With so many ways to engage consumers these days, many brands are unsure how to proceed. Most companies are used to a one-way flow of information, and the thought of engaging daily in conversations with customers is a daunting task. Who should manage social media strategy? PR? The ad agency? Corporate marketing? The individual product teams? How much of the marketing budget should be invested in social media? How should success be measured? With so many questions, it's easy to see why many brands are just dipping their toes in or starting very small.
The Engagementdb Report published in July sends a clear message about the power of social media. The report, created by Wetpaint and Altimeter, looks at how top brands leverage social media. What they found is that "the most valuable brands in the world are experiencing a direct correlation between top financial performance and deep social media engagement... Socially engaged companies are in fact more financially successful." With all the talk about whether there's ROI in social media, it's great to see a correlation between engagement and financial success.
The report, however, doesn't advise brands to go full-throttle into social media until they've thought through their strategy. Brands need to find the level of social media engagement that makes sense for them today and stick to their plans. The report warns that once you begin to have conversations with your customers, there's no easy way to step out.
With more than 250 million users and great tools for brands, Facebook is an obvious place for brands to start engaging with their audiences. Facebook Pages were created specifically for the needs of businesses interested in reaching their audiences on Facebook. Creating a fan page is free and easy, but there are some common sense practices, as well as tricks, to ensuring your fan page is successful.
1. Don't lose new visitors
The fan page admin can determine where new visitors to fan pages land, so make sure they land on a welcoming, fun page that provides enough information with a clear call-to-action for them to become a fan. Think of your fan page as a cocktail party. If a neighbor shows up and walks into a room full of people talking a different language and no one greets him, he won't feel welcome or understand what is going on. But if you greet him at the door and explain that the party is for your French club, he will understand and will perhaps dig deep to find his high school French skills.
Rather than dropping new visitors into the "wall," which is the default, Toms Shoes brings them to a less cluttered page that reminds them to become a fan and tells them the quick story of Toms Shoes, complete with a short video of a shoe drop. It's clean, simple, and easy to understand -- a welcoming portal.
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