It’s hardly news that businesses are setting up pages on Facebook to establish a presence for their brand on the world’s most popular social networking website. Sure, it’s easy enough for anyone to sign up, set up a profile for their business and open their virtual doors to the world.
But actually getting people to go out of their way to engage with your business online is a whole other story. There are countless ways that people entertain and inform themselves while using the Web on their computers, tablets and smartphones. So how can your business cut through the clutter, rise above the crowd, and become the one that motivates their customers to become brand ambassadors?
Learn from the best
Your specific content strategy will depend on your niche and your market. But one great way to learn what works is to learn from success stories.
One of these social media marketing success stories is found at Coastal.com. A leading online retailer of eyeglasses and contact lenses, Coastal.com recently celebrated a major milestone–they attracted their 1 millionth like on Facebook. Earlier in 2013, they were named the #3 website on Internet Retailer’s Social Media 300 rankings, and they have far more Facebook fans than any of their competitors in the optical/eyewear category.
To celebrate reaching the 1,000,000 likes milestone, Coastal.com produced a YouTube video, thanking their fans for the continued support:
Make your customers the stars
One striking thing about this video is that it is populated with images of happy Coastal.com customers, showing off their new pairs of glasses in photos of they shared on Facebook.
A great lesson to learn here: make your customers the stars! Rather than thinking, “how can I get my customers to be my brand ambassadors?”, turn that thought on its head and ask yourself, “how can I be ambassador of my customers?”
Make your customers the star of your show. Feature them on your Facebook page and on your company blog, and share them on your social media profiles. As a consumer, I love it when I feel like I’m appreciated by the businesses I frequent.
Give your fans something they’ll like
As I write this, I’m looking at Coastal.com’s Facebook feed. One thing I noticed immediately was that every post features either an image or a video. On Facebook, your feed is likely filled with dozens of new posts each day, so it’s important to feature a striking image that makes you want to stop and look.
Of course, not every business has such a visual appeal as a “style” brand like Coastal.com, but if you flex your creative muscles, you can figure out ways to include great images in your feed. Stay connected to current events that your customers will like.
For example, a new film version of the literary classic The Great Gatsby by director Baz Luhrman is about to hit theatres. Coastal.com uses their Facebook page to demonstrate their brand’s personality by commenting on the striking fashions worn by actress Carey Mulligan in the movie, and the post features a promotional poster featuring the beautiful star. The tie-in? A suggestion for the perfect pair of sunglasses to wear with her outfits with a link to the page where you can buy them.
People like the movie, people like the post: over a hundred likes in the first three hours.
Stay in-touch and on-brand
Further down is a stylish poster with the inspirational message “Keep Calm and Summer Will Come” superimposed over a filtered photograph of a tropical beach at sunset. Longing for summer certainly strikes a chord with people, and as a result, the post has garnered nearly 900 likes. The tie-in? A link to Coastal.com’s sunglasses page.
Coastal.com’s brand is all about designer style at affordable prices, and their Facebook feed reflects that. There are links to features on their style blog “The Look”, where you’ll find articles on designer labels, trends, and style icons, alongside posts advertising their latest discount eyeglasses deals.
And if you can develop content that features your customers using your products, you’ve struck gold. The Look has a feature called “Outfit of the Week”, where Instagram users are celebrated for putting together a fabulous ensemble that inspires fans to incorporate Coastal.com’s designer eyeglasses into their style.
Develop a posting mindset and stick with it
You may not have a team of creative people working for you to put together all this great content. You may be too busy pouring your heart and soul into your business to spend a lot of time preparing Facebook posts.
But if you can figure out an angle that keeps your Facebook posts simple and image-driven, you can develop a can use a smartphone to easily share photos on your brand’s Facebook wall. Or you can set up a Google Alert to let you know when relevant shareable images appear on the web.
Keep up with your posting routine and your fans will look forward to your next offering that speaks to them. You should know how to satisfy the needs of your target market, so it shouldn’t be a stretch to imagine what kinds of content they’ll like to see on their Facebook feed.
Stick to it, encourage people to like your brand, and give them reasons to share your awesome content with everyone they know.
Daniel Butterfield is a digital marketing professional and blogger who writes about digital marketing, technology and culture, offering advice for businesses and individuals seeking to understand how to use digital media to their advantage.