For marketers, Facebook provies a robust marketing platform and exciting opportunities. It offers another way for brands to interact with consumers, foster loyalty, and learn more about the wants and needs of consumers.
However, before pubishing a Facebook Fan Page, there are a number of factors you need to take into consideration. Thinking about these issues prior launching your presence on Facebook will help ensure success.
First of all, it’s not about how many Facebook fans you can accumulate – it’s about how many truly interested people you can get engaged with your brand. You could attract millions of fans through a contest offering a new car, but when the contest is done, what have you really accomplished? How many of those fans are going to interact with your brand one month after the contest is over? If they aren’t interacting with your brand, they won’t be seeing your posts (read the post on EdgeRank)
- Listen and Observe. Is your target audience using Facebook? What are they doing on Facebook? Are they talking about your brand? What are your competitors doing? See how top brands, even if they are not in your space, are effectively engaging consumers on Facebook.
- Who’s Involved. Who will be involved in the planning and execution of your Facebook presence? Who will help provide new and interesting content? Who is responsible for distributing customer insights? Who will handle customer problems? Although you need to have one group ultimately driving the process, it needs to be a multi-department effort.
- Resource Planning. Plan the type of content you would want to provide over the course of the month. Think about much how much activity your Facebook page will get and what type of commitment you will need to address issues. Don’t expect that one post a month is going to create a robust presence. You need to be realistic about what resources are needed to provide value, interest, and service to your audience.
- Social Media Policy. If you don’t have one, establish a social media policy for the company. Do you want product managers talking about new products in advance of their release? Do you want your staff directly responding to comments on your Facebook page or anywhere else? If you do, do you make it clear they need to transparent in terms of their role at the company (vs. pretending to be Joe Consumer)? If you need help getting started, SocialMediaGovernance.com has warehoused a number of social media policies from various companies and organizations.
- Set Expectations. Set realistic expectations. Building a Facebook precense is not like laying sod – it’s more like planting seed. It takes time to see real results. You need to spend time to nuture and grow your fan base.
- Disaster Planning. What are you going to do when you get negative comments? How are you going to respond? Getting aggressive or defensive will only create more issues. See how other brands handle issues. See how consumers respond after the brand gets involved – does it add fuel to the fire or calm the situation? Talk through various possible scenarios that may arise and discuss how you would handle them.
There is no substitute for experience and you will continually be surprised with what happens on social network websites like Facebook. However, the proper consideration prior to the launch will undoubtedly help avoid major problems and increase the chance for success.