Have you figured out Facebook yet? It’s a little daunting to figure out how to use it to connect with customers.
First, the good news: based on its study of 1,500 Facebook users, ExactTarget concluded that 38 percent of online U.S. consumers “Like” (formerly “Fan”) a brand on the social networking site. And the average fan Likes nine different brands, giving you plenty of opportunity to find your way into potential customers’ news feeds.
This is the good news. It isn’t too late to recruit customers to your Facebook presence. But once you get them, what do you do with them? Don’t just start pumping out the marketing messages:
The news that presents a challenge to businesses looking to benefit from Facebook, however, is that just because someone has liked you doesn’t mean they’re ready to see your promotional messages. Citing an earlier study, ExactTarget reports that 70 percent of consumers don’t think becoming a fan equates to opting in to marketing.
There’s an interesting list of reasons why Facebook users like brands. It should be no surprise that discounts, promotions and freebies are high on the list. They also like to get information about the business.
What I find really interesting is that 39 percent (#2 reason) like a brand to show support to their friends. It’s like wearing a branded T-shirt. We can’t let this one go.
If you want loyal customers, you need to make them part of a group. This lets them belong to something bigger than just a transaction. And a Facebook group/page gives them a way to show it.