A recent survey by The Creative Group has revealed that more than 50% of marketing and advertising professionals believe that companies will look to further their investment in social media sites like Facebook in the next 12 months.
Why would they be doing this? Simply because, Facebook is one of the simplest, cheapest and most effective ways for brands to engage with their customers, and engagement is the trend of the moment.
Connecting on Facebook is easy, isn’t it? All you have to do is post a few updates now and then and people will be flocking to your fan page in droves right? Well, this might be conventional “uninformed though”, but the reality is different.
And the BIGGEST MISTAKE companies make on Facebook? Broadcasting, or posting about themselves!
Users know, no one wants to hear it. People are sick of advertising, sick of being bombarded with tacky commercials every time they switch on the idiot box, open a magazine, drive past a billboard or turn on the radio, or, or… You get the picture. There has to be a more user friendly way to engage and convert customers.
To successfully engage with people on Facebook, what’s needed is to think outside the box, creating content that’s not simply chock-a-block with blatant ads for your products and services, but fun and entertaining in its own right. Here’s how you can do just that.
Stage a Facebook Competition
Competitions and contests are a great way to interact with your followers on Facebook. Not only does someone get to win a prize, but it also generates excitement and lets people have fun while playing. In addition, it comes with the added bonus of having people return to your page regularly to see if they’ve won the prize.
As far as ideas for contest go, there are hundreds of them. There’s a great little website called Binkd that allows you to create a variety of contests, from basic sweepstakes to far more complex competitions that require skill and insight to win. Using Binkd, it’s possible to structure different competitions according to the type of engagement you want. For example, if its comments you’re after, post a photo and award a prize to the best tagline – that will ensure a ton of responses. If its ‘Likes’ that you’re after, you can setup a ‘vote-to-win’ contest instead.
Asking questions is one of the oldest tricks in the book if you’re looking to spark a dialogue. The only challenge is to come up with something interesting to ask. The questions you ask will depend to a certain extent on your line of business, but even so there are many specific types of questions you can ask to generate interest.
Yes or no questions are probably best avoided, as these will only lead to short responses and not much meaningful engagement. The trick is to try and ask open-ended questions that require a longer answer to get a real conversation going. For example, say you manage the Facebook page of a small theatre, you could ask what’s called a humanistic question, such as ‘have you ever seen anyone fall asleep during a concert?’. This will surely get some fun responses!
Alternatively, you can ask preference questions to get some debate going – simple things such as ‘do you prefer Shakespeare or Sardou?’.
Of course, the questions don’t all have to be related to what you do. Another idea is to just ask what we like to call fun questions, such as ‘If you were stuck on a desert island and could only take three things with you…’. You get the idea.
Post an Entire Quiz
Taking the questions idea further, you could just go the whole hog and post a quick quiz to get people talking. ProProfs have come up with a free online quiz maker that’s great for anyone who is too busy or simply can’t think of any appropriate questions.
ProProfs offer two types of quizzes – scored tests which have a right and wrong answer, and quizzes which have no correct answer, but instead gauge the user’s responses to tell them something about their personality. Alternatively, you can just do a quick search of the topic/industry you desire and gain access to thousands of readymade quizzes. Once you have the quiz you want, simply post it to your wall and get ready for a flood of responses!
The marketing and ad picture for social media is a whole different ballgame than from the days of soap operas. Or is it? If you think about it, the days of selling soap via entertaining TV shows were a bit like these trailblazer days of social media. Instead of soap, and Days of Our Lives, people today are looking for fun and fascinating, or at best sleek and sexy engagement on their favorite stomping grounds. Stop hard selling, and turn to soft soaping your customers.
Photo credit: Maya Kruchancova & Fotolia