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Be funny, inspiring and useful to win over customers on Facebook

Be funny, inspiring and useful to win over customers on Facebook

Posting amusing pet pictures or featuring customer feedback could lead to likes for your business – experiment for the perfect formula
Content is king for growing brand awareness online. On Facebook, by making your posts shareable, whether they’re funny, intriguing or useful, you wield the power to grow your customer reach whatever your budget.
Content is king for growing brand awareness online. On Facebook, by making your posts shareable, whether they’re funny, intriguing or useful, you wield the power to grow your customer reach whatever your budget.
 
Small businesses that understand this principle soon see results. Joel Calliste, co-founder of Smart Little Web, a website platform that launched this year, caught on quickly. He says the best business Facebook posts are ones you’d want to share with your own friends.
 
Animal pictures can be internet cyprotinite and Smart Little Web has used this to its advantage, posting images of its office dogs on its Facebook page. Recently Calliste’s team decided to tie their pictures of pets in with the excitement around the opening of the new Star Wars film.
 
“We dressed the dogs up as Leia and Yoda and put the pictures on Facebook.” The post reached six times more people than an average post by the business and gathered around 50 likes and shares.
 
Advice posts also work well on Facebook, particularly if you’re a B2B company. Calliste says he’s found success with top tips posts, which link back to the business’ website, thereby increasing traffic.
 
Encourage customer involvement
Depesh Mandalia, head of marketing at children’s book startup Lost My Name, says for his business Facebook is about sharing personality and providing value.
 
The business often shares pictures its customers send in. In the runup to Christmas they ran a competition to design the best ‘worst Christmas jumper’ and the winner had their creation knitted. Lost My Name also shared some of their favourites on their facebook page.
 
Meanwhile, Charles Thuillier, founder and managing director at Oppo Ice Cream, attributes his company’s highest sales week to a funny video (made by content company, Spirit Digital) that features him, his brother (and co-founder) and their friends.
 
“We got voted into the last eight out of 2,000 businesses on Richard Branson’s pitch to rich competition, due in part to the video as it got over 250,000 views on Facebook,” says Thuillier.
 
Reward followers and they become ambassadors for your brand
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Pact coffee, which delivers freshly-ground coffee to its subscribers, has built a strong following on Facebook with over 25,000 likes. Ed Grattan, communications manager, shared some of their secrets to encouraging customer engagement on Facebook.
 
“A big element of the way people join Pact is that they hear about it from friends,” he says. Each Pact customer has an account and a unique code and Grattan explains that if they use that code when recommending Pact to a friend both they and their friend get a bag of coffee for a pound. “A lot of customers post their code on their Facebook page,” he adds.
 
The e-commerce company relies heavily on word of mouth through Facebook. “We produce tasty coffee – and people like to share themselves enjoying it. People put on their timelines that they’re enjoying our coffee, often tagging us.
 
In its early stages Oppo offered followers more than just good content, it offered them a chance to invest in the company. “In terms of growing our customer base through Facebook, we were at an advantage as in January we broke a record [of the food and drink company to raise investment the fastest] using equity crowdfunding – so we had 197 investors all spreading the word for us to friends on their social networks. Instead of bringing a bottle of wine to a dinner, they brought a tub of Oppo.”
 
While creating informative or entertaining content grows potential customers, Oppo went a step further by consulting followers on their next ice cream flavour.
 
“It made our fans feel part of the business. They are more likely to talk about us and more importantly, we are creating a flavour we know people will like,” says Thuillier.
 
Oppo veers away from lots of salesly posts on Facebook. Instead they measure success not on likes, but on reach and engagement.
 
Maintain a strong identity
Caliste emphasises how important it is to link back to your business website on your Facebook page.
 
He adds: “Small businesses need to be careful not to mix up their personal business profile and business page. If you try to move people over later on, you can’t. They have to re-like and reconnect with your brand again.”
 
Experiment to see what fits best
The tip that a number of business owners repeated is the importance of experimenting with different promotional tools to find what works.
“There isn’t a formula for success,” says Calliste. “What works for one business might not for another, experiment to see what sticks.”
 
Calliste adds that you don’t need a big budget to grow your reach on Facebook. “It’s about making the best use of what you’ve got.”
 
“We use customer feedback on our Facebook page. We do a blog post every month that features one of our customers. We post it on Facebook and link it back to our website. It’s giving value back to our customers and we can use them for testimonials as well.”

 

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