There are certain words that every company wants attributed to their brand, like “trendy”, “relatable” and “interactive”. These words tend to reflect a company that customers pay attention to and feel comfortable engaging with.
In a 21st century world where the global population is more connected than ever, social media sites like Facebook play an important role in allowing businesses to reach out to and likewise be contacted by consumers.While a business often strives to be thought of as professional and taken seriously, it’s important to be careful.
Certain approaches can make a company come across as cold, un-relatable, and worst of all…out of touch. If a company responds to a problem on Facebook in the wrong way, it can quickly go viral. This can lead to negative “word-of-mouth” feedback that greatly decreases your brand’s value.A number of approaches can be taken to avoid this pitfall and at the same time get the most out of your Facebook page.
Perhaps the quickest way to personalize your company’s brand is to allow customers a look at the person or persons behind the company.
Include photographs and biographies about the individuals that make the business work. If it is a particularly small company, this can be done by sharing an infographic or company photo with biographies for each person on your Facebook page.
If the company has a large employee body, this approach may not be practical. Instead, opt to give Facebook features to different individuals within a company. You can celebrate an employee’s achievement with a post or even just share a “Happy Birthday” message. A video and link to their social media accounts would be ideal.
If customers can look at your company and see for themselves that humans make it work, it will greatly humanize your business.
Be Fun and Spontaneous
It’s not enough to create a Facebook page with the occasional impersonal post. That’s a waste of a perfectly good social media account.Talk about the goings on within the company. Was there a pizza party? Post a picture of the pizza, and don’t forget to thank the local pizza place for their great service! Was someone the victim of a hilarious prank? Share the video on your Facebook.
These fun and spontaneous events help paint an amiable picture of your company, one that will more easily draw in new customers than a stuffy image with a dead-silent Facebook page would.
Or, maybe you just post an off-hand comment about a subtlety in life:
A little bit of light humor on a slow Saturday afternoon generated a good amount of user-engagement from of the biggest candy-brands around.
Connect with Previous Customers
Don’t forget about past customers while courting potential customers!It may actually be a good idea to build a basic Facebook following through connecting with previous customers. Email customers about your Facebook page. Mention your Facebook account on your business’s website. There should be “Like” buttons on practically every webpage, or you can even provide the link information for a product there.
If you customers are particularly happy with your product, they’ll love the opportunity to keep in touch.
Don’t Shy Away From Wit and Humor
Do you know what makes for highly shareable Facebook content? Something that Facebook users find humorous.
A well-timed or thought-out joke can really brighten someone’s day. It can also go viral, leading to a wave of new potential customers finding your page. However, when it comes to sharing humorous content, you must be discerning. Some so-called humor features racist, sexist, or otherwise offensive material. Not only is the use of vulgar and bigoted “jokes” unprofessional, they can lead to a terrible backlash.
Be sure to carefully consider Facebook content and always aim to be light-hearted and inclusive towards all visitors.
Let Customers Know You’re Listening
Facebook pages do more than allowing companies to share information about their company’s products and goals, they also provide a great opportunity for improved customer service.If an individual finds that they have questions or were disappointed in a product, they may forego a business’ customer service phone number in favor of their Facebook page.
Regardless of the reason, let customers know you are listening by always responding to customers who leave reviews or questions on your Facebook page.Always thank them for taking the time to reach out to you. Assure unhappy customers that steps will be taken to improve their experience with your company. Try to answer questions in a timely manner.
Amazon, the eCommerce leader, does an excellent job of listening and following up with the plethora of customer complaints they receive on Facebook.
Promote Important Causes and Events
As with expressions of humor, a company should also be aware of what’s happening in the world. Demonstrating social awareness is another way to personalize your business’s brand. Is it National Breast Cancer Month? Create a pink Facebook theme and icon and discuss the importance of funding breast cancer research. Perhaps run a special promotion where so much of each sale will be donated towards a related charity.
If a local family has experienced a personal tragedy, your business can do more than offer support. You can use your Facebook to encourage customers to take action.
Using your Facebook page to promote action and compassion will both improve your company’s image and help customers feel good about taking the time to help others.
Feature Your Customers
In addition to featuring the individuals who work for your company, it’s also a great idea to use your company’s Facebook page to “say hello” to the people who fund your company buy using your services or purchasing your products.Offer customers the chance for a discount or prize and a feature on your Facebook page. For increased interactivity, maybe ask customers to write a blurb about what your product means to them personally.
If customers get the chance to increase their visibility and share their thoughts, they’re highly likely to participate in these sorts of contests and promotions.
Another way to feature customers while simultaneously branding your business in a positive light is to feature happy customer reviews and make the reviews easy to share. Here’s a great example:
APG Exhibits features the product reviewed, the review itself, and the user on their Facebook page, making it publicly available to their fans. This a great way to send qualified referral traffic – it’s very similar to seeing a friend recommend a product on your personal Facebook feed.
If we look the review itself, we have the option to share it on multiple social media platforms, thus increasing the organic potential to spread to new customers.
Encourage “Word of Mouth” Advertising
Don’t just ask customers to speak up for features. If they’re happy with you, tell them to spread the word and to tell their friends and family. Post a review on a customer’s personal Facebook or blog. Offer to feature their comments and blog reviews on your Facebook page.
Not only will this increase positive “word of mouth” sentiment about your brand, you’ll also be driving traffic to the blogs and social media pages of these individuals. Helping others to increase their visibility on the internet is a great incentive for these individuals to help advertise your business.
Always Ask Questions
Are customers happy? Are they unhappy? What do they think of your new logo? What would they do if they encountered a person-sized version of your product? When you ask your customers questions, especially quirky ones, you are very likely to get some great responses.
You’ll also let your customers know that you are actively listening to what they have to say. Not only that, but giving individuals a platform to express humor and wit can help make them feel good about themselves, and by extension feel good about your company.
As you can see, these methods require companies to stay abreast of current trends and make themselves readily available to customers. If your business feels genuine and personable, it will be because the time was taken to establish a true connection and develop a more human aspect of your brand.
Personalizing your brand won’t necessarily happen overnight, but using these steps will help your brand, which will greatly contribute to its longevity.
Jesse Aaron is a community manager and the founder of Mashbout, a site for social media marketing forums, trends, and guides.