Like any good relationship, it’s about getting to know each other.
Look at your best friend and you can name all the reasons they still hold a special place in your life. Commonalities drew you together and keep you connected. Keeping it fresh is never difficult, new experiences with a trusted pal are always welcome. They are the foundation for the “Do you remember when…” stories that you share and serve to build and grow your relationship.
Your social media connection with your customer shouldn’t be any different. Customers want a relationship with their favourite brands. They want the same loyalty from you that you want from them. Strike the right chord and your fans are eager to share their experience and become your brand ambassadors. They’ll start their next conversation with “Did you see what Brand X posted today?”
Take a look at how Content Manager, Melissa Sowry grew the Burt’s Bees Facebook page from 98,000 fans to 1 million in just 18 months and was named one of the “Top 20 Most Awesome Facebook Pages” for 2011 by Inc. Magazine.
When asked about Burt’s Bees approach to Facebook in an interview with David Wilson on Social-Media-Optimization.com Sowry responded:
“Facebook is a channel for us to provide compelling content…We use social media and Facebook in particular as relationship-building tools. We also create opportunities for consumer education around skin care, for example, and sampling offers…
We talk about our products on Facebook but we also spend time talking about the culture at Burt’s Bees through our involvement with Habitat for Humanity, sustainability efforts, product ingredients and so forth.”
Visit the page and you’ll see the posts are not just a series of ads pitching yet another product. Everything about the page asks the consumer to engage and talk about themselves and their experience. Take a survey about your skin type, get expert advice from a dermatologist or share your thoughts on your favorite product. Consumer posts are acknowledged and expertly responded to; the good and the bad. The overall message is – Let’s connect. We are not just talking at you, we are listening.
And let’s not forget the multiple links, taking you directly to their e-commerce site. There you can share some more or get straight to shopping. After all, this is no cold sales call, you’re BFFs now.
Lesson for Others:
Know Your Market: If you have a market research team, use them. The more you know the easier it will be to reach them in a meaningful way.
No research team? Do your own. Actively listen to what your customers and your competitor’s customers are saying and build your communication plan appropriately (And yes, you need a plan).
Start a Conversation: Consumers don’t want to be talked to, they want to be a part of the program. Social media is all about sharing and Facebooker’s in particular are eager to share. If they can relate in anyway, they will invite others to the conversation.
Stay Fresh: Don’t take a good thing for granted. Any good relationship requires some effort. Stay on top of what is trending and keep your content fresh. Nobody likes a boring friend!
Submitted by: Vicky Ngeth, SMBP Student University of Waterloo
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