Facebook marketing software provider Wildfire Interactive is all too aware that getting Facebook users to visit a brand’s page is only the first skirmish of the battle, and that the key to winning the war is to get them to come back, repeatedly.
Wildfire released a new study featuring “six surefire strategies to keep your Facebook fans coming back for more.” Here is a quick look at the half-dozen strategy options.
Tap into fan passions: You already know what your fans are passionate about, so make your Facebook page the perfect platform for them to express that. If you market for a fashion brand, talk about design, style, and haute couture. If you’re a food brand, ask for favorite recipes and opinions on food trends. Focus on the unique personality of your fans to determine what type of messaging or content they’ll respond to with the greatest enthusiasm.
Ask simple, closed questions: Would you rather do a task that’s quick and easy, or one that takes time and effort? It depends on the reward, right? Day-to-day interactions on Facebook don’t really offer fans much reward other than taking part in a community, so make sure your messaging is easy to interact with. One strategy to ensure engagement is to ask fans questions that are a breeze to answer. Asking open-ended questions requires fans to consider and write out their answers. However, nothing is easier than stating an opinion to a “yes” or “no” question. The barrier to typing a one-word response, or simply clicking like, is very low, so more fans respond.
Tell fans what you want from them: Use instructive language in your posts to make it crystal-clear what you want fans to do. Believe it or not, ending a post with the instruction to “like this post” usually results in a markedly higher number of likes. We found a perfect example on Wildfire’s own fan page. The two screenshots below show content that we posted on Wildfire’s Facebook timeline. The content was very similar — both posts linked to outside articles, and both had a similar number of impressions. But the post with the instruction to “Click like if you love the tool” got twice as many likes as the post without the instruction. This result is consistent with the results our clients get on their pages, as well. The lesson: Never leave the next step up to interpretation — tell fans exactly what you want them to do.
Treat your fans like they’re VIPs: Do you have exclusive information that you haven’t shared or posted to your website yet? Do you have internal photographs of your team, or videos of a company event that you won’t be sharing any other way? Coupons, giveaways, and sweepstakes get the highest amount of entries on average. According to research firm Razorfish, the No. 1 reason why fans like a brand on Facebook is to get access to exclusive content, promotions, and deals. So give your fans privileged content that makes them feel special. If it suits your brand, you can even give your fan community a special name like Lady Gaga does with her “Little Monsters.”
The fan-of-the-week promotion on the Dunkin’ Donuts Facebook page was highlighted as an example.
Invite one-on-one interactions: Even if you have a great connection with your Facebook fans, you can take the relationship to a new level when you respond to them personally. Address your fans by name whenever possible, and respond to their comments one-on-one. Many fans express pleasant surprise when they receive this personal touch, because it proves that you’re listening and are receptive to their comments and feedback. And that means they’re more likely to keep on posting. It is important not to just sit back and wait for a chance to engage. Actively invite personal conversation with your fans by soliciting their opinions on relevant topics or asking them what types of content they want to see. Then act on their suggestions.
Humanize your brand: We don’t know what it is, but there’s undeniably something that gets people excited about a glimpse behind the scenes. It works for DVD and Blu-ray sales, and it works on Facebook fan pages, too. Fans are quick to tell us they clamor for exclusive content and VIP access to brands. And what’s more exclusive or VIP than a look inside the workings of your company? Any messaging that humanizes your brand, adds depth to its personality, or colors its character typically goes over extremely well with fans. This strategy can even add a positive new dimension to your brand, changing its image from untouchable to relatable with a few thoughtful posts.
Wildfire offered as examples photos of life on board cruise ships with the crews from Holland America Line and its own tradition of photos of employees ringing a cowbell to signify the launch of a new full-service campaign.