Are you doing all you can to attract, engage with and market to customers on Facebook? If you’re like most businesses, the answer is no, reports the ExactTarget Audience Growth Survey conducted late last year.
The study found that simple Facebook marketing tactics such as putting a Facebook button on a company’s website or marketing materials didn’t work nearly as well as tactics that involve customer service and support. Overall, businesses in the survey didn’t consider providing customer service and support to be one of their top Facebook goals, but those that did provide service and support found it really helped their marketing.
For example, 76 percent of companies have Facebook “Like” buttons on their website or blog, but just 46 percent said that was effective for marketing. In contrast, just 34 percent of companies say they answer customer service questions on Facebook, but 69 percent of those who did say it was an effective marketing tactic.
Here are some other tactics that marketers in the study said were highly effective:
- Providing how-to information and frequently asked questions (FAQs) on Facebook – just 29 percent do this, but 50 percent say it’s effective.
- Posting informative and/or entertaining posts regularly – 67 percent say this is effective.
- Holding product or prize giveaways on Facebook – only 39 percent do this, but 70 percent say it’s effective.
- Working with bloggers and other influencers to promote one’s Facebook page—just 33 percent do this, but 56 percent say it’s effective.
- Advertising on Facebook – Only 30 percent buy display ads and 25 percent buy Sponsored Stories, but 52 percent say display ads are effective and 67 percent say Sponsored Stories are.
- Directing customers to Facebook for customer support – just 17 percent do this, but 50 percent say it’s effective.
What’s the takeaway? This study doesn’t suggest you should stop using simple tactics like including Facebook buttons in email newsletters or other marketing materials—but it does suggest you need to move beyond that to use Facebook as a truly interactive forum. Answering customer service questions, regularly posting useful content and giving away products or prizes are the most effective “free” ways to use Facebook, while Sponsored Story ads are right up there, too.
If you’ve got some wiggle room in your marketing budget, try advertising on Facebook—it’s easy to target customers very narrowly, and you can learn a lot by shelling out just a little bit of money.
If you do decide to provide customer service on Facebook, be sure you have the staff to support it and that you monitor your Facebook page regularly so you can be responsive. There’s nothing worse than customer complaints or requests for help sitting unnoticed on Facebook for hours (or days!), so if you don’t have the manpower to handle those comments, start slow by posting FAQs or other customer service tools that allow customers to help themselves.
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