three must haves for facebook success

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Lithium social software helps the world’s most iconic brands to build brand nations—vibrant online communities of passionate social customers. Lithium helps top brands such as AT&T, Sephora, Univision, and PayPal build active online communities that turn customer passion into social media marketing ROI. For more information on how to create lasting competitive advantage with the social customer experience, visit lithium.com, or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and our own brand nation – the Lithosphere.

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The Lithium Social Customer Suite allows brands to build vibrant customer communities that:
reduce service costs with grow brand advocay with drive sales with innovate faster with

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So you’ve got pages, fans, and likes. Now what?
Your brand, like many, likely struggles with deriving value from your Facebook investments. What’s a fan worth? A like? What do you really even know about your Facebook fans? And how can you create something of lasting value from such an enormous, yet so fleeting a channel? Everything about Facebook is so enticing, yet just beyond our grasp. It’s free. It’s huge. We find many thousands of our customers there. They “like” us. They tell us what they want, need, and wish for on our Facebook page walls. It seems the perfect social media engagement platform. Yet with each status update, each positive comment, every customer inquiry, and all the ingenious product ideas we see disappearing from the Facebook wall every hour, we find ourselves wondering what we’re doing there at all. What good is Facebook as a platform for social customer engagement unless we can engage our social customers in ways that make real sense for our customers and drives real business outcomes for the brand? The first thing to remember is that as an online social network the Facebook platform wasn’t built for social customer engagement. It lacks many of the essentials needed to pursue a successful social strategy—data capture, for one. But the good news is you can turn Facebook into a vibrant social customer online community with the addition of just a few key must-haves. Peer-to-Peer Engagement Peer-to-peer engagement is one of the most important types of social customer engagement because messages carried from peer-to-peer have more influence. Eileen Brown of the Social Customer explains the reason why peer-to-peer engagement works so well quite simply: “We tend to identify more strongly with people like us. We love those who are like ourselves. We identify with them.”1 An excellent way to start getting value from your Facebook pages right away is to give them a customer experience that includes interaction with each other. Enabling your own fans to spread your messages and answer each other’s questions adds enormous trust and credibility to your Facebook presence. “Start by creating an environment that encourages peer-topeer interactions”, says Altimeter Group Partner and Principal Analyst, Jeremiah Owyang, “Ask fans to respond to each other, showcase fan contributions, and recognize top contributors.”2 Harnessing the crowd’s energy and fulfilling customer need is what social customer marketing is all about. Harnessing the crowd’s energy to fulfill customer need is what peer-to-peer engagement is all about. Peer-to-peer engagement—enabling your Facebook fans to help each other—with question and answer applications, community moderation, and rank and reputation features makes immediate sense and can even scale to a full-blown social support solution. It gives customers value when they get there—they can search for and find useful information. And it drives real business value for the brand— less support calls means less support costs.

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Influencer Tracking Not only must your Facebook fans engage with each other, they must recognize and trust each other in order for customer community dynamics to spark. The 90-9-1 Principle holds that content creators are just 1% of your audience, so it’s important for the rest to know who they are and what they bring to the table. But first, we as marketers need to know who these key influencers are so we can amplify their voices. Who are they? What social attributes do they have that help us identify, track, and motivate their activities? Dr. Michael Wu, Lithium Principal Scientist, spells out 6 key factors of social media influence: credibility, bandwidth, relevance, timing, alignment, and confidence. Those of your fans that are credible, have large social networks (bandwidth), and very importantly send the right messages at the right time in the right channel to the right people are those you want to cultivate. If any one of these factors is absent, influence doesn’t happen. A true social media influencer doesn’t just have thousands of Facebook friends. They have an area of expertise relevant to your offering that gives them credibility and they have social media savvy—they know which messages will resonate within their social network. Finding these key influencers, motivating them, helping them along is critical to Facebook success. Rewarding your fans publicly for their contributions—elevating their status, featuring their content, giving them additional privileges—is a sure fire way to discover who among your fans are your key influencers—your brand superfans.

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Deep Analytics We all realize that quantifying the value of Facebook engagement means customer intelligence—data, and lots of it. In order to determine whether your investments in Facebook are worthwhile, some measure of quantitative analytics is essential. In the absence of real Facebook data, we are forced to fall back on proxies to assign value—counting likes and fans. But as Forrester Sr. Analyst, Augie Ray, points out in the ROI of Social Media Marketing, using proxies to weigh the value of social media efforts has a number of nagging drawbacks. Just counting likes and fans not only fails to measure the true business value of the channel, but measures it incorrectly and gets in the way of achieving our objectives. What should you know about your Facebook fans? Everything. Not only how many fans you have, but how many actually return, what percentage are active, how deep are their conversation threads, how many unique fans engage in each conversation, how quickly they respond to your messages and each other’s, and how many actually return—as well as whether or not they return to the same conversation threads. Only when you have deep insight into how engaged your Facebook fans are will you have the ability to assign quantitative value to your social success on Facebook.

Conclusion A sound social strategy for your Facebook pages means moving beyond counting fans and likes. It means leveling up, outfitting your Facebook presence with a more oomph, and showing up on Facebook like you mean it. Enabling peer-to-peer engagement will bring immediate value to your Facebook fans by letting them interact with and help each other. Right away, they’ll discover a new and vibrant community feel to your Facebook pages. Finding and cultivating your influencers will get you more power out of the channel by amplifying the most credible social voices you can harness. Lastly, instituting a system of quantitative measurement with deep analytics will give you a true measurement of the business value of the Facebook channel so you can make informed decisions about what really works. resources
1 http://thesocialcustomer.com/eileenb/38681/online-peer-influence-and-itseffect-engagement 2 http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2010/07/27/altimeter-report-the-8success-criteria-for-facebook-page-marketing/

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