When I finally found the time to order “The Social Network” on demand, what struck me most about Facebook mastermind Mark Zuckerberg was both his portrayed arrogance and his genius. But in spite of his undeniable intelligence, I don’t think he could ever have imagined how invaluable his creation would become to marketers.
Facebook is an increasingly important tool we use on a daily basis to connect and engage with consumers. I think it’s reasonable to say you’re way behind the eight ball if Facebook isn’t a consideration in your marketing strategy. But, just having a presence isn’t enough; in fact, recent research has clearly shown that all content is not created equal.
Consider the following when engaging with “fans” on your brand’s Facebook page:
Your page is important to your consumer. Our 2010 Consumer New Media Study found traditional online tools, such as websites and email, lead the way, but social networks are the next most common channels Americans use to interact with companies and brands online.
Timing is everything. Consumers are more likely to read your posts after work (good news for their employers). According to Buddy Media, companies that post content on their Facebook pages outside normal business hours see engagement rates that are 20 percent higher than average – Thursdays and Fridays see especially high traffic.
Keep it brief. If the wild success of Twitter tells us anything, it’s that people like short and sweet, and the same is true for Facebook. The Buddy Media study also found posts with 80 characters or fewer have a 27 percent higher engagement rate.
Some things in life are free…and everyone loves free stuff! According to our Cone study, incentives, such as free products or services, coupons, etc., are the biggest reason (77%) consumers choose to engage with brands via social media. Other things consumers are looking for include problem solving (e.g., customer service), the ability to provide feedback, and of course, entertainment.
When I started my first blog years back the best advice I was given was to keep it fresh, dynamic and interesting for my readers (albeit there were not many). The same practices can be applied to a Facebook page. As a marketer, I’ve learned the importance of posting often and with purpose. Facebook allows us to consistently engage with people that really care about a product, service or company, so we should use this unmatched tool to provide information that is meaningful, timely and relevant to our consumers and not just post for the sake of posting.
Simply put, since you took the time to “like” me, I want to make it worth your while.
--Lindsay Harrington, Account Supervisor, @LindsHar15