Facebook marketing has quickly become an important part of the online marketing toolkit for businesses of all sizes. It is not only a place to passively broadcast your messages. It's also built for sharing, connecting, and engaging with people. But just who are these people? What do they mean for your business? Here's a look at seven common customer personas on Facebook, why they connect with brands on social media, and what you need to do to leverage your social relationship with them.
The silent fan
At some point in time, this customer chose to "like" or follow your business on Facebook to see updates from your brand. However, they don't have much to say, they don't seem to engage with your content, and a large portion of your fan base on Facebook falls into this category. According to the 1 percent rule, about 90 percent of online users that consume content don't contribute.
It's a good idea to try to generate engagement from these fans by testing what, when, and how you post content. Try asking fans to "like" a status update or photo. Sometimes all it takes to create more engagement is to ask for it. Experiment with posting images, contests, and questions. Schedule posts during business hours in addition to nights and weekends. Due to Facebook's personalized algorithm, the more you can get silent fans to engage with your posts, the more your posts will show up in their newsfeeds. Try mixing things up to generate more engagement from your core fan base.
The occasional "liker"
This type of fan engages with your Facebook posts every once in a while. They "like" your business profile based on the content that you post, or they want to share with their friends. You can acquire more from these sporadic fans by adding stronger calls-to-action. Try to make your posts appealing and encourage your fans to share your content.
For example, a steakhouse could share a photo of its famous dessert with the caption, "share this to show your love for cheesecake!" Or a boutique could share a collage of this season's hottest accessory with the caption "share this if you love this look for summer!" By asking for people to share your posts, you can help turn the occasional users into ambassadors of your content -- and by extension your brand.
The deal hunter
Access to exclusive deals, coupons, incentives, and events are what draw this type of Facebook fan to your business -- a common customer persona. One report shows that 58 percent of Facebook users expect access to sales, discounts, or promotions after liking a brand on Facebook.
Keep this type of fan engaged with your brand by regularly offering deals and specials on your Facebook page. Many businesses find success by hosting a weekly or monthly deal on Facebook that appeal to this savings seeker. The bonus is that companies that regularly post sales, coupons, and contests also give new customers an incentive to follow them on other social media outlets. When done correctly, these tactics can help grow your follower base.
The upset customer
Although it happens to almost every business, nobody wants to see negative comments on their Facebook page. That's because more and more people are using Facebook as a way to both communicate a poor experience with a brand and to share their experience with others. Often what they're looking for is a more timely response or better customer service. Because of Facebook's public and transparent nature, venting on your Facebook page may be seen by more than just your business and fans.
To minimize the impact of upset customer comments on Facebook, it's critical to include social media in your reputation management process. This will ensure that your business can respond in a timely manner when customers complain. By regularly monitoring your page -- and quickly responding to feedback and complaints -- you are communicating to the upset fan that you care. You are then able to take the issue offline for resolution. Dedicate an email address or phone number to publish publicly online to directly address the customer's needs. Your initial public response will also reflect to your fans that you put customers first.
The opinionated critic
It would be nice if all negative comments on a brand's Facebook page were from customers with legitimate complaints. Time after time, businesses are slammed with a variety of negative Facebook comments that are often not even related to a specific experience the customer had with your brand. Political, ideological, cultural, or other personal issues that come into the spotlight can draw a critic to your Facebook page to share their personal opinions and cast a negative light on your business. To help protect from these critics, avoid making controversial public statements -- unless you're prepared for a potential backlash. If your company ever finds itself in the midst of a social media firestorm, contact an experienced public relations or crisis communications firm.
The enthusiastic advocate
These passionate Facebook fans "like," comment on, and share almost everything that your business posts. They may or may not do a lot of business with you, but they help spread the word about your business to their networks. Plus, they add personality and spark to your page that makes it a fun and interesting place. Reciprocate the love from these enthusiastic fans. Highlight them in a "fan of the week" feature, share their user-generated content "like photos," shout-outs, and videos, and ask them to participate in promotions and campaigns for your business. Engage your advocates by helping them share the story of your business and it's a win-win.
The devoted customer
This customer's profile picture is familiar because you'd know their name if they walked into your office. They were doing word-of-mouth marketing for you long before Facebook, and they recommend you to friends and family. This Facebook fan's lifetime customer value is sky high because of all the referrals they have generated. These customers are the heart of your business both offline and online. Find unique and special ways to include them in your Facebook community. For example, consider asking them to be in a video testimonial that shares their success from working with your business or from using your products and services. Show appreciation for their long-term business through loyalty programs, discounts, and events.
Do you recognize these different personas on your company's Facebook page? Are there any others that were missed? How are you making the most of the different types of followers on Facebook? Share your thoughts in a comment.
Tiffany Monhollon is senior content marketing manager of ReachLocal.
On Twitter? Follow Monhollon at @tmonhollon. Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.
"Like and Unlike symbols isolated on white" image via Shutterstock.