Three years ago, brands were having hushed, frantic discussions about what the deal was with this “Web 2.0” business.
Two years ago, most major brands realized social media wasn’t going anywhere. Some of the brave ones jumped head first into the deep waters of Facebook branding.
A year ago, most brands reluctantly signed up to Facebook (many of them clueless as to why they were even there).
And today, everyone (and their mother) has a Facebook page.
The competition for eyeballs and clicks is as fierce as ever. So how do smaller brands garner followers and how do larger brands keep up momentum?
It is a fact that the most popular Facebook pages are ones that generate conversations. These conversations can be about a brand, about a product, about current events or about Lady Gaga. Frankly, it’s shocking to see how many companies have Facebook fan pages that are all “Me! Me! Me!” Breaking News: Your followers are not on your Facebook page to find out more about you. They either want to interact with your brand or with other followers and if you don’t give them an avenue for either, they WILL stop following you.
Here are a few ways to increase conversations on your site. Some of them are common sense, some a little whacky.
1. Ask for opinions about your brand/ product: People love to give their opinion…on anything and everything. It makes them feel important. So incorporating a survey or asking your followers to let them know what their favorite flavor of your soda is will generate a great amount of interest. The most important thing to remember here is to be as specific as possible in your status by giving options. Generic or vague questions rarely get answered.
2. Post a silly question: “What color is your bra?” Under most circumstances, this question would seem creepy or chauvinist. Only on Facebook can it generate a massive movement among women. Online, everyone loves to let loose and join in a fun conversation.
Say you’re a winery, you could post the following as your status: “If you were a wine, what kind would you be? We’d be a cabernet” This is a harmless way to have some fun and show your personality to your fans.
3. Fill in the blanks: Most people hate to see something incomplete: Prompt them with an interesting idea and they are certain to complete your thoughts.
For example, a speaker company could post: “If I could jam with any band or artist, dead or alive, I’d pick…”
4. Photo contests: These can be a great way to promote people to use your product and advocate for your brand. Recently, Aviation Modelworks, an airplane model company, recently asked their followers to take a picture of themselves with their favorite airplane model and post it on their wall. The top 3 photos with the most likes and comments were awarded prizes.
Contests like these force your followers to get creative and generate conversations for you. It’s also a fun way to see how customers are using your product since the most popular photos are usually the whackiest!
5. Talk and respond to your fans!: This is probably the most important way to increase conversations on your page. Your customers and fans will feel special if you take the time to respond to them. However, it can be a little awkward if you respond to every comment or wall post so be selective in how often and to who you respond.