9 Ways to Become a Better Facebook Community Manager

9 Ways to Become a Better Facebook Community Manager

Source: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com

By 

Would you like to have a thriving Facebook community?

Are you looking for tips to improve your community?

In this article I’ll share 9 tips to improve your Facebook community.

#1: Know Your Voice

Branding is important on social media. Your company should have a “voice” that matches your brand and your company philosophy.

Are you more serious or do you add a little bit of snark in your posts? Do you stick mostly to business or can you be off the wall? Do you like to stir things up or do you remain neutral?

If you are a one-person operation, these decisions may be easy. But if you have multiple employees and possibly multiple people posting to the Facebook Page, you want to have the “voice of the company” communicated clearly to the people who will be managing your Facebook Page.

The voice of the company is important in how comments and community feedback are handled, as well as the day-to-day posting. Consistency in your voice will help your community know what to expect.

know your voiceModCloth has an offbeat, humorous voice that engages their audience.

#2: Have Access to Visuals

Visual marketing is becoming a vital part of Facebook and all social platforms. The more you can incorporate photos, screenshots and graphics, the richer your Facebook Page will be.

Even if your business isn’t visual, make a plan for how you will add images to your posts. You can use things like:

  • A screenshot of something you’re demonstrating
  • An interesting photo with a quote about your niche
  • An infographic with statistics about your niche
  • Behind-the-scenes photos from your company events

I like using tools like SnagitiPiccy or PicMonkey to create or modify images to make them interesting. You can even use PowerPoint to create a slide that you can then export as an image.

use imagesOrange County Animal Services uses creative images.

#3: Know the Rules

As a community manager, make sure you know Facebook’s policies. Pages can be shut down without warning for violating these policies. Usually it’s very difficult to get your Page restored and you don’t want all that hard work to go down the drain for violating Facebook’s contest terms, for example. Make sure you keep up with the updates to the terms as they do change frequently (see #7).

facebook contest violationThis Page is violating Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines and could be shut down.

#4: Know the Industry

If you are managing a Page for someone else, you need to know the industry so you can speak the lingo. It won’t reflect well on the company if you aren’t using the terminology or common acronyms correctly in your posts and follow-up comments.

know the industrySome industries have terms that you will need to know if you are managing a community for someone.

#5: Recognize Members

A community manager needs to recognize contributors and members and get to know them. If you have a physical location, you can take pictures of your community members and recognize them on your Facebook Page.

community membersRecognize your community members who come to your physical location.

Or you can find other ways to recognize your community by featuring them in a post or promoting their business somehow.

community members feature on pagePromote your community members by featuring them on your Page.

#6: Answer Questions Quickly

Promptly respond to posts or questions on your Page to create strong bonds with your community. Even if you don’t know the answer, let them know that you will get back to them. Or point them to a useful resource is another good option.

answer questions quicklyAnswer questions quickly if possible.

The good news is you have more options to get notifications when something happens on your Page. If your Page is large, these can get overwhelming, so you may need toset a schedule to check in. To access your notifications, go to Edit Page > Manage Notifications.

notificationsAdjust your notifications so you can keep on top of your posts.

#7: Stay on Top of Changes

Facebook changes a lot! There are changes to their official policies and in how things are working at any given moment. Make sure you keep track of Facebook’s official changes by following the Newsroom and the Facebook Marketing Page.

facebook news roomFollow the Newsroom on Facebook to see announcements.

For “unofficial” quirks and issues, you can always come to our Facebook Page and ask questions. Another great place to see if others are experiencing the same thing is to come to our Facebook Networking Club.

facebook clubFind out what others are seeing and get your questions answered in our Facebook Networking Club.

Some other great Facebook Pages to help you stay on top of the news are Mari Smith,Social Identities and Jon Loomer Digital.

#8: Respond Calmly to Negative Posts

If you get some angry posts for whatever reason on your Page, think before you fire off an angry response. Respond quickly (even if it’s to say we’ll get back to you), but don’t respond in the heat of the moment when you might feel like “telling them off.”

If you have some upset Facebook fans, there could be a good reason. By dealing calmly with the situation, you can hopefully salvage the relationship.

respond calmlyCampbell’s Condensed Soup acknowledges the customer’s concerns on their Page.

#9: Have Fun

Find some ways to have fun with your communityHave a Facebook “live Q&A chat” timedo a Livestream or even (gasp) go over to a Google+ Hangout.

have funHave fun with your community.

When you are having fun and sharing with your community, you are all getting to know each other better and everyone wins.

have fun encourage sharingEncourage sharing to have fun and get to know each other.

Always be thinking about how you can be a good resource for your communityand create a great experience for your fans. Your Facebook Page will grow and so will your business.

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3 Easy Steps to Engaging Your Customers

By 

Published November 29, 2012

Source: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/engagement-marketing-book-review/

 

Are your customers spreading a good word about your business?

Are you happy with your volume of referral business?

If not, it could be that your “engagement marketing engine” is not revved up.

 

What is Engagement?

Engagement is not just about unending, feel-good conversations on your blog orFacebook page.

According to Gail Goodman, author of Engagement Marketing: How Small Business Wins in a Socially Connected Worldengagement is when people qualify themselves – when a prospect raises her hand and says, “Yes, I’m interested in your company. Help me to get to know you a little more.”

Invariably people who have engaged with you online become customers at higher rates, and they in turn tell their friends about you, revving up your marketing engine over and over again.

If you’re a small business owner who wants to strengthen engagement with existing customers, get more repeat sales and even more referrals,Engagement Marketing is exactly the book for you.

Here are a few things you should know about it.

Author’s Purpose

gail goodmanGail Goodman, author of Engagement Marketing.

Gail Goodman wrote this book for small business owners who understand what it’s like to struggle to find new customers, retain old ones and get the biggest bang for your marketing buck.

As a small business expert, she knows firsthand that word-of-mouth and social media marketing can be game-changers for small organizations looking to achieve more success.

This book is about making your company so interesting and providing so much value that people will want to stay connected and maintain a relationship with you.

What to Expect

At 185 pages, Engagement Marketing is an inspiring book with relevant ideas for small business owners. In a down economy where small business has borne the brunt of the recession, Gail’s book points to a silver lining that will have you feeling more confident about the future.

She shows how small organizations across the country (Gourmet Coffee, Maas Nursery, Currier Museum of Art, The Beantown Sound and many others) are using creative engagement tactics (despite the fierce competition) to find new customers, win back old ones and make more money.

Here are some useful things you will learn:

  • The engagement marketing cycle – the idea of getting new customers through existing ones.
  • How social visibility happens – when your social network shares your content, your business is exposed to new prospects whom you can subsequently convert.
  • Engagement marketing tips and tricks – 5 additional insider tips that further increase your social visibility and ultimately bring in new customers.
  • And much more!

Highlights

The gist of Engagement Marketing is that when you delight your customers by serving them well, and then deepen your relationship with them via social media, they will give you more repeat business and even lead others to you.

Engagement marketing is a three-step process.

the engagement marketing cycleThe Engagement Marketing Cycle – experience, entice, engage!

#1: Deliver a WOW! Experience

One of the best ways to figure out whether you’re delivering a great customer experience is to look at your business from the outside inAsk yourself the following:

  • When people call your office, are they put on hold for 5 minutes, stuck listening to “Your call is very important to us” every 10 seconds?
  • What happens when you try to access your website from a mobile phone?
  • Is your website built on Flash?
  • When a customer complains about your service, does someone from your office respond immediately or are these comments ignored?

Here’s what a WOW! experience looks likeGourmet Coffee Service delivers office refreshment products to companies in the greater Los Angeles area.

Following their slogan ”We’re going to spoil you,” they send a driver out to the customer’s workplace every four weeks. When the driver arrives, he doesn’t just drop off the products (and an invoice). He straightens up and restocks the pantry, and then he cleans and maintains the coffee brewer. That in itself helps to keep costs down for the customer. The company also sends out nice, easy-to-read invoices.

Remember, when you deliver a WOW! experience, customers will be interested and open to keeping in touch with you.

#2: Entice Customers to Keep in Touch

Now that you’ve wowed your customers, the next thing you’ll want to do is entice them to keep in touch via email or social media. It’s important to keep in touch with customers for two reasons.

  • It drives repeat sales because it helps draw them back to your business.
  • It keeps you top-of-mind. Even if they delete your emails, your name stays on their radar and the next time they need your product again, they’ll be more likely to call you.
reception bell with hand isolated on whiteRepeat business is more likely to happen when you’ve kept in touch with customers. Image source: iStockphoto

Gourmet Coffee Service knows how to entice customers to stay in touch.

First they use their email newsletter to feature new tea and coffee products, biscotti or eco-friendly cups and napkins. Customers choose whatever they want to sample and email their requests back to the company. Dedicated reps then handle the orders and ensure that customers get their “goody bags” when their driver visits next.

They also have a “Refer a friend” campaign whereby customers who refer a friend via email receive gift certificates for more delicious treats.

There’s one thing that you have to be careful about with email newsletters and social media content, however. “You have to walk a fine line between content that benefits your customers and content that is self-serving,” cautions Bob Tullio, owner of Gourmet Coffee.

#3: Engage People

Once your customers opt into your social content, you have to make sure they stay by engaging them on a regular basis.

Engaging people means delivering interesting, relevant content that gets them to take an action. Engagement includes everything from likes, comments and shares to downloads, event registrations and online purchases.

Keep in mind that online participation often translates into offline engagement.

Gourmet Coffee engages fans on their Facebook page with exciting giveaways and contests such as their “Driver Contest.” Customers were invited to post comments about why they love their drivers. (Editor’s note: All Facebook competitions are subject to Facebook’s guidelines. You can find out more here.)

The company also committed to giving away valuable prizes (e.g., Bose SoundDock Digital Music Systems) by entering people who liked their page in a weekly drawing. Winners were announced each week through videos posted on Facebook.

In just 11 months after implementing these easy engagement tactics, Gourmet Coffee earned more than $100,000 in additional revenue, and the “Refer a friend” campaign netted dozens of referrals, with 7 of them turning into $5000-a-month accounts!

If you put yourself in customers’ shoes, you can see why it would be easy for them to keep in touch with a company that delights them with sample goody bags, clean pantries, dedicated reps and drivers, interesting newsletters and amazing content.

Key Takeaways

  • Figure out how you can provide a WOW! experience to your customers. It doesn’t have to break the bank, it just needs to be delightful (being on time, nice packaging, thank-you notes, customer rep phone calls to ensure everything is OK and so on).
  • Start with one initial connection method (e.g., email newsletter or a blog) for enticing customers to keep in touch. Remember engagement marketing is an opt-in strategy, so give customers a reason (i.e., a benefit) to keep in touch with you.
  • Once you have that piece gaining traction, add a social media platform(where your customers hang out) and experiment with different types of content to see what your potential customers like. Be sure to measure results and repeat what works.

Personal Impression

Gail’s book offers a practical, hands-on approach to using social media for customer engagement. I especially enjoyed her case studies because she used ordinary small businesses that were easy to relate to.

I also liked many of her budget-friendly content marketing tips. For example, when creating incentives for your email newsletter, do something simple and cheap such as bundling your five most popular blog posts into a special “toolkit” report.

On the downside though, I felt that the whole idea of “engagement marketing” is nothing new. Most business owners know that they must provide a great customer experience if they want to stay in business.

It’s true that social media has created new opportunities to entice and engage customers (and the book gives many good examples), but even that has been in place for a long time.

That said, I highly recommend the book because it delivers very important yet achievable strategies for using social media to attract repeat and referral business.

Social Media Examiner gives this perceptive book a 4-star rating.