Are you struggling to grow your Company Facebook page and need some inspiration? Social Media platforms can seem a maze and very daunting to start off with when you want to market your business on them. However several companies and brands have been successful and achieved a brilliant ROI from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and others.
- Strategy: You first need to have a Social Media Strategy in place and each business will be different. From small companies to large brands, each implementing tactics to increase engagement with their Facebook fans.
- Advertsing: Many use Facebook advertising including Promoted Posts. Success doesn’t come for free but neither does it have to cost much, as you can choose your own budget and tactics.
- B2C: In most respects B2C companies are going to be more successful on Facebook because of the very nature of it; over one billion active users are on Facebook regularly so it’s like a pool of customers waiting for you to dive in.
- B2B: For B2B companies they have to work harder to connect with other businesses on Facebook; however, remember that essentially every business consists of those people in the pool too.
So what do you wish to achieve using your Company Facebook Page?
- Increasing relevant likes – Likes by people that aren’t interested in your brand aren’t relevant so you need to be attracting people who want to know more about your business. Even better are people who like what you do and will happily share it with their network too.
- Engagement with your potential customers – Getting people commenting on your status updates will spread your exposure across more newsfeeds plus Facebook will realise people are interested in your page so you will show up on more timelines. Ensure you respond to keep conversations going too as these could be your potential customers.
- Increase word of mouth – Facebook is a platform where it is simple for your customers and clients to recommend your business and service. This is a great way to spread good news but be careful that bad testimonials aren’t shared; however, if they are ensure they are dealt with professionally and promptly.
- Converting likes to business – At the end of the day the final result you wish to achieve is more people being attracted to your business, purchasing your product and therefore increased turnover. There is no point in having a Facebook page doing really well but the business floundering.
Here are five brilliant examples of businesses running very successful Company Facebook pages:
# 1. Volvo on Facebook
Since joining Facebook in 2009 Volvo have achieved nearly 600,000 likes.
Obviously they are a big brand name and would have lots of money to invest in Facebook promotion however they are still a good example of a page working well. They would mainly be a B2C page; however for fleet cars they could be B2B as well but on a much smaller scale in this respect
They post 1 to 2 daily updates and on some odd days they do nothing.
- Their main focus is advertising their cars which kind of speak for themselves, attracting all the Volvo fans out there to get chatting about them.
- They upload a picture and include the URL in the status update, thus providing a picture to draw you in and then you can click on the link for further information. The other advantage to this is that Facebook sees it as a picture which they like plus a status update without the preview link – again something Facebook is liking these days.
- The pictures are stunning and of high definition so people will share them. There isn’t much interaction from Volvo with comments however the fans comment within themselves and there are lots of shares and likes, thus promoting the page organically. All Volvo have to do is put up new pictures and away it goes – easy!
# 2. Dell on Facebook
Dell would be B2B and B2C so appealing to all and although they only joined Facebook in June 2012 they have achieved over 5,400,000 likes which I would suggest would have been mostly through promoted posts and adwords to build so rapidly.
However they do use Social Media very effectively too so would have gained a lot of fans organically. The more you get the more you’ll attract.
It would appear that Dell also have the right attitude to Social Media as sales aren’t their only reason to use it. Stephen Felice, then president of Dell’s small and medium business group, spoke at CeBIT in 2010 to encourage small businesses to use social services on the web. He said that sales aren’t the only reason for their use:
“We don’t just use them for generating sales. Social media gives you information that you can use in real time, and base decisions on. This is a really powerful tool for SMBs, who don’t have the marketing dollars for traditional advertising. Social media offers a cheap way to form a really personal relationship with customers.”
Although they only joined Facebook in 2012 they have a Milestone post for each year back to 1984 when they were founded showing their progress over the years. This is a great way to highlight that they aren’t a new company and provides a history you can check back on too.
There are 2 or 3 updates a day and they mostly use pictures and links rather than a preview link alone which Facebook is preferring and will help appear in more Newsfeeds.
- Their photos are all branded so every share is getting their name seen by all.
- Their pictures vary and a lot are fun pictures including cute kittens too. They ask questions on branded pictures to encourage engagement amongst their fans and Dell also have a lot of interaction themselves in the comments.
- As with most B2C companies there are complaints posted on their page and Dell deal with them promptly and professionally taking the discussion private straight away. This is obviously important as bad news often spreads faster than good news.
# 3. Electric Ireland on Facebook
Being limited to the Irish online community the B2B and B2C Electric Ireland are doing very well with their Facebook page achieving nearly 50,000 likes since December 2010.
Like Dell they have Milestone posts going back to when they were founded and track the years back to the 1920’s providing a real history of electric in Ireland.
Electric Ireland don’t post regularly, only once a week or fortnight and sometimes less; however, they constantly use promoted posts to spread their exposure quickly.
- Their updates are mainly pictures or videos with a URL in the update rather than a preview box although these are also used sometimes.
- They run regular competitions on Facebook which attract a lot of attention and are currently sharing their new TV advert asking us to “Shazam” it. When you do you can automatically enter the completion via Shazam and win a €5k energy saving makeover for your home. At the time of writing this it has attracted nearly 7,000 shares, over 12,000 likes and 2,000 comments. Obviously this has created a lot of exposure for Electric Ireland increasing activity on their page and therefore gaining more likes too.
- Electric Ireland also partner with other brands, including charities, to cross promote competitions on Facebook which can be a win win for all involved.
# 4. Mari Smith on Facebook
Mari Smith is a Facebook Marketing Consultant so her strategy would be one to follow, especially as she would be B2B. Joining Facebook in 2008 Mari has gained over 95,000 likes.
Mari normally has one to two updates a day however yesterday (24th April) she ran an experiment of posting every couple of hours and received some great feedback. From the discussion it seems that more fans were seeing her posts in their timeline that hadn’t seen them before plus people were mentioning that the more often they post the better it works for them.
- Her updates are mainly long and don’t always include pictures or URL preview boxes however they always create a discussion point which Mari will interact with. Indeed, sometimes you can see her replying to every comment posted and normally with a handy nugget of advice. Mari gives the impression she is always happy to help and answer questions which obviously makes her more approachable and encourages comments and questions on her page.
- Mari shares and links out to great blog posts on Social Media and is then happy to discuss them in the comments with everyone which creates interesting discussions and obviously is getting seen on other peoples timelines and extending her network.
The Mari Smith page is all about Social Media and her work and she has built up a great community that are interested and join in conversations which in turn are great tips too.
# 5. Social Media Examiner on Facebook
Since joining Facebook in 2009 Social Media Examiner have gained nearly 135,000 likes.
Being a B2B company which is an online Social Media magazine they know how to be appealing on Facebook.
- They have 2 to 5 updates most days which are a varied range. They have a lot of funny pictures which attract a lot of shares and they also use a picture plus a URL rather than a link preview box.
- Social Media Examiner ask questions regularly and engage in the comments they receive thus sharing their expertise and being seen in more timelines. They share other people’s posts although they have their own daily Social Media post in their online magazine which is obviously very popular. All their posts in the magazine have a Facebook “like” and “share” button therefore they can rely on their 200,000+ daily subscribers to spread the word for them too.
- They hold regular events and these are highlighted on their Events page which create interesting chats within the people attending. Pictures from these events are also uploaded and get a lot of shares too.
So having studied these Facebook pages there are a few similarities in their Facebook strategies that stand out:-
- Use the URL in the status update rather than a preview box and where possible use it with a picture
- Post photos and pictures regularly and if they can be high definition all the better
- Chat and interact with comments
- Run regular competitions
- Post at least 2 updates a day consistently
- Ask questions and join in with the answers sharing tips
- Be fun, helpful, professional and engaging
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If you would like to talk further about how Facebook can benefit your business, or if you would like The Ahain Group to help you along this path please feel free to contact us.
The fifth annual #SMWF Europe will be gathering around 500 industry professionals; delivering experience and practical hands-on guidance from a huge collection of the world’s leading marketing and business minds.
This is the must-attend event of 2013 for Heads of Social Media & Digital Marketing, CMOs, VPs of Marketing, Brand Managers , SME marketers and Social Media Strategists. The #SMWF agenda will be examining the latest developments in social marketing with keynote talks from brands including Coca-Cola, Carlsberg, Audi, Ford, ASDA, KLM, giffgaff, BBC, Telefonica, Nissan, Disney, Unicef, Honda, Universal Music Group and many more.
Check out the full agenda here.
The Ahain Group has 2 free #SMWF Europe passes to give away!
These passes are valued at £995 each. Each pass provides:
- Access to the full agenda
- Access to the online networking tool – pre-event
- Breakfast, lunch, refreshments throughout the day, and drinks reception
All you have to do be in with a chance of winning is:
- Follow the Ahain Group on Twitter
- And tweet “I’m following the @AhainGroup to win 2 #SMWF Europe passes worth £1990″
The winner will be drawn and notified on Monday, the 4th of March 2013.
- Offers ends at 1pm GMT on the 4th of March, 2013.
- Only those people that are following The Ahain Group on Twitter, and have tweeted the above tweet will be entered.
Updated: 5th of March 2013. Winner Announced:
Congratulations Karen McCarthy @CalypsoIT
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If you would like to discuss Social Business with The Ahain Group please feel free to contact us.
Since Twitter first started in July 2006 it has grown to 500+ million registered members and 140+million active users worldwide sending out 340 million tweets a day (Twitter stats March 2012). Find out how to best use Twitter for business including getting set up, finding followers, tweeting, managing accounts and marketing.
The business case for using Twitter
- 34% of marketers have generated leads using Twitter, and 20% have closed deals
- 77 of the world’s 100 largest companies maintain a corporate Twitter account. But media outlets are the most active users
- 2 out of 3 social media users believe Twitter influences purchases
- 50% of people follow brands on Twitter
- 75% of companies now use Twitter as a marketing channel
- 66% of questions asked on Twitter have some commercial intent
Setting up an account is simple although there are a few other aspects to consider when creating a business account.
- Go to www.twitter.com and choose a username for your Twitter account.
- Ideally this will be the name of your company but bear in mind that a tweet is limited to 140 characters and as you will want Retweets (see later) the shorter your Twitter name the better.
- Make sure the name does match your business and makes sense though.
Ensure you fill out all the details in your Profile including a link to your website and bio. You only have a small space to fit your bio into so get as much useful information in there as you can – remember this is what will help persuade some tweeters to follow you.
Depending on the size of your business you may decide to use your logo as the avatar (picture), or to be more personal you may use a picture of yourself.
- Use the “Settings tab” to choose a background and header picture for your account.
- Using Powerpoint or a similar programme you can be creative using your company logo, contact details, mission statement or just something abstract that people will remember you by.
On your profile page you also have the option to connect your Twitter feed to your Facebook updates. If you are short for time and happy to have the same output on Facebook as Twitter then go ahead and do this. However there are a few important points to consider here:-
- A tweet is limited to 140 characters and a Facebook update isn’t so you could be putting a Facebook update to better use
- Twitter uses @ and # which wouldn’t work on Facebook and looks strange therefore
- Facebook works far better using pictures and a Twitter update won’t provide a picture
- People actually don’t like seeing cross-over updates because it can be seen as lazy
Finding people to follow and getting followers
It can be very daunting when you first start on Twitter but remember we have all been there at some point. Think of the network on Twitter like a spiders web growing outwards as you connect with more people, and the more you connect with the larger and quicker it will grow.
- However, always bear in mind it isn’t the number of followers that is important, it is the number of “relevant” followers. There is no point having 1,000 followers that aren’t interested in your business at all. Better to have just 100 that are.
- When you set up your account Twitter gives you an option to contact your email address book to invite them to follow you. Using this option would depend on your address book and your connections with them so it’s your choice.
Follow people you respect
Start by following people you respect in business and see what they are doing on Twitter. They could be a good example for you to learn from too. The web based Twitter will recommend people to follow based on your preferences and business.
Search for words that may be used in your business to see people who may be either in the same type of work or looking for a business like yours. Join in conversations that relate to what you do or have a knowledge of.
If you want to focus on a specific geographic area then search for Tweeters local to that area – www.nearbytweets.com can be a useful tool for this.
Other social networks
If you are already on other Social networks like Facebook and Linkedin ask for some Twitter follows from people you are already connected with.
Show your username
Ensure you have your Twitter username on your contact pages. All your Social Media links should be on your website, email sign-offs and business cards too.
There are no hard and fast rules on how to tweet however experience has taught us a few things along the way about what works and what doesn’t.
- Be personable and approachable on Twitter. People are more likely to follow and engage with you if you chat back. This can lead to recommendations and hopefully generate sales in the long term.
- Never do a hard sell online. Don’t just tweet about how fantastic your business or product is all the time. Be subtle. An odd sales tweet a couple of times a day is acceptable mixed in with useful and engaging tweets to attract conversation.
- Avoid all capitals in tweets – it is the equivalent to shouting.
- Never be rude to someone – it is not a good example for your business. Personal feuds that are aired online are best kept offline.
Growing your brand
If you are on Twitter for your business then ultimately you are there to grow your brand and get business. The most important element to your success on Twitter is “engagement”. Getting people engaged with you and your brand will lead to results but remember it’s a two way street – you have to engage back.
There are several ways to do this and here are just a few tips to get you going:-
If your business is a specialist in its field then offer free tips or even run an advice clinic every week using a hashtag (see later) that people will follow to find out what it is all about. Become the “go to guy” (or girl) who will happily answer questions. This could grow and lead to business and recommendations.
Blog posts are a great way to provide information about your business so make sure you share links to your blog posts or any other interesting content on your website.
If you come across interesting articles that relate to your niche or you just find interesting enough to share then tweet them, always including the Twitter name of the person or company who wrote the article. They may even reciprocate in the future.
Use Twitter to share behind-the-scenes information, pictures of your office or workspace, etc. This will help you connect with real people while also establishing your brand.
Posing questions on Twitter is a great way to get people engaged. You’ll find people wanting to help and often they’ll share the question too. This is a good way to grow your network as you respond back and create discussions.
If you have time then say hi to any new followers, especially if they are people who you want to make a good connection with. Also try to follow back Tweeters who follow you if they seem to have similar interests as you, or fit your customer demographic.
Lists and searches
You can create your own lists on Twitter to compartmentalise the Tweeters into separate groups and there is no limit to the number of lists you have. The same as the different column options on Tweetdeck and Hootsuite (see below).
- Lists make it easier to see Tweeters you are interested in. Remember these lists are public and can be searched for by other Tweeters. In this respect you can also use other people’s lists to find tweeters to follow in your line of work.
- The same as you create a list you can use a search term and save it to follow subjects you are interested in. This can be useful to watch for mentions of your brand that you may not normally see if they aren’t speaking directly to you.
A “Retweet” is when a tweet is shared by other tweeters, e,g, you may see a tweet that you think is really interesting so you can hit your retweet button and share it with your followers. If people see that you are sharing their news they may well reciprocate in the future.
- It is really good to get your informative tweets retweeted, especially when they show you as an expert in your field or maybe something interesting about your business.
- You are reaching networks outside your own with Retweets. Again, think of the spider’s web growing outwards.
Because of the 140 character limit try to keep within 120 characters if you want to be retweeted easily – this allows for your Twitter name too – some say 100 characters is even better. If someone has to try and shorten your tweet to be able to retweet then it’s less likely to happen.
New retweet button
There is the “new retweet” button which isn’t affected by the number of characters in a tweet however in some circumstances the original tweeter cannot see these Retweets so these are less likely to be effective to grow your network.
You will often see hashtags (#) used in tweets which will group together those tweets for easy reference. These are really handy when people are attending a seminar or conference so the tweets can be followed simply.
- A hashtag ties in conversations together in one place.
- They can also be used if your tweet refers to a particular subject, e.g., search for #jobfairy on Twitter and you will see lists of jobs tweeted.
- Hashtags can be used for Twitter chats so people can join in the conversation whether being followed or not. This is another great way to grow your network.
- Don’t fill your tweet with hashtags though because it spoils readability and isn’t necessary because the words will show in searches anyhow.
@Replies and Mentions
A hashtag you will see weekly is #FollowFriday or #FF. This is when people recommend other Tweeters to follow. This can be done at any time of course but something which comes out of #FF which is important to remember is the best way to do this.
When you tweet someone you normally start it with their Twitter username, e.g.,
@AhainGroup are a great company to follow #FF
This is a reply and this tweet will only be seen by followers who follow you AND the Ahain Group. So if a Tweeter is only following you and NOT the Ahain Group they won’t see this tweet – which defeats the object of the recommendation. Therefore bear in mind it could be a very small number of overlapping followers in common. (N.B. you will see all tweets if you look directly at an account though)
#FF @AhainGroup are a great company to follow
This tweet is a mention and will be seen by everyone that follows you so therefore it works well as a recommendation.
Of course this isn’t limited to #FF going first. Anything that goes before the @AhainGroup will work.
If you’re just having a conversation then putting the @ first is quite normal and this is what you will mostly see on Twitter.
Obviously you cannot be online 24/7. You may want to be targeting other time zones, be unable to get to Twitter for a few days, on holiday or just incredibly busy. You could have a tweet that you’d like to mention a few times so you can use scheduling to do this.
Most platforms have scheduling options built in but there are other apps which have some great tools too. You will have to pay for some of these to use all the services they offer. These are our favourites:-
There are several platforms to use for Twitter other than the web based version. Some people feel limited using the web version, especially when your follower/followee count grows as you can miss out on tweets by other people.
Tweetdeck and Hootsuite are the two frontrunners for Twitter on your desktop as they compartmentalise the people and lists that you follow. You create columns for different sections that you wish to view; for example if your business is Web Design you could have a column for other Web Designer tweeters so you can see what they are up to and join in similar conversations.
If you are interested in News updates you can have a column for all the online newspapers and tweeters. Any type of subject you want to follow can become a column so you can easily see tweets on that topic.
You can also run multiple Twitter accounts using these different apps. You may just have a personal account and a business account or you could have more – these platforms make it much simpler to sort the different accounts and make your Twitter life much easier.
Social organisation tools
SocialBro is a very useful tool to manage the whole package on Twitter although you do have to pay for it. It helps to target the community you want to be involved with on Twitter and analyses your competitors tweets too. Amongst lots of other handy functions it will also tell you the best times to tweet when the majority of your followers are online.
60% of Twitter users tweet from their Smartphone which is four times the amount from only two years ago so this figure is growing rapidly.
Twitter mobile apps include:-
What else can you use twitter for?
Twitter isn’t just about your business promotion and chatting. There are lots of handy tasks you can use it for.
A lot of businesses use Twitter for customer service very successfully, especially the big brands. Queries can be dealt with quickly and companies are also seen to be helpful in this way. A lot of diplomacy may be needed and often it is just the initial contact and then the discussion can be taken offline.
Twitter can be really useful for getting questions answered by experts – you may even be that expert which is great for getting recognition and recommendations.
Another form of questions on Twitter are crowdsourcing where you can use the results as a basis for a post you are writing, maybe a survey or even just to get ideas on a new product you are considering.
Recommending products and businesses is often prevalent on Twitter and can be a way of growing awareness of your brand quickly. Beware that the opposite doesn’t happen and negativity about your business is spread as unfortunately bad news travels faster.
Promoted accounts and promoted tweets
The Promoted Account is featured in search results and within the “Who To Follow” section. Promoted Tweets can be targeted to search results or to user timelines. Twitter’s geographic targeting increases the relevance of your message based on location. You set the budget that you want to spend and it’s similar to a CPC however it’s a Cost-per-Engagement basis.
- Sales: Hubspot using Twitter to generate leads for marketing software company and created 150% increase in sales.
- Referrals: Monthly blog referrals from Twitter increased by 259% for cloud telephony company RingCentral.
- Growth: Namecheap – a domain name registrar in LA saw a 20% increase in business using Twitter.
- Customers: Mark W Schaefer of BusinessesGrow.com explains that Twitter saved his business. He changed from networking meetings to Twitter where he got his three largest customers.
- Promotions: For Naked Pizza in New Orleans the ROI from Twitter has been an amazing 68.6% of sales during just one promotion.
We hope that this information will help with your business and it’s use of Twitter. Most importantly to grow your brand on Twitter be yourself, share and engage.
Understanding the Digital Economy
Social business reports
To download our industry specific and researched social business reports, click here.
If you would like to talk further about how Twitter can benefit your business, or if you would like The Ahain Group to help you along this path please feel free to contact us.
The Ahain Group’s social business report on the general and health insurance industry contains case studies and insights into the effect of social business techniques.
David Williams of Axa Insurance UK was recently quoted as saying that the UK Insurance Industry was “traditionally known as not being the most responsive to change.” 1 This comment could be applied in a general sense to many Insurance Companies throughout the globe. Traditionally, Insurance Companies have focussed on customer acquisition, customer service and renewal, claims handling and product development.
A consumer would typically have two touch points with their Insurance Company: at the time of acquiring a policy and again at the time of renewal of the policy. Other touch points would, in the main, be instigated by the Consumer, the most common being informing the company of a change in circumstance or instigating a claim.
The social business model is rapidly evolving into social business strategy and Insurance companies are now aware that, to manage the online conversation about their brand, they have to interact and respond to the Consumer to Consumer about Business (C2CaB) community. Online activity is instant and whilst Insurance companies have, in the past, adhered to caution when addressing a query and have had the time to format a reply under regulatory guidelines, they now have to find a way to respond in real time whilst ensuring that the compliance requirements of the industry are met.
This challenge is huge for, as David Williams notes above, these Companies are not traditionally responsive to change. So how can it be managed and what are they doing to interact and to retain/enhance the traditional brand recognition they have painstakingly worked to achieve? The approach to social business involvement has been varied amongst Insurance companies globally.
For more information, contact The Ahain Group:
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