We spoke to Jenna Rose Robbins, director of marketing and social media at Fiji Water, about how the company engages with its passionate fans via Facebook.
How does your position as the lead Facebook page administrator differ from what the traditional webmaster used to do?
Managing a Facebook page is quite different from being a webmaster because it’s far more immediate, in terms of responding to both requests and trends.
A Facebook page administrator is the consumer-facing voice of the brand, while a webmaster is more the technical wizard behind the curtain. Websites introduced a new flexibility — and immediacy — to marketing, and social media only upped that ante.
Brands are now expected to respond to their fans and consumers in real time and should take it upon themselves to engage in the conversations about their products that are already happening.
Now that social media has made the online conversation a two-way forum, brands now need to have a voice that is far more approachable than the “brochure” copy that comprised the webpages of yore. Facebook offers a convenient platform to do so.
What is the company’s strategy for spurring engagement and generating likes especially during slow periods?
Keeping our current fanbase engaged is key. We know how much our brand means to them, so we like to make sure we maintain our connection with them as often as we can, even if it’s just through discussions of current events. Plus, we have so many regular online programs, both small and large, that there isn’t that much downtime between slow periods.
Do you have a favorite campaign you’ve launched on Fiji’s Facebook page?
Until now, the majority of our online campaigns have been based on our website. However, we have a few Facebook campaigns in the works that we’re incredibly excited about, and they’re all about rewarding our fans for their loyalty and listening to their interests.
Fiji is a brand that inspires a lot of passion, to the point where we’ve seen people get into spats on Twitter about who’s the biggest Fiji fan, so we want to make sure we reward that level of loyalty. We’re hoping to launch a campaign around that idea by the end of summer.
We also note our fans other interests, such as their pets — you wouldn’t believe how many photos we’ve received of a furry friend and a bottle of Fiji. People are almost as passionate about Fiji as they are their pets, so we’ve come up with a fun campaign that marries those two.
What special skills or knowledge does Fiji Water look for when hiring for social media positions in general, and for Facebook in particular?
Voice, tact, and gut. They need to get the Fiji brand and understand who we are as well as who we aren’t, and convey that to our audience in a voice that underscores our USPs.
There are a lot of conversations going on around our brand that, although positive-sounding to those having them, are not the sort of conversations we want our brand to be associated with. Knowing how to navigate these conversations, and choosing which to engage in and which to avoid, is as important as speaking the Fiji voice.
Graciously turning down the opportunity to participate in these conversations, as well as fielding other off-brand requests, is a refined skill that not everyone can handle. There’s a lot of gray in this area, so gut feeling plays a key role.
Do you have any favorite Facebook tools that you like to use?
We’ve been using polls a little more often, both for fun and to gage fans’ interest in marketing ideas. But we generally keep it simple and use the basics, such as the event calendar and photo albums. We have a third-party agency that has helped us build our fan-gated contest app, which has proven to be a huge success, so I’m sure we’ll continue to use that.