A Facebook fan page can be a great free way to market your business online, if you do it properly. But many businesses still don’t “get” Facebook or social media in general, and wind up making massive mistakes. And it isn’t just small businesses that fail on Facebook. According to a study by A. T. Kearney, some of the biggest culprits are America’s top brands. But you don’t need to make the same mistakes.
Mistake Number 1 – Ignoring Customer Feedback
One of the great things about Facebook is that customer feedback actually shows you what your fans like to read about the most. If a particular type of status update gets a lot of “likes” and comments, you are onto a winner. And if a certain type of post goes largely ignored, it’s time to cut down on that type of update, or cut it out all together.
A.T. Kearney’s 2011 study showed that an average of 69% of the top brands’ status updates were self promotional. And even though those types of posts got fewer likes and comments than the other status updates, the leading brands continued to use them more than any other type of update.
So listen to customer feedback carefully on Facebook, and remember, it’s not just about what they are saying, it’s about what they don’t say.
Mistake Number 2 – Mostly Promotional Facebook Updates
As mistake number 1 showed, fans don’t like it if your Facebook page is almost completely self-promotional. While it is ok to include some promotional updates, particularly when you have special offers, or you’ve released a new product, Facebook is not an advertising machine.
Interact with your readers. Offer them interesting content and links to articles and web content they may enjoy. Ask your fans questions, write thought provoking status updates and encourage them to interact. If you are not used to using social media, and you simply don’t know what to write, consider outsourcing your updates to someone who is social media savvy.
Remember that your Facebook fan page is not your business’s own personal TV channel. View it more like sitting down in a coffee shop for an informal chat with some of your customers.
Mistake Number 3 – Failing to Interact With Patients
Social media is fantastic for enabling you to interact with your patients. It allows you to get to know each other and build up a rapport, you get to discover what your fans want, and their likes and dislikes. Yet so many businesses totally miss the point of this remarkable opportunity.
Kearney’s study showed that, “Leading brands also failed to interact with customers, despite having thousands of opportunities to do so. In fact, 56% of the top brands failed to respond to one single customer comment in 2011.”
Listening to your fans, interacting with them, and answering their questions, is an opportunity, not a chore.