Creating an Effective Facebook Page: Part Six – Interacting

Once your Facebook page is running, you need to do more with it than just post to it.  Of course, just keeping the Facebook page current, with new postings and article links, can be tough enough.  Once you have content up and people are finding your page you now have a powerful tool at your fingertips.  You now have a built-in audience.

Users of Facebook do not show up there just to read, but interact.  This is why the “Like” button is now attached to everything.  You can Like and Share photos, article links, videos and just about everything else that someone you are friends with on Facebook is sharing.  This cascading effect can be very powerful when it comes to business.  Also, your friends and fans expect you to interact with them.

One of the most useful tools that companies use is the Focus Group.  This usually involves gathering up people who agreed to be part of the group and then asking them questions or asking them to use a new product and then provide feedback.  This is still done with everything from shoes to skin creams to video games.  However, Facebook now allows a business to have a Focus Group built right into their Facebook page.

Think about it.  The people who have already “Liked” your page are probably the people who are most familiar with your products or services.  You don’t have to go searching for people who use your products to have the Focus Group.  You just need to post questions right on your Facebook page about products, services or anything you are curious about when it comes to your potential customer base.  More importantly, if fans of your page like what you’re talking about, they have the opportunity to then share it with people who are their friends.  Your Focus Group could expand exponentially depending on the number of people who are your fans.

Interaction is key on Facebook.  Having a Focus Group is probably the most complex form of interaction.  It can be much simpler.  You can ask as simple question of your fans, such as: What do you have planned for this holiday season?  Then ask them to post responses or photos.  You don’t need to offer a prize of any kind because Facebook users inherently love to share.  Then, take the time to respond to the responders.  If someone leaves a comment, respond to it and so forth.  This is networking in the 21st century.

That means you need to pay attention to your Facebook page.  When someone leaves a comment or “Likes” something, respond to it.  What are they liking and what are they commenting on?  Most importantly, let the people who are interacting know that you appreciate that they are taking the time out of their schedule to interact.

Another example is the “Question and Answer” session.  This has become popular for companies and celebrities alike.  Basically, you get one of the higher, C-level, executives to agree to sit down in front of the Facebook page and answer questions.  You promote the event days in advance, set a specific time and date, and then sit the executive down to answer them directly, or have someone read off the questions and then transcribe the responses.

You have to be careful and pay attention.  Hit the “refresh” button often to see who is asking questions.  Choose the questions carefully, answer them completely and to the best of your knowledge, and don’t get frightened if the Facebook wall suddenly lights up with questions.  You know, and the audience knows, that if there are too many questions you will not likely be able to answer all of them.  Keep to a strict time limit, then end the session, thank those who asked questions and the executive who participated, and then give those who still have questions and email address or method for getting them answered.

Being interactive puts a face on your company.  It shows that human beings are working behind the page.  It creates a greater knowledge of what your company does and creates a tremendous amount of good will.  It can also show how great your products or services are and can publicly resolve problems and customer issues.  It can also create that all-important buzz about your company that everyone craves.

By keeping the site interactive, you will likely continue to grow your fan base and potential pool of customers.  And by keeping the six tips here in mind anytime you look at your Facebook page, you should be on your way to creating an effective page and have a decent start on an overall social media strategy.

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