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Prospective customers and clients generally explore a company’s social media channels first and foremost when they want to learn about the company’s products, see how the company interacts with the public, and review comments and perspectives of other customers, clients, and/or friends.
With that in mind, when customers search for your company online, what do you want them to find? How do you ideally want prospective clients to experience your brand on Facebook? As you consider these questions and as your company develops its online strategy for the coming year, I strongly recommend following these three steps in order to improve your Facebook reputation.
1. Use a Relatable Voice
Consumer trust in brand information featured on social media channels increased by 75% from 2011 to 2012, according to a recent McKinsey study entitled “Strategic reputation management in a digital world.” This increase in consumer trust is a drastic improvement from earlier years – and I believe this improvement is rooted in companies using trustworthy, relatable voices on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels.
The McKinsey study also explains how consumers feel more connected to a company’s brand by 21% on average if the voice is similar to “someone like [them]” or like a “regular employee.” Consumers don’t want to hear from the CEO; they want to hear from everyday employees about relatable issues. This point underscores what online marketers continue to hear again and again about Facebook marketing: if your company’s voice is relatable, customers find the brand more credible and trustworthy.
2. Prioritize Customer Service
Genuine, robust social customer service is another crucial part of successful client engagement. Consumers expect a company to listen, monitor, and swiftly respond to questions and comments on Facebook —no matter how large or small the company is. The McKinsey study notes that companies must “listen to customer needs and feedback” in order to gain the customer’s trust and future loyalty.
In this vein, consumers think Fortune 500 companies should be as accessible online as the local bike shop down the street. This access is one of the best components of social media from a consumer perspective – consumers can connect with brands one-on-one and easily share comments, likes, dislikes, and other thoughts. In order to continue to grow and strengthen your brand, online customer service should remain a top priority for your company in 2013.
3. Launch Engaging Ads
Lastly, if you want to ensure your organization’s success through online engagement, Facebook advertisements are true catalysts to help spark your company’s online presence. Engaging Facebook ads grow consumer audiences via computers, mobile devices, and tablets, and they also help ensure that your company reaches current and future consumers with diverse, targeted content. Facebook ads offer unparalleled targeted outreach through the Social Graph while also offering unique connection avenues with consumers. Facebook is continuing to grow and diversify its ad units in the coming year, and companies should capitalize on these offerings to leverage new relationships.
In summary, I strongly recommend employing the following tactics for your company’s deepened, improved Facebook presence in 2013: 1) use a relatable voice, 2) prioritize online customer service, and 3) launch engaging ads. These steps, used in combination with a creative, ambitious, and energetic mindset, will ensure your company’s online success in the coming year.
– Andrew Foxwell