When was the last time you updated your Facebook page's status, pictures, organizational info, or addressed comments? To those of you who said within the last 48 hours, digital gold stars for you. For those of you who haven't updated your page's status within the last few days, no digital gold stars for you...I am writing this post specifically for you. And in the case anyone is asking "What is a Facebook page?" please email me immediately...I am here to help!
Facebook is a wonderful communications tool that is becoming more and more necessary. It's where the people are...the people who you depend on to make your organization a success. There was once a time when our clients and customers just dealt with how we, the organization, chose to communication. This is no longer the case. We have to be where the people, otherwise we'll remain unseen, unheard of, and unsuccessful (or not as successful as otherwise possible).
In the advertising world, we refer often to top of the mind awareness (TOMA), or positioning. How you proactively (and reactively) communicate and market your organization as a whole affects whether or not you're on your audience's mind. Why is this important? Because you want your audience to say "XYZ Hospital and Birthing Center" when they think about their baby's delivery, rather than your competitor.
There are two broad types of relationships organizations have with their audiences: short-term transactional relationships and long-term relationships. For long-term success, such as long-term donorship or long-term customers, engaging your audience is a must. Facebook is a unique social network that focuses on engagement more than Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter do. Engagement leads to loyalty which leads to sales, donations, votes, and other triumphs that are measurable by numbers.
My grocery store example included a lot. Some might say that's too much work that isn't necessary. This is where I, as I step on my social media strategist soapbox, must respectfully disagree. Engagement builds credibility, and it also shows that you care. Personifying your organization is super important in the 21st century. By sharing tips on smart shopping on your Facebook page, that mom with three small children will pay attention on how to maximize her time (and her energy and patience) in that particular store. It tells her that they aren't just interested in her money, but they recognize her situation as a shopper...and she'll appreciate that. That's the goal.
Check your Facebook page for comments all throughout the day, and respond. Don't just disappear when the comments start pouring in...address concerns, answer questions, and remember that comments (both positive and negative comments) are made because your audience is interested and cares.
So take a few minutes with your executive team to review your Facebook page. Are you selling, or are you engaging? Remember that your actions today determine tomorrow's successes and failures. And don't forget to seek professional help, such as BOLD PR. One of the services we offer is a one-time Facebook page evaluation. We analyze your current methods, the state of your page, and your social media strategy to give you feedback and suggestions on how to be more successful (I understand how important this is, even if you have super limited budgets...so this evaluation is only $50 when other firms will charge your a couple hundred).
Communication is key, especially with tools like Facebook.