This is a question that many companies raise as they manage the day-to-day Facebook posts, tweets, blogs, etc. It’s a full-time job for large companies, and for smaller companies it often falls to the marketing department to manage or “test” to see its effectiveness.
While measuring results of every single post isn’t always possible, many studies point to the fact that social media is in fact valuable for brands.
eMarketer recently published data from a study about the immediate and prolonged results of social media campaigns. What they found is quite astounding.
More about this study can be found here. This data clearly indicates the importance of social media marketing and the profound impact that it can have on word of mouth marketing (via recommendations) and purchase intent.
Your company should be participating in social media, if you’re not already. And if you are already participating, you should be developing social media campaigns. Too many companies simply post content on a daily basis, with little thought to their overall goal. Social media campaigns should be created throughout the year to coincide with your other marketing efforts (online and offline). You should focus on creating meaningful campaigns – ones that will be remembered and shared. They could include giveaways, contests and/or user generated content. Social media lends itself to engage with potential customers and companies should leverage this it to its fullest potential.
Until recently you had to be “friends” with someone to be able to receive their updates in your News Feed. Facebook rolled out a new feature recently which has now changed that. You are now able to “subscribe” to someone else’s updates regardless of whether or not you are connected (i.e. “friends”). The idea behind this is to give Facebook users a bit more control over the type of information that fills their News Feed. Anyone on Facebook knows how quickly new information populates in the News Feed, and sometimes it’s not information you care to see. In the image below you will note that a user has the ability to select the type of information they’d like to subscribe to.
So if you have a friend who constantly posts updates related to games, you can opt out of seeing those types of updates if you choose.
There are a few things to note. First is that all of your friends will have a subscribe button on their profile.
This is because you’ve already subscribed to that person’s feed by becoming friends.
Additional people can subscribe to your updates after you allow subscribers. Once you do this, a Subscribe button will show up on your profile and your public updates will appear in their News Feeds once they click this button. If you are interested in getting subscribers, you will need to follow the steps mentioned below:
To encourage subscribing to others, there is new a section that now shows suggestions of who to subscribe to when logged in (very similar to Twitter’s Who to Follow suggestions).
This subscribe option now can make Facebook posts more useful if you want them to be public, and particularly if you start gaining and audience. On the other hand, it also may add more confusion to the already confusion privacy options in Facebook.
When you update your status on Facebook, what do you normally post? A thought of the day? What you are up to? Ask for a restaurant recommendation, or something else along those lines?
Many people (as you may realize if you are a Facebooker) use their status to ask questions to their fans to get thoughts, feedback, and opinions. As a result, Facebook has introduced a new feature called Questions. Facebook Questions are intended to make asking and receiving responses to questions a much easier process.
When you log into your Facebook account, you will now see this addition next to where you update your status, post photos, share links, and so on. Below is how it will appear when viewing a Facebook page you admin.
What’s unique about Facebook Questions is how much greater your reach can become. For example, if you post a question to your Page or Profile using a regular status update, your question will be visible to your friends via their News Feed. They can then reply to your question with a comment, or Like what you asked. When asking a question using the new Question feature, your friends can respond, but also your friends’ friends will have the opportunity to participate and answer the question as well. While other non-fans / non-friends can respond, your friends’ responses are going to be shown first, as those are likely to be more relevant or meaningful to you.
So how can this apply to businesses? Not only are Questions available for Profiles, but they are also available for Company Pages. Do you want to start a new product or service, or modify one you currently have? Reaching out to those who are already fans of your company to ask for their input could be tremendously valuable (and cost effective!). When people start responding to your question, they can agree with an existing answer or add a different response.
The next time you are thinking about surveying your customers, try the new Questions feature in Facebook. You may find that the responses are all that you need to move forward with a decision.