In the nature of my business, I get a lot of referrals from friends and other clients, which of course, I love. Many times, though, I think people feel a little intimidated because they are considering spending money on something they don’t altogether understand. These conversations go a little bit like this:
“Hi!! So-and-so said that I should call you about getting social media for my company. I have a personal Facebook account…but I gotta be honest here…I don’t GET Facebook. Not at all. I don’t really know half of those people who sent me friend requests…why in the hell would I care that they had a tuna melt for lunch?! And I certainly don’t want to know that their love life is ‘complicated’ or that they are addicted to an even more puzzling thing called Farmville. And I’ve just received an email alerting me that my cousin ‘poked’ me and I’m really, really starting to worry about him.”
I usually remind them that participation in Facebook is not a mandatory experience…closing an account is pretty simple. And I run over the ways that you can either drop your fake friends so that you can better engage with your real ones, either by quietly deleting them or at least silencing them so you don’t have to read about their crazy Farmville antics. But I think what they really want to know is how they, essentially a Facebook novice, can harness the power that it holds to build a deeper relationship with current and prospective customers? They keep hearing people ask “Do you have a Facebook page?” and they want to be able to say yes…but is it worth the time and/or money to get started?
First of all, getting a page set up is really not that hard. In fact, if you follow this link, it will essentially walk you through the process. Some people hire us to do that for them and that’s fine, too. But the real question is how do you explain the value of having a Facebook business page with someone who doesn’t value Facebook for personal use?
The answer is pretty simple. Fish where the fish are!
If you owned a store that catered to lower income people who may not be able to afford a car, it might make sense to advertise on bus stops. Does that mean that you, too, have to start riding the bus, even though you have a perfectly good Honda in your driveway?? Of course not. But chances are excellent that if you are catering to a B2C demographic between the ages of 13 and 65, your target market is on Facebook. If you have quality products or services, and are willing and able to communicate with your “fans” in an authentically engaging way, then Facebook is, indeed for you.
The other day I noticed that Lands’ End posted a sale on Facebook for a fleece sweater that I wanted. With great haste, I clicked on their link and carefully chose the size and color only to find out that they were out of it and the site wouldn’t allow a backorder. Frustrated, I tried every other color but they were out.
I went back to their fan page and noticed that lots of people were making the same comments…there were no sizes left even though the promotion had over 8 hours left. I posted a note on their wall, stating something like, “Hey. Thanks for wasting my time…you have none of these left in any size. Next time you post a promotion, maybe you should make sure you have some inventory.”
Did I overreact?? Maybe…after all, it was only a $15 sweater.
About 5 minutes after my post, someone from Lands’ End WROTE BACK. My initial reaction was one of fear. Gah!! I’m not invisible!!
But I got over that and read the response, “We’re really sorry about the trouble you had ordering our sweater. The promotion was much more popular than we predicted and we quickly ran out of most sizes and colors. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll see what I can do to get you the color and size you wanted.”
I wrote back and declined the offer but told them how impressed I was that they were listening. REALLY listening. And then, they responded. What a concept.
The outcome of this was fairly simple. The social media team at Lands’ End took a disgruntled customer and reignited the flame of her passion for its’ brand. They did this through listening and responding. A couple of days later I found myself needing some pants for my kids. My very first stop was LandsEnd.com, where I spent around $100. And that, my friends, is how the game is played!