Having people “like” a Facebook page is only the very first step on the road to achieving a fan base of interested and engaged followers. There is a close similarity with the dating world, where so many mandatory steps apply between that first meeting and eventually getting together as a couple.
Achieving the much sought after outcome of engaged fans commenting on updates, visiting blogs or websites and connecting to newsfeeds, does require participation in many similar rituals that are called for when going steady. All having to be completed before actually “popping the question”.
In between the first meeting where followers click the “like” button, and finally going steady – where highly engaged fans tag pages, enter contests and buy products or services – there is much work to be done. There is a good deal of ‘getting to know you’ to complete; flirting, hand holding and sizing up is the standard. It all takes time and patience and doesn’t happen overnight, however, this process is what businesses and marketers need to implement in order to engage with followers. It is essential to gain the trust of fans before a Facebook presence is likely to win their hearts.
How then, should the dating process proceed, in order to create that successful relationship and a genuine group of regular followers?
Become a content machine
It is essential to consistently post material that is current, entertaining and informative. It must allow followers to become fully engaged, thereby encouraging them to come back for more. A successful strategy involves the regular creation of new content by using different media, often posted via mobile phone. This content should be a mix of written content, photos and videos. Make a publishing schedule and stick to it. Producing quality content is a crucial element of any successful Facebook strategy and if it seems too overwhelming or time doesn’t permit, it is essential to hire competent people to do the job for you.
The human touch
People relate to other people, not logos and company profiles. Successful Facebook communication comes through personal, human stories. Relevant posts with attached photos picked up from many different experiences can convey a personal touch: vacation photos or funny incidents from everyday life will add to human engagement and create instant appeal.
Word of mouth is powerful
Recommendations from friends and peers on social media hold a lot of sway. They can exert a powerful influence on the buying decisions of individuals. To have followers talk positively about a business is an excellent situation to encourage, and the key to success is in making this occur on a frequent basis. A simple idea that can encourage followers to spread the word is to create a promotion or contest that offers rewards for inviting their friends to take part.
A great strategy for building engagement, asking questions encourages participation and provides an opening for good feedback. Something simple that doesn’t take much time – a simple yes or no poll will work well. Ask for assistance in naming a product or describing how it should be used. Get followers to fill in the blank in a post or recount amusing or embarrassing situations.
Ultimately, finding what works best with social media is really a process of discovery. Playing around and experimenting with different posts and updates, plus trying some contests or polls, will offer the best guide to identifying what engages followers and how they respond.
Taking some of these positive steps will be a great move toward creating that passionate bond with followers and winning the “dating game”.