This is part 2 of our 6 part series, The Tried and True Method for Growing Your Facebook Fan Base
How we contributed up to 20% in sales growth for our independent business clients via Social Media
In our last article we shared the tried and true method for growing your Facebook fan base. By taking just three simple steps, you can watch your Facebook fan numbers grow. And while metrics and numbers are important, we think you’ll agree that creating more brand awareness and deepening the relationships with current and future customers is what really grows sales. After all, that is how you build sales for your independent business inside your four walls.
The best way to keep fans engaged is to interact with guests that visit your page, just like you do offline everyday. Replying to comments, reviews, etc. are excellent ways for you to engage and further acquaint fans with your greatness!
Whether your fan is a lifelong customer or a potential new customer you want to make sure they know that you’re listening. This puts your independent business in a humanizing light and makes your brand relatable.
Also, the more interaction guests have with your Facebook page the greater the opportunity that current and future fans have of seeing your Facebook posts. If they do not see your posts, well, they are not going to be engaging online with you.
Have your ever wondered why you’ve stopped seeing posts from Facebook pages you follow? If you haven’t interacted (commented, liked, etc.) with the Facebook page that you decided to follow, Facebook Inc. assumes you’re not very interested in that content and places it in a lower priority until it eventually vanishes from your newsfeed altogether. We don’t want that to happen to your content!
So how exactly can your interaction on Facebook influence potential leads? You build a relationship - and that all starts with gaining awareness.
Whenever someone replies to an image or status update, they are telling you that they believe your Facebook content has been of some type of value to them. No engagement = no Bueno. Whether it’s a question, statement, or a Facebook fan has tagged a friend, they are placing a vote and letting you know that they value that content. So just like when someone reaches out to your business across the counter, via email or on the phone, you would reply to them.
We all agree it would be strange if someone calls you on the phone and you don’t say anything after you pick up the phone. So, why would you not acknowledge Facebook fans that are leaving comments on your Facebook page? The neat thing is if you start replying to your fans comments, they will come back for more!
Now, depending upon the content and the type of comment the fan leaves your response may consist of – but certainly not limited to:
- Gratitude – thank them for commenting
- Follow up questions – ask them if they like or have tried your product/service
- Up-selling – make them aware of other products/services you offer
- Water-cooler talk – show common interest in local sports team, weather, movies, etc. Don’t you have non-business related conversations with your customers everyday? You should be doing the same online, but so few do!
Keep the conversation casual. This is not the time to make your great sales pitch. Do you directly sell to the customer when they enter your door? No! Break the ice with some casual conversation. Take some interest in them.
Not every comment is a potential lead for your business, but it can be an excellent opportunity to develop goodwill. Remember, when someone comments on your Facebook page, there is a good chance their comment will be seen by their friends. Word of mouth – it’s what you want!
Guest check-ins to your establishment are akin to word-of-mouth. Facebook users receive notification of their friends’ check-ins. They are telling their friends, “Hey, look where I am!” Here’s your opportunity to thank guests for visiting and encourage them to come back. You can also ask them how they enjoyed it. Be prepared to hear honest feedback though.
When their friends see how your business goes above and beyond by reaching out to guests, their perception of your brand is more positive. This humanistic approach to social media is not only refreshing but desired.
We continue to see results from the above tried and true method, and this is largely due to the high focus we put on interaction and continuing to build the relationship online. For one of our clients, Hirsch’s Meat Market in Plano, Texas, we not only grew their Facebook fans from just over 2,000 to more than 4,500 organically in about a year (see below), we were able to increase their sales by 7%.
We truly believe this is a result of creating pertinent content and implementing the procedures above that eventually led to a high interaction rate from their Facebook fans = Word of mouth. Commenting and engaging in conversation with their fans on Facebook helped to drive brand awareness and thus ultimately more customers walking through the door.
Reaching out to customers and potential customers on Facebook is just an extension of what you’re already doing in your business everyday. Sales are built on a foundation of strong relationships with customers. When customers witness you showing the same amount of care and compassion to your online interactions with them as you do off-line, they feel connected to you and your brand. This connectivity then helps to develop a sense of loyalty and overall satisfaction – in other words, a customer for life.
Our next post: The Right Way to Respond to Facebook Reviews