Social media is an integral marketing mix component for many brands, especially those unable to devote significant funds to other outbound and inbound marketing tactics. And while most brands understand the importance of building a community on Facebook, few understand how to successfully engage that community. Instead, these brands focus their attention on continually accumulating “Likes,” believing the higher their number, the more Facebook users they’re reaching.
But a recent study suggests just how vital it is to rethink that strategy. The study, conducted by Napkin Labs, revealed a mere 6 percent of surveyed Facebook fans engage with a brand’s page via likes, comments, polls and other means.
These “superfans” as Napkin Labs calls them, equal the engagement of 75 fans. On average, they like 10 posts, share five pieces of content and comment once. What’s more, according to Mashable, superfans “tend to get significantly more likes and comments on their posts than average fans, which helps drive up engagement on the brand’s page even more.” It’s not a significant leap to say that, without properly engaging superfans, your brand’s Facebook page is hurting your ROI.
If your brand has a tendency to ignore its superfans, don’t worry. Engaging them is easier than you think! Try the following tips:
First and foremost (and this should be obvious), you need to put effort into your brand’s Facebook page. Oftentimes, small brands will create a Facebook page and assign it to an already overwhelmed member of the marketing team without understanding just how much time and effort it takes to manage. Creating a Facebook page just because “everyone’s on Facebook” is not a strategy. If you don’t have the time to engage your audience, consider other options.
When running a brand page, it’s easy to fall into the habit of simply pushing your products, but, if users were interested in making a purchase, they’d likely visit your website instead of Facebook. While Facebook can be used to highlight new products, solely posting product information will eventually cause them to stop visiting your page; or worse, “unlike” your page. To engage superfans, you must remember to listen to what they’re saying and post content that interests them.
Quality not quantity holds true for brand Facebook pages. According to jeffbullas.com, posting one to two times per day produces 40 percent higher user engagement than three or more posts per day. If you post too frequently, you run the risk of losing fans (superfans included) entirely. A recent infographic depicting ExactTarget study results shows that 44 percent of consumers “unlike” brands because they post too frequently.
I don’t know about you, but I love when friends make a bitingly hilarious thing I said at the office or during a night out their status update and tag me. It’s the same validation I feel when a stranger repins one of my items on Pinterest. Facebook Fans love receiving recognition, especially from one of their favorite brands. It likely increases their loyalty and further entices them toward brand ambassadorship. Use your Facebook page to recognize superfans: share their content, consider “Fan of the Month” contests or simply reply to their posts and photo comments.
The best Facebook pages engage in two-way conversation with fans. And what’s the easiest way to begin a conversation? With a question, of course! According to the jeffbullas.com post referenced above, “Although retail brand Wall Posts containing questions receive slightly lower overall user engagement…this type of post generates more than double the amount of Comments as ‘non-question’ Posts.” Take a note from journalists when asking questions on your Facebook page: Keep your questions thought-provoking. Asking “yes” and “no” questions won’t get you the engagement you desire.
There’s a reason social media platforms continue to migrate to photo-centric designs: Photos are the No. 1 shareable piece of content on Facebook and elsewhere. And some brands just beg to be shown!
These are just a few ways to engage your possibly slighted superfans. What other engagement tips can you share?
Photo Credit: San Diego Shooter
Lisa Gulasy is a young public relations professional highly interested in social media brand management, copywriting and grammar. Lisa works as an Associate Consultant at Kuno Creative where she creates content and assists senior consultants. Find her on Twitterand LinkedIn.