creativity, culture, community
“Everybody’s talking at me. I can’t hear a word they’re saying.” Humming that Nilsson song from Midnight Cowboy, I’m relaxing with Facebook and a Starbucks latte and letting my peeps know about my latest story on Pretty Southern. I don’t want to be sold anything. I do want to have a conversation. Do you?
I love social media but there’s a reason why it’s called “social.” You can promote events, services and goods on social media, but companies should not think of it simply as a retail space. It’s more of a relationship space. Though it is possible to sell things on your Facebook page, it should not be your primary objective. Take a hard look at who your audience is and why they are on social media sites. On Facebook most people are talking about family, pets, food, arts & entertainment, current events or sports. So if you want them to “like” you, it’s best to put your best foot forward by being positive, authentic, helpful, non-partisan, friendly but professional.
Ideas for companies to think about when posting on Facebook:
BRAND AWARENESS & BRAND BUILDING – This is a wonderful place to let people know what your brand is about. If you offer high quality materials made in the USA, this would be a great place to mention the pride you have in that fact. Check out savvy brands like Starbucks and see how they interact and post.
GOOD CORPORATE CITIZENSHIP – Occasionally talk about what your company does in the community. For instance if your company participated in a charity walk, take photos and post an album showing the fun that your team had at the event. See what successful organizations like the American Red Cross are doing in your community and think about getting involved.
RELATIONSHIP CREATION – Social media provides a great place for companies and organizations to “meet” their customers, get their feedback, and engage with them where they are.
INTRODUCING PRODUCTS OR SERVICES – If you have news to share, let your fans and friends be the first to get a “sneak peek.” Maybe have a contest to name a new product or color. Let your Facebook page provide an interactive experience, not just a location that pushes out information.
FINDING SALES PROSPECTS – Easy does it in this area. When you are monitoring your site and see that someone is a good fit for your products and services, carefully respond to them with a bit more information. Depending on the conversation, it might be good to direct them to your web site for more details and to make a sale.
CONSUMER SUPPORT – Helpful hints and tips can be posted to address commonly asked questions. Make sure whoever handles your site knows when to take the conversation offline to address issues and concerns one-on-one.
PLAN THEN EXECUTE – Make a plan ahead of time for what you’ll post for the next week so you’ll be prepared with interesting posts, and not flying by the seat of your pants. And for goodness sakes, use spell check! Be consistent and post with regularity. Having one or more people from your PR team handle your social media sites is the best way to ensure that you adhere to professional standards. Don’t make the mistake of relegating this job to an intern, or you may find yourself in a situation that takes months (or years) to repair.
What are some of your pet peeves about Facebook? Which pages do you love?