In today’s instant gratification culture, customers not only expect quick answers to their questions but also for them to be delivered in the most convenient way possible. If a user can’t find the information they are seeking, your competitor is just one click away.

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Needless to say, nowadays Facebook is one of those key marketing channels that offer huge potential to offer information and engage with an audience. On the other hand, it can also leave a brand vulnerable, as the social network opens a door for customers to voice their opinion and share negative feedback.

Essentially, how social media accounts are managed can make or break a brand’s image. On this post, we’ll go over some simple tips and tricks to increase your brand’s engagement on Facebook.

Set your objectives

Like any marketing campaign, the first step is always to set clear and measurable objectives. Define what it is you are trying to achieve. Are you building awareness and acquiring leads or are you nourishing the current client base and focusing on retention?

Don’t be the sleazy salesman

In general, Facebook “likes” don’t lead to sales, so the goal here should be to succeed as a social media brand and not necessarily be used as an advertising channel.

Some of the most successful brands on Facebook don’t even try and push their products. No one likes to feel like they are being sold to. When social media users are browsing their News Feeds, they don’t want to see ads from companies, they want to see content shared by friends. So ditch the sales pitch and share content that is relevant to the industry. Content should be positive, attractive, and interesting.

The most popular content on Facebook right now is video. According to Buffer, eight billion videos or 100 million hours of video are watched every day on the social network.

Mind when you post

Share a variety of content and take into account the type of content being shared and the time and day of the week. On Mondays, we may need a giggle, whereas Tuesday and Wednesday we’re curious to learn something new. Don’t clutter the News Feed by posting too much though, which is likely to result in the loss of followers. However, it would be difficult to build a following if posts aren’t frequent enough, so you’ll have to find a balance of how often and when to post.

Coca-Cola is a perfect example of a brand doing social media right. Well, they do marketing in general right.

Coca-Cola UK Facebook

Make it appealing, but keep it minimal

After the initial arrival to the page, users who continue to browse are more likely to purchase than those who click away, so encourage people to explore by maintaining a visually appealing profile that is also easy to find. Simplicity and brevity are key. The way the page is perceived should be aligned with the brand’s identity, mission and vision by keeping the target consumer in mind and using a consistent voice throughout every post.

If the brand is global, it might be a good idea to focus on a centralised communication strategy and just keep one main page. If something exciting is going on somewhere, a location specific post would be okay, but it’s better not to confuse people or dilute the brand base by having too many pages.

In order to help your message reach a wide audience faster, Facebook has released an auto-subtitling function for videos in English. This is particularly helpful because as you know, videos on the social platform are muted by default.

Remember it’s a two-way channel

Rather than viewing Facebook as a broadcasting channel, treat it as a personal communication platform. Be proactive rather than reactive. Respond to comments and ask questions, and do so in a timely manner. Keep an open dialogue that provides a feeling of talking to the brand and not only will the following increase, but it will be visible that the company cares about its’ customers.

By having a following you have the ability to use the page to gain feedback by seeing how users are interacting with the brand, which can provide information for new product developments. Polls can be used as a helpful tool for the brand, and can also allow customers to feel as if they are a part of the brand and innovation process. For customer service, Messenger is becoming increasingly popular. So much so that customers are expecting a response within one hour, or even as soon as 15 minutes. Be prepared and available to reply at any time.

A brand that’s really good at communicating with their followers via Facebook is Innocent. The formula to their success is fairly simple, reply to their followers in a timely manner and not take themselves too seriously.

innocent drinks facebook - how to increase brand engagement on facebook

Be prepared for the negative comments

Although Facebook is an extremely valuable channel, there are also some downsides. In the same way that no person is perfect, neither is a brand. Even the best product will somehow not fulfil everyone’s needs. Back in the golden days when customer complaints were limited to private emails and word of mouth, people now have the ability to make their opinions public. Very public.

Negativity spreads like wildfire in the social space and is not just limited to comments; people can also post and share on their own profiles to their friends who don’t know anything about the brand. Although it may seem destructive, find a way to make it work to your advantage. Instead of looking at it as public criticism, view it as an opportunity to turn the situation around by publicly providing excellent customer service.

And put out the fires, swiftly

It is not always just the negative opinions that weaken brand image, but also how they are handled. Thank the person for their feedback, apologise, find a solution, and follow up. If needed, you can encourage them to write to you privately. What you shouldn’t do, however, is delete or ignore negative comments; it gives the impression that you don’t care. The person who left the negative comment will find another way to voice their opinion, and this time will be even angrier. Plus it may look a bit suspicious, to the point where customers will want to seek negative reviews elsewhere, on channels that you cannot control.

Text: Lia Rogers
Edit: Harald Meyer-Delius

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