Thinking Inside the Box Part II – 7 Cool Ways to Engage Your Customers on Facebook – Jason Elkins

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I was asked to guest blog for Bill Seaver, one of my social media mentors this week!  You can read Part 1 of Thinking Inside the Box – 7 Cool Features for Your Custom Facebook Fan Page, here.


Part II of “Thinking Inside the Box” deals with engagement.  I believe that simply having a great fan page isn’t enough to truly engage your fans, much like simply having a website is not a great internet marketing strategy.  A social media plan can be very helpful.  It acts as a road-map, providing direction and creative ideas for engagement.  I have been enjoying developing social media plans for my clients, and here are some ideas that they are implementing.

Engagement

When you go to a party, are you selling all the time? Please don’t use your fan page as a megaphone to tell the world every facet of your business. Develop some creative ideas, and use your page to build relationships and engage with people.

  1. Testimonial Tuesdays: Ask for or post testimonials on a specific day of the week. How has your service impacted a customer? Tell other customers about it on your Facebook Fan Page.
  2. What is it Wednesdays: We helped a pest control company develop a free service called “What is it Wednesdays.” Anyone can post pictures of pests on the company fan page for identification. These conversations have lead to sales.
  3. No Fry Fridays: A propane company wants to promote propane grilling and will be asking the question “What are you grilling this weekend, post your pictures here.” They are developing an environment where people can share their recipes.
  4. First Date Questions: Ask questions to get your fans talking. You would be surprised what kind of feedback you receive by asking people what music/tv/sports/hobbies they enjoy.
  5. Contests: One of our clients is a bus company that makes long trips with lots of different types of riders. They will be offering a free meal/gift card to a specific seat number on specific trips. They are only announcing this on Facebook and you have to be their friend to participate.
  6. Places: Are you a business that relies on foot traffic? Create a ‘Place’ using the Places application on Facebook and reward your regular attendees with a % off for the most ‘check-ins’ in a month. You could offer a ‘bring a friend’ promotion so you are not losing money, but gaining another potential fan. Bill Seaver mentioned his appreciation for “Foursquare” in an earlier post, and the Places application has similar functionality.
  7. Donate Money for Likes/Fans: The pest control company rolled out a plan this week where they are offering $1 for every Like/Fan they get between now and the end of November. They are passionate about child literacy and heard that “Robertson County Reads” (a program that gives children age 1-5 a book every month) was in danger of losing funding. They wanted to engage their fans in a unique way and also help bring awareness to this cause.

If you are wondering how often to post contest/idea information vs. company details, I would suggest using a modified version of Bill Seaver’s “Twitter Balance Score” for Facebook Engagement.   Ask questions, offer value and once a week mention a promotion, service or special.

I mentioned in the first article that just having a fan page isn’t enough to keep your fans coming back… You really need to engage with them. Try some or all of these ideas and keep me posted on your progress!

Jason Elkins

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