Four steps to building active, engaged communities on Facebook
How can you grow your audience and make sure your content is getting shared? You need a community of passionate followers for both. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg conundrum, but from analyzing countless brands and their engagement, we’ve found some hacks to get you started.
Go Beyond the Brand
Build something bigger than your product. On social media, you should strive to bring value to your consumers’ experience. You want your community to last through any turbulent times your brand may face.
What does your brand stand for or care about? Is it going to inspire? Focus on innovating? Entertain? Educate?
Brands like Red Bull and GoPro have transformed themselves into publishers, Red Bull even with a full media house. Rather being constricted to marketing as just a beverage brand, they create extreme, visually thrilling content that creates a adventurous connection to the brand.
Then there are brands like NASA and SpaceX. While not a brand that most people are interacting with day-to-day, their content around scientific discoveries and progress keeps them relevant. Even brands like Intel and GE are innovating and inspiring Facebook followers eager to see the world of tomorrow.
Build It and They Will Come
For publishers, it’s a simple solution. Produce good content.
For brands, it’s the same solution. Good content.
You already know what value you’re going to bring to your audience. What is that content going to look like? What other tactics are going to live in that space? Catchy branded hashtags, giveaways, brand ambassadors eager to interact?
Taco Bell seeks to entertain and spur on their followers’ love of Mexican fast food.
Taco Bell knows their Facebook demographic, and jumps in on pop culture moments. Their community managers respond in the language of the web, emoji and sass. They also crosspost content from their blog, with posts such as “8 Facts You Didn’t Know About Taco Bell Packaging”.
ALDI’s United Kingdom page regularly holds giveaways for its followers. Fans are quick to answer ALDI’s simple prompts and the brand is able to both gamify their followers’ Facebook experience, and gain valuable feedback about what consumers like.
Engage Your Audience
To build out your community, you need to interact with your followers. Don’t preach to them as the wizard behind the curtain.
It takes time to foster a passionate, strong community. Brand ambassadors or community managers should be at the ready to thank fans for their comments or address their questions. Listen to their feedback and readjust the content you’re delivering as needed. Try NewsWhip Spike for free to see what’s getting your audience’s interest.
Thank fans for their engagement with public gratitudes, access to exclusive content, sneak peeks, swag, and more. You want your followers to have a positive, emotional connection to the community you’re building.
On this Starbucks post about new mini Frappucinos, a brand ambassador, a barista, and a fellow Starbucks fan all jumped in and answered a consumer’s concern about sugar. The exchange was positive and appreciated.
Nordstrom’s brand managers are highly active, even signing their comments with their names. Many of their commenters have fond emotional ties to Nordstrom, and others interact with the brand as customer service.
Recast Your Followers as Brand Heroes
You want your followers to not only like your content, but to share it out, both on social media and beyond.
Passionate fans can help your brand reach new markets, gather genuine early feedback, and build a better overall reputation.
One enormous way brands can empower their followers is by showcasing user-generated content. User-generated content drives big engagement. It humanizes the brand, and is more trusted and more influential than other content.
You can create a cycle of content creation through user-generated content, as good content inspires other followers to join in and create more that the brand can use.
Nissan’s most popular content comes from fans’ photos. More auto enthusiasts then share photos of their own Nissan cars in the comments.
Urban Decay’s fans not only get super excited about product sneak peeks, but at the chance to share makeup looks and how they achieved them. The company’s brand ambassadors are highly reactive, complimenting people on their looks.
How can you find what your followers are interested in? How they’re engaging with your content and your competitors? Enter NewsWhip Spike.
This panel shows the content that is driving engagement in the auto industry. Right now we can see that concepts for cars are getting the most social media love.
Spike scans millions of stories a day across the internet for a comprehensive view of what’s important to your audience right now. These insights are just a couple of clicks to let you level up your real-time marketing.
This Facebook panel of luxury auto brands can let other auto brands see what’s sparking interest for auto enthusiasts right now.
With social signaling tools like Spike, you can better hone your strategy and see what’s getting your followers’ attention. Quality content, as ever, remains king.