Tag Archives: brands

Turning Facebook Fans into Brand Advocates

Posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 by Kate

In life, there are different kinds of friends. There are the ones who’ve got your back all the time, who sing your praises and defend your mistakes.  Then there are the ones with whom you’re friendly but don’t get too deeply involved.  And lastly, there are the “friends” you nod hello to, but don’t talk with much: your acquaintances. It’s the same for brand pages on Facebook.

Social media firm Wildfire Interactive tracked 10,000 social media campaigns and found users basically fall into three categories. Your Facebook acquaintances are called “joiners.” They’re about 80% of your fan base. They like the page but don’t really interact with it much.  Then there are “sharers”:  They make up about 15% of your fans and while they like to repost your content, they don’t get too involved otherwise.

But your Facebook fan BFFs are called “advocates.” These are the folks who will go to the mat for you. They’ll convince their friends to like your page, even get them to buy your products, and they’ll shout about how great you are from the proverbial rooftops of social media. They’re an exclusive group, probably only 1-2% of your fan base, but they’re also your greatest asset.

So how do you get more Facebook “advocates” and fewer “joiners”?  Give your fans a variety of ways to engage with you.  That way, they’ll be more inclined to stay longer on the page, as well as come back more often. First, provide engaging content.  If you’re a visually-oriented business, post bright, eye-catching photos and short, lively videos. You can ask for likes, but also ask for comments and captions.

Running different kinds of campaigns will boost your page’s engagement as well.  Fans love contests, giveaways, quizzes and trivia questions. But remember, while coupons, giveaways and sweepstakes will bring in the most entries, they are rarely “shared” among friends.  But research shows 82% of Facebook users who clicked on a friend’s News Feed post about a quiz went on to take the quiz themselves.

Remember, it’s important to know your audience as well.  Stay in touch with current events that might be relevant to your fans and post about them.  Treat your fans like VIPs, offering them a behind-the-scenes look at your company or product and give them a heads up on promos and sales. They’ll start talking. But then you need to be listening.  If they ask questions, respond to them.  Comment on their comments.  Be part of the conversation.  And whenever you post, try to accomplish at least one of these two major goals: nurture the fans you already have or get them to share your content with their own friends.

Keep all that in mind and soon you’ll have fewer Facebook fan acquaintances and a whole lot more BFFs.

A Social Media Vacation: Taboo or Tolerable?

Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 by Alan

Technology and social media have an ever-growing presence in today’s world. Whether you see the role of social media growing in worldwide events like the Olympics, our national political coverage, or your day-to-day life, it is changing the way we communicate.

When we make the decision to disconnect from our lives for a while, in the glorious time we call vacation, many of us still stay connected through social media. Admit it, technology makes traveling easier through apps, mobility, and access to information. However, the pressing urge to continue creating and sharing content doesn’t allow us to fully relax. This is especially true for those who manage social media accounts for brands and business.

For a brand, taking a vacation from social media can be unacceptable to fans. Many people, like author Mark Schafer, have experienced lost followers and lower Klout when they return from a vacation. Self-made businesspeople, like Andrew Zimmern of the Food Network and Eva Chen of Teen Vogue, choose not to disconnect with social media and sometimes even share more while they’re vacationing. Andrew Zimmern’s Twitter account shares personal activities and feelings (ex: “Heaven. Vacation at the Cabin. Midwest at its finest”) in addition to professional-related opinions and musings. Small businesses like New York’s Big Gay Ice Cream Truck felt the need to inform customers that they would be on a social media hiatus during their vacation and still continued to post about their store. In the Wall Street Journal, co-founder Douglas Quint responded, “We need to appear active. We want to appear in people’s Twitter feeds once or twice a day”.

The pressure to stay connected is taking time and resources from small businesses. There are even new programs for small businesses to manage social media accounts more easily, especially when the campaign manager is away. At the same time, it is necessary to be reliable and consistent to your followers and fans.

Should taking a social media break be unacceptable for brands or is a temporary disconnect okay? What do you think?