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How to Build a Branded Community on Facebook

Facebook is no longer just a social network; it’s a social media channel, and that means marketers are expected to use it regularly as a media tool. But the definition of media has evolved over time too; media is no longer just about broadcasting a message, but also about building a community. With that in mind, here are three steps our San Francisco social media agency recommends toward making your company Facebook page into a genuine fan community for your brand.

1. Create a consistent voice for your brand. It may be tempting to play with different ways of speaking to the audience, just because this is the Internet. But in the same way that offline marketing demands a consistent message for each brand, any social media agency or digital marketing provider will tell you that online marketing does as well.

If you are the voice of your brand, you get to decide: Will our voice be serious and pensive, or casual and playful? What about a little of both: authoritative, so people know we are experts, but also casually, so they still feel we speaking to them as friends? Whatever you decide, that is the voice you need to stick to – consistently.

2. Engage, engage, engage. Then, you can sell. For every one Facebook post that is a blatant promotion for your product or service, you should have five that are just about engaging with the audience (on topics that are still relevant to your brand, of course). Think of the Facebook fan communities you enjoy the most – the ones for your favorite TV show, for example. Most of the status updates are probably about the characters, the episode plots and behind-the-scenes information that fans love to hear about. Those are posts designed to engage, rather than sell.

On the day that the episode airs, there may be a status update that urges everyone to watch that night. That post is designed to sell. See the difference? Even though the brand’s bottom line is to sell, the engaging posts are what keep fans coming to the page – so there are far more posts written with the goal of engagement. If you think about it, engagement is really a form of customer service.

3. Excite and reward people. Once people are engaged and you feel comfortable selling to them, it’s time to excite them and reward them for their loyalty. This is what Facebook contests were made for. Here are some ideas for branded Facebook contests that excite users and reciprocate their support:

  • The first five people to tell me their favorite _____ win a free_____!
  • Post a picture of yourself using (our product). We will choose a favorite to win a _____!
  • We chose these three comments to be eligible for our Comment of the Week. Vote for your favorite here; the winner will be announced Friday!

Building a fan community on Facebook is something that can be learned from watching others, too. Take a look at the pages of some of your favorite brands, and note what impresses you about what they are doing to build a fan community. You can also enlist the help of an experienced social media agency to help you strengthen your own branded community on Facebook. To do this, contact our San Francisco social media agency.

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