Tag Archives: Facebook

Social media is a wildly popular tool these days. Social media provides a unique, useful way to communicate with customers and clients, convey a brand and spread the message your business has to share. Many incredibly popular social media sites are available for marketing, like Facebook, Twitter and Google+. While you should definitely consider a social media presence on these popular sites, choosing some alternative options as well can help you to expand your brand in a really meaningful way. If you’re interested in using alternative social media for your own company, consider the options below to get started.

social media consumersInstagram

Instagram is a photo-sharing network, based primarily on mobile usage. Within the network you can capture, edit and filter both images and video. You can then share it with your followers, add hashtags to allow others to find you and interact with potential customers.

Start by creating an account, updating your bio with a link to the company website and adding an image representative of your brand. Then you can start sharing images, choosing to share things which are relevant to your existing marketing plans. Consider sharing photos of your work or products you have for sale. Take photos of clients receiving your services (with their permission of course) and remember to always add the most appropriate hashtags, making your images (and account) searchable. ...continue reading

Anyone attempting to market on Facebook has to rely on engagement if they want to be successful. What you need are fans that return to your page and engage with your brand. This takes building and fostering different relationships with your Facebook audience.

The best social media campaigns on the web are able to leverage Facebook fans and create real relationships. When fans begin looking forward to your content and repeatedly engaging with your page, you can begin moving more and more people into your funnel and ultimately converting more fans into legitimate customers.

Relationship-building is something that’s incredibly important for any type of business out there, no matter where it’s operating. It simply takes on a bigger importance when you’re advertising via Facebook. So as a business, you have to create and maintain relationships through your advertising.

Ways to Gain Meaningful Relationships through Facebook

Become a Real Business

One of the first steps you have to take to ensure that you’re building proper relationships is to create a real Facebook business page. Becoming a legitimate brand is a lot different than being an everyday Facebook user. You’re not just providing material for the fun of it; you’re directly catering to a niche with specific material that’s meant to inform. It can still be entertaining, and in fact it should be. However, you’re after business-customer relationships, and that requires you to first set up a legitimate business presence and not a basic profile.

Work to Keep People Engaged

One of the mysteries you’re going to have to solve is figuring out how to keep people engaged with your brand. If you’re selling antivirus software, for example, you’ll have to reach your niche on their level, providing for them what they need. Videos of your software in action, testimonials, and special features about your product will draw more people in and create more engagement. Each piece of material should provide something for the niche’s benefit, and once they engage with you, be sure to engage back with them.

You should also think about content beyond your actual product. Write about anything that makes your potential customers’ lives easier whether or not it’s exactly what your business is offering. In the antivirus example, this could be guides to minimizing the risk of harm (where you obviously can squeeze your product in if it fits the general topic).

Create Reachable Goals

Another way to work on building meaningful relationships via Facebook is to work in increments. You want to create goals that you’re able to reach. For example: With a new ad you’re launching, set a goal of getting 5% more engagement. Even the best Facebook ads won’t give you incredibly high engagement numbers or allow you to reach all of your fans, and attempting to reach everyone in one push may cause your material to suffer. So work with set, reachable goals in mind.

Focus on Quality Content

Making sure that you post high-quality content is going to help you succeed on every level. First and foremost, quality content is more immediately appreciated by your fans, and once Facebook notices this, your content will be delivered to more news feeds of more of your audience. Quality content also keeps your fans wanting to come back. If you’re providing something of worth for them, they’re going to consistently return to see it. This is how healthy relationships start in this type of business.

Tune Based on Metrics

Focusing on various metrics will allow you to view the progress of your relationships, and this will subsequently help you to fine tune your approach to better cater to your base. Pay attention to the overall number of likes you’re receiving, the number of interactions on your page, and also the number of signups and requests you’re receiving. What kind of actions are taking place on your site? How many of your fans are taking these actions? This allows you to tighten up working areas to work better, while fixing or eliminating ineffective areas.

Having fans is one thing, but building relationships with your followers and keeping them engaged means far more brand recognition, much more respect as a business, and more customers ultimately purchasing your product at the end of the day.

Author:  Eric Taylor is a social media enthusiast who likes to share his views on the latest happenings in the field of social media. He works as freelance writer for Qwaya, a Facebook ad campaign tool that concentrates on building tools for social media marketing. Qwaya also provides high quality information, tools and up-to-date news about social media marketing strategies, most specifically in Facebook.

 

 

An estimated 90,000 experts, media and social media presenters descended on San Francisco last month for the biggest cloud computing event of the year. Dreamforce 2012 featured more than 750 education sessions, but it was a live social customer service demonstration that I remember most.

In the middle of the expo floor, the “Salesforce Service Cloud Call Center” fielded calls, tweets, posts and updates from Dreamforce attendees in real time. The center was ringed by flashy streams of social conversations that resembled stock exchange tickers. These enabled onlookers to watch and learn from their practiced responses.

I was able to glean a few key takeaways from watching the center in action. For those of you that weren't able to attend, here's a few of those best practices for better socialized customer service.

Always Post a Public Response

Salesforce.com Senior Vice President of Solutions Marketing Fergus Griffin told me every company should at least be thinking about customer service through social.

“I guarantee your customers are already using the channel, and they’re probably already talking about your brand,” he said.

If these mentions are negative, social media gives your consumers a means to spread the news far and fast. To mitigate this risk, companies should always acknowledge the comment in social before taking the interaction to another channel. Salesforce Service Cloud Call Center agents demonstrated this in best practices at Dreamforce. If an attendee asks a highly technical question on Twitter, the agent might reply, “I’m emailing you now!” or “Here’s a link to a Chatter discussion on this topic.”

This approach publicly demonstrates that the company is listening and responds to everyone.

Plan Your Process

Many companies struggle with creating an efficient process for handling social media requests. If the community manager sees the comment on Twitter and responds, how does the company track that interaction? What if the question on Facebook or Twitter needs to be discussed privately? Do you tweet your service phone number? Provide an email address? What are the risks of either?

Make sure that your team defines clear answers to all of these questions. You want the resolution to be seamless and for nothing to fall through the cracks. At Dreamforce, for example, simple questions were answered right in the feed, while more complex queries were taken into email, or live chat. It's up to your team to define what's best for your product or service. Just make sure it's consistent. These experiences increase your chances of turning a latent social media follower into a brand advocate.

Hashtag Common Questions

Griffin told me that last year during Dreamforce most interactions across all service channels involved questions about where things were located, recommendations for events, and tips for getting around the conference. Hashtags allow customer service managers to instantly create a knowledge base for topics such as these.

During this year’s event, Salesforce Service Cloud Call Center agents used hashtags like #Dreamforc2012, #DF2012 and #DF12 to index conversations about the event. That way they could quickly reference those tweets for relevant questions.

Then, when a Dreamforce visitor tweeted, “What sessions are best for social customer service?” the agent could respond “@UserName check out everyone’s food recommendations by searching #Dreamforce2012! and #socialcustserv” When they search those hashtags, the visitor could scan through everyone’s suggestions. This saves the agent time, while still providing a helpful personal response.

Prioritize Thoughtfully

One of the biggest challenges with providing customer service through social is dealing with the sheer volume of requests. Griffin said companies should have a well-defined strategy for prioritizing responses.

This should include ranking factors from social–a Klout score, for example–and customer history. A company might choose to respond first to longtime customers or those with a history of high-value purchases.

“Companies should strike a balance between who [the customer] is in the community, but also who they are to you,” Griffin says.

At the Salesforce Service Cloud Call Center, social mention identification and prioritization was automated through Salesforce.com’s Radian6 Social Hub. This system trolled the Web for #Dreamforce, @Dreamforce and Dreamforce mentions on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms. These were instantly turned into a service ticket, prioritized and routed to the appropriate social response agent.

Engage Customers You Might Never Have Known

Customer service through social media is not just about providing another interaction channel in addition to phone, email or live chat. Social allows you to find customers who might never have sent their question otherwise. And if they never send the question, they may never get their problem solved and fears of buying eased.

How does your company handle customer service through social? Let us know by commenting here.

 Guest Author:  Ashley Furness is a CRM Software Analyst for research firm Software Advice. She has spent the last six years reporting and writing business news and strategy features. Her work has appeared in myriad publications including Inc., Upstart Business Journal, the Austin Business Journal and the North Bay Business Journal. Before joining Software Advice in 2012, she worked in sales management and advertising.