learn that many people had stopped following friends who posted stories about where they went for dinner or what their children were up to.
Facebook has replaced RSS feeds because it provides a much better online experienc e for users to stay on top of information that interests them. So can marketers/brands leverage this? Yes…
1ne: Sponsored posts do much better when they are about information users are interested in. For example, Stone Brewery in San Diego often posts, stories about how their beers are made and what sets them apart from competitors. Trek bikes talk about new technology effecting cyclists. Both these brands have a very high engagement level.
2wo: Don’t just post new product information. Facebook allows you to laser target your audience and you should ensure that your posts are relevant to micro segments.
3hree: Test market. Some smart brands are test marketing new products on facebook. They can determine if they have the right price and the right strategy by offering “exclusive” deals to targeted facebook audiences. I, for example, follow a number of cycling groups on facebook and I am always getting offers for new cycling equipment that I can’t get anywhere else.
4our: Keep facebook post content fresh. Don’t recycle posts too much you should be testing posts to determine which ones get the best response rate(s) and which ones result in the most engagement, but be careful because you are going to likely get some trolls who hate your brand or product.
5ive: Be ready for angry customers. You’re always going to have someone, somewhere who is angry at your brand because the brand promise was broken. You should be ready for these people by first apologizing, in Internet time, and asking what you can do to make it up to them. Believe it or not a lot of people just want to know you care about them as customers.
6ix: Don’t get carried away with, sponsored posts. There is a fine line between an help and informing with being an annoyance.
7even: Don’t use contests to get more likes. Users hate it and it’s a cheap way to appeal to people who are least likely to be good customers.
8ight: Don’t be afraid to ask “how are we doing?”. We just implemented a sponsored post for a client with a question about their product at retail and found that too many customers were having a hard time finding the product in the grocery aisle. We bought some endcaps at two largest grocery retailers and sales doubled in two weeks.
Finally, don’t talk as a brand to your audience, talk as if you have a potential customer alone in an elevator for ten seconds. In other words, use a human tone, not a sales tone.