People crave connection. That’s why, for centuries, people have invested time and money in innovations and technologies that bring people closer together – whether that’s a telephone, a railroad, or a social network like Facebook.
Facebook is an excellent outlet for our desire to connect with loved ones in small, everyday ways. But interacting on Facebook actually may be much more emotionally complex. Just recently, a Facebook study found that people who posted more status updates on Facebook actually felt less lonely, even if no one “liked” or commented on their posts. Simply broadcasting a thought helps people feel connected to their friends and family. That means that connecting on Facebook isn’t merely a way for people to keep their peers updated: It’s an emotional exercise that’s much more important than most people (and businesses) think.
Emotions Run High
It’s key to market where your customers live – and where their feelings live, too. And when there’s a high amount of emotional involvement in a social network, making sure that your brand is present and active in the social sphere will only be advantageous for your company.
So, what’s the best way to market on a social network? First of all, it’s always important to infuse a brand with personality. Using wit, humor, and transparency in your Facebook presence can help you tap into the social atmosphere that people crave – and keep your company from becoming just another faceless brand.
Gillette is an excellent example of smart, thoughtful Facebook engagement. Every year, Gillette sends out free razors to men all over the country on their 18th birthdays. Market research shows that if men try Gillette razors early, they’re far more likely to keep buying Gillette for the rest of their lives. By personalizing their interaction with their customers, Gillette is making an emotional connection, and they’re building brand loyalty with it. This same principle can apply to your brand, too.
Here are few ways to build a brand following in a real, organic way:
1. Build a community on your Facebook fan page. Seek to be encouraging, cutting-edge, and informative. Create a space where people share their ideas and connect with others. That way, when people come in and try to be negative or hurtful, your committed followers will step in and protect the culture you’ve created.
2. Ask questions. Social media is about relationships, so ask questions that get people talking. Don’t step in every two seconds, either. Let your audience share their thoughts, and you’ll build a community centered on your brand.
3. Post often. The more often you post on Facebook, the better. As long as your posts are relevant, positive, and on-topic, you can post as much as you’d like.
4. Always think like a member of your audience. You’ve seen it across all kinds of mediums: The moment marketing stops serving the brand audience, business starts going downhill. The same holds true for Facebook. Social media marketing is about transparency and putting faces and names to your customers. Always keep their attention – and their interest – at the top of your priority list.
When it’s done well, Facebook can be a powerful tool for growing brand loyalty, but only when you’re asking the right questions. Here are some things to think about before you post: If you were a customer, what would you want to read? How would you want to interact? Remember, you’re not just a brand – you’re a person, too. And your job is to inform, entertain, and above all, be social: It is Facebook, after all!