Facebook Pages offer an excellent opportunity to engage with customers online. Social media marketing is often analogized to a cocktail party. Effective networking at a cocktail party entails meeting people and discussing relevant topics of interest. Traditional marketing typically invokes a one way communication channel. Facebook marketing changes this, and that’s a good thing.
Why Should a Page Keep Their Timeline Open?
- Gives fans a voice
- Customer service
Give Fans a Voice
It is important to provide fans a voice. The cocktail party analogy can provide key insights into the issue. Imagine trying to network at an event with exclusively one sided conversation. The silent party may not listen for long if they feel their opinion serves little purpose. These emotions are similar (albeit not as strong) to how Facebook users feel when their voice is denied by brands.
It’s important to provide this voice to the customer and actually listen to what they have to say. After all, these people are the ones who create the revenue that drives your company. You should care what they have to say.
Often brands are leery of receiving negative complaints on their timeline, that will then be seen by future, or current, customers. I personally encourage brands to wear their issues on their sleeve. This adds a large incentive for companies to take care of these issues, the right way. Solving these issues in the public eye could serve as positive PR in the future.
Bonus: Customer service that is above and beyond expectations has the opportunity to be publicly visible. In some cases, these situations can propagate even further through the internet, as people take notice of great customer service.
Social media driven customer service is one of the most underutilized components of social marketing. Companies have an opportunity to quickly serve and help customers in an often preferred manner, as compared to telephone support, or even chat support. On Facebook many customer support issues may even result in the user becoming a fan.
Retail brands should be aggressive responding to customer support on social media. Often these users are interested in purchasing the product. Imagine being able to ask Best Buy if a particular product is in stock—Best Buy routes the question to the user’s local location and determines whether the product is in stock. The likelihood of a fan making this purchase is extremely high.
The key to being successful in social media is to be social. Avoiding posts on a company’s timeline is anti-social. Embrace your fans, embrace your customer support issues, own your issues, and solve them. Social media will reward you accordingly if done right.