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Step 2 – Engaging Fans on Facebook

by Munish Gandhi on December 22, 2010

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This is #2 in a series of articles on getting started marketing your business on facebook – a series we’re calling “‘Tis the season to be social

Now that your Business or Personal Brand has a Facebook page, it is time to engage!

Many people don’t know how to engage with their fans on Facebook so they set up their page and then sit back and hope it maintains itself.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.  Your fans want to hear from you.  It is incredibly frustrating to your fans when they take the time to ‘Like’ your page and try to interact or ask a question, then get no response.

Think of your fans as you would a customer walking into your store.  They need help, they have questions, they want to know whats next.  Good customer service should extend to your online presence, not solely those customers that you serve in-person.

Here are some good practices to use when engaging fans:

Ask questions.

We are all people and as people, we like to share our opinions.  Especially living in Washington, DC, I can tell you that this is the city of opinions – and everyone feels the need to express themselves.  People as a rule like to know that they are heard and have an outlet for their voice.  Asking your fans questions is an excellent way to give them that voice.  As suggested by Social Media Examiner, make it personal – use the words ‘you’ and ‘your’ in your questions.  But don’t just ask questions to get answers – take your customers advise.

Keep It Simple.

When asked to write this post, I went searching for other people’s take on interacting on Facebook and I found something that surprised me.  According to John Hayden, fans interact more with a simple, clean status update than one accompanied by a photo, video or URL.  I am a big Twitter-er so I sometimes forget that there are many differences in the way people interact when comparing Facebook and Twitter.  So, when it comes to Facebook, why not try asking a simple question or posting a fact instead of attaching something to your update?

Recognize your fans by name.

Did you know that you can tell everyone about a special fan by including their name in a status update?  Just type the @ symbol, directly followed by their name and everyone will be able to see that person mentioned in your update.  That’s pretty special!  How would you feel as a Disney fan if Disney included your name in their update as fan-of-the-month or fanatic-fan and all your friends saw it?  Or if you were called out in a video by an athlete that you idolized?  Like the example Mashable uses of the NBA’s fan page posting a video of Shaq thanking a fan by name.  This is a sure way to not only recognize a serious fan but also create a buzz about your company.  Be different, be real, show your fans that you care.

Thank your fans.

Your fans make you who you are.  Tell them how you feel.  Everyone wants a pat on the back and an ata-boy.  This one is the easiest one to do.  Just say thanks.

Have give-aways.

People also like to win things.  Even if it is something small, the joy of getting something free is one that never dims.  Ask your fans to comment for a chance to win.  Have them answer a question about a famous person or your product.  Ask them to post a picture on your fan page…You get the idea.  Get creative!

Interacting may take time but I say, make time!  If you know that you can’t make the time to interact, don’t bother setting up a fan page.  Leaving comments and fans unattended can do more harm to your company’s image than not having a fan page at all.  You don’t want the word to circulate that your customers cannot reach you via your social media platforms.  That’s just bad for business.  Set up a fan page, then make it personal.

How do you engage?

What ideas do you have for engaging your Fans? Which ones have worked for you? Let us know by sharing your thoughts on Network Solutions’ Facebook page.

This entry is part of 5 in the series 'Tis the Season to be Social


Series NavigationStep 1 – Creating your Facebook Business PageStep 3 – Create a Custom Welcome Tab for Free without HTML or FBML

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    • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com Michael A. Stelzner

      Thanks for mentioning Social Media Examiner! We appreciate it