Published on August 18th, 2011 | by Contributing Author6
9 Ways to Delight Your Facebook Fans Without Giving Away The Farm
When it comes to social media marketing, and Facebook in particular, the name of the game is engagement. Conventional wisdom says that the best way to keep your Facebook fans engaged is to reward them, the most obvious way being with free products, discounts and other types of giveaways. For many small businesses or businesses with limited resources, though, doing this on a regular basis is tough. So, instead of thinking of this as a barrier, think of it as a creative challenge. Here are nine other ways the creative marketer can engage and delight their fans and customers without spending a dime.
1. Ask Questions
One of the primary reasons your customers become fans on Facebook is to have a channel to interact with your business. Make it easy by asking them questions and giving them a reason and an opportunity to start a dialogue. Asking questions on Facebook can be a great way to gather valuable feedback about your company, but can just as easily be used to have a little fun. Think about the kinds of things that will get your customers talking and start the conversation!
2. Provide Exclusive News
People love to feel in the know or ahead of the curve. Have a new product coming out or an upcoming sale that hasn’t been announced yet? Reward your Facebook fans by sharing the news with them a few days early.
3. Lift The Curtain
In the same vein, giving your fans a behind the scenes look at your business can be a great way to start conversations and make them feel special. Day-to-day activities that we take for granted might actually be fascinating to many of your customers. It doesn’t have to be directly related to your business, though. Do you or any of your employees have interesting hobbies or community service projects? These kinds of stories make for great Facebook content.
4. Let The Games Begin
What’s more delightful than playing games? There’s a reason social games like Farmville and Mafia Wars have taken over your Facebook newsfeed, and there’s no reason you can’t get in on the fun. Try asking your fans trivia questions or challenging them to take pictures of themselves and their friends using your products or visiting your locations. Facebook doesn’t allow contests that aren’t run through 3rd-party applications, but there aren’t rules against playing games for fun.
5. Rally Around A Cause
If your company already contributes to a charity with any sort of regularity, why not get your fans involved? Cause marketing is an extremely powerful way to engage your fans, make a difference, and give your brand a bit of personality while you’re at it. Try tying your donation to fan activity by pledging incremental donations when your fans like your status. Don’t know what cause to support? Take a cue from idea #1 and ask your fans for their input.
6. Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
Simply recognizing your fans is a great way to bring smiles to their faces. In fact, recognizing a winning fan can be a great “prize” for the games in idea #4. Consider selecting a fan every week to feature on your wall and thank them for their support. A little goodwill goes a long way.
7. Be Responsive
Another form of fan recognition that is often overlooked is to respond when they leave a comment on your wall. While it may be obvious to respond to a direct question, responding to other comments might not be so intuitive. If a fan leaves a compliment on your wall or responds to one of your status updates, take the time to acknowledge it. There’s no better way to show your customers that you’re listening.
8. Take It Offline
Does your business have a physical location? Would what you do be interesting to your fans? Behind the scenes tours are a great way to reward them. Perfect for everything from restaurants to artists workshops to manufacturing facilities, selecting a fan on a regular basis for an exclusive behind the scenes tour is an awesome way to get them to interact with your page. As an added bonus, your fans will be inclined to share this experience with their networks and you may even earn some new customers in the process!
9. Don’t Give Away The Farm, Give Away A Dozen Eggs Instead
Okay, so technically this costs money, but the point is it doesn’t have to be a lot. What little rewards might you have that fans will appreciate nonetheless? T-shirts, USB drives, a small discount off their next purchase…little rewards have the ability to delight your customers as well. Small rewards also give you the opportunity to do more promotions on a recurring basis. While one large sweepstakes may create some buzz and make one winning fan really happy, a lot of small ones make it so the fun doesn’t have to end.
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