When it comes to the amount of fans that follow a Facebook page, bigger doesn’t always mean better. Especially when it comes to a brand’s page. Sure it feels good to say “We are the Kings of Facebook”, but you may be the most disconnected Kingdom from its people.
Just recently, Ignite Social Media released October’s Top 50 Branded Facebook Pages and the results are not surprising. Besides Facebook and YouTube, the top 5 brands included Starbucks (#3), Coca Cola (#4), Oreo (#5), Skittles (#6) and Red Bull (#7). All very popular brands, but most noticeably food products. Why? Perhaps it’s because they offer products many of us consume on a daily basis. Compared to the bottom 10 that comprise mostly of clothing brands, tech devices and software. Sure we may wear our favorite brand of jeans every day or interact with our personal electronics minute by minute, but it’s not items we literally purchase almost every day.
Having millions of fans is great, but if you are not engaging with those who “like” you, then all those fans are nothing more than a number your colleagues can boast about at the next seminar.
Using Vitrue’s social page evaluator, a page’s value is calculated by the volume of posts by the brand and the amount interactions to those posts, which is given a dollar value. For some companies, when determining investments and budgets for word of mouth and social media marketing, having a $ value helps support and determine the “value” of their efforts. Of course, the millions of more fans you have, the more likely you’ll have a large amount of fan interactions, even if its a small percentage of the total fan base. I don’t believe brands should base their page’s “value” based on dollars, but a score based on the determining factors of Vitrue’s evaluator PLUS the percentage of unique fans that interact with the page. Usually, the top 5 do very well in both the fan and value category, but when you look at the rest of the field, its a complete 180, proving that even small brand pages demonstrate a stronger value to its fans and its marketing efforts.
Through my experience, here are some of my tips to building fan engagement and true value:
- Listen - What are your fans saying? Respond to them in a respectful and timely manner
- Provide meaningful content - Know why your fans are visiting the page and what they are they looking for from the brand. Updates about the brand, special offers, new product announcement, connect with fellow fans, etc?
- Have an open community - Set wall settings to display both the “brand and others” comments
- Respect negative feedback - The page is one of the best channels to listen to how your customers feel about your product, provide suggestions and improvements. Some of the best ideas and newest products are results of fan feedback.
- Offer unique material - Custom tabs, contest or promos that is not available anywhere else
- Do not open a page just to say you have one - Customers expect their favorite brands and products to be on Facebook. Ignoring fan feedback and not communicating will detract fans from the page, the brand and possibly your products
- Two-way Dialogue - Do not create one sided conversation only supporting your brands messaging and not allowing fan comments
- Establish a voice or persona - Some brands have teams of employees moderating and interacting with fans on their ages, so it’s important to establish a voice for the brand that everyone will follow. Is it laid back and friendly or strictly informative? Do you interact in conversations not discussing products and services on the page or do you strictly respond only to customer service issues?
- Don’t take it personal - Some admins are passionate about their brands and must realize that when a fan writes something negative, they are not attacking YOU. Always respond in an appropriate and respectful manner and DO NOT attack or blame the fan, even if the fan may be in the wrong.
- EVERYONE IS WATCHING!
By following these simple rules, you’ll be on the right track towards building a larger and stronger fan base worth its amount in value.
What are some other recommendations for building a brand page with strong value?