Using Facebook to connect with customers.

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A couple of days ago we were asked the following question from an online retailer:
How can I maximise the potential of my Facebook account?

The problem I find is that if you do not use social media in your daily life then it is very hard to understand its relevance to business and how it can help you to interact with your customers. I know this because I was once a ‘non-believer’, reluctant and resistance to engage in what I believed to be a fad. In the interests of research I signed up for a Facebook account. It soon became apparent that it offered so much more than idle chit chat. People would share website links and information that would be of interest to me and because the information came from trusted sources such as friends, family or likeminded individuals it carried far more weight than a search engine listing or advert. It’s this form of virtual word of mouth that can provide businesses with a crucial point of entry into the lives of potential customers.

This all leads us onto the all-important question…
How do I get people to ‘like’ my Facebook page?

The question is not as difficult as it seems. Think of a friend and now think of the qualities that attract you to them.

– Caring
– Good listener
– Enjoys the same activities
– Interested in your opinions
– Makes you feel good about yourself

Taking these on board it’s very easy to see how a business can use these qualities to connect to its customers.

Let us take Starbucks as an example of ‘how to do it right’ and analyse their Facebook profile.

Caring – Just take a look at their company overview. In black and white they make their values clear and even transmit their beliefs through their staff. Who better to become a brand activist than your own employees?!

Good listener – A quick check of the Starbucks Facebook discussion group makes it clear that they value what their customers have to say. They even give the customer the opportunity to affect the development of the brand and business.

Enjoys the same activities – The Facebook Wall Photo section plays the part of humanising the brand by placing the product and the brand in real life situations with real people.

Interested in your opinions – What better way to help you develop your product range than to ask your customer what they prefer. The ‘Polls’ functionality of Facebook fulfils this requirement.

Makes you feel good about yourself – This is really a result of branding but Facebook does serve the role of positive reinforcement. Being around like minded people only serves to further the devotion to a brand.

Here’s an interesting article on how brands can trigger the same feelings as a religious experience.

So as you can see, being a business that is ‘liked’ by its customers is as simple as being a good friend. Connect with your customers on a personal level and trust that they will reward you with their continued loyalty.

Ansell and Clarke go that extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction.
A friendly, professional and very efficient service. Very helpful and knowledgeable.
We would have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone.

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