Message maker social_go_local_for_better_engagement_on_facebook


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Message maker social_go_local_for_better_engagement_on_facebook

  1. 1. GO LOCAL FOR BETTER CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT ON FACEBOOK: Five Steps to Develop a Localized Social I I US +1 617 425 7300 I UK +44 20 7886 8241 2011 One to One Connect LLC
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION As all direct marketers will agree, appealing to audiences’ specific interests has long been the key ingredient to any success- ful marketing campaign. Before digital channels, marketers had a particularly difficult challenge as information was far from real-time. Today, digital marketers have grown accustomed to real-time data and highly segmented strategies due to social media’s unprecedented ability to drive highly-visible and hyper-local brand interactions. To be successful in social, brands must continually engage their audience to stay relevant. Regular posts, interesting content, and a localized approach will grow social presences. According to a recent report by SocialBakers.com1 localized Facebook strategies consistently measure three to five times more engagement in comparison to companies leveraging only a single corporate Face- book Page. As an example, Nike Football Portugal has three times more wall posts from their fans than the global Nike Football page. Starbucks Nederland has five times more engagement than the corporate Starbucks Page. BMW Türkiye tracked almost ten times more wall posts by their customers than the BMW Page. This article outlines five steps to help brand marketers create localized social ecosystems and increase engagement with customers: 1. DEVELOP THE CORPORATE UMBRELLA 2. SEGMENT YOUR STRATEGY 3. BRING PERSONALITY TO YOUR LOCAL CONTENT 4. HARNESS THE POWER OF PLACE PAGES 5. ACHIEVE SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT SUCCESS 1. I I US +1 617 425 7300 I UK +44 20 7886 8241 2011 One to One Connect LLC 2
  3. 3. 1. DEVELOP THE CORPORATE UMBRELLA Although some of today’s most successful brands have made strides to localize their social marketing, the starting point for any effective social strategy begins with an appropriately focused corporate Page. This overarching corporate brand Page is used to deploy strategies and content for a broad range of followers. Also, this corporate Page provides an easy way to find and identify the brand’s Facebook presence. • Global Content Strategy Global posts speak to large audiences and are posted on the corporate Page. Posts might include product releases, how- to articles or YouTube videos. These posts generally deal with the overall brand and industry and will appeal to many people. Using Whole Foods Market as an example, the corporate Facebook Page posts information on recipes, movies showing their commitment to create awareness around health and green energy, as well as seasonal shout-outs, such as National Mustard Day. This content speaks to Whole Foods Market’s larger audience. The corporate Page represents the universal presence. However, as you build a broad audience, a localized approach should be developed to appeal to targeted communities on a deeper level. This approach will grow and solidify engagement and followers will ignore the “Unlike” button since the content is more specific to their I I US +1 617 425 7300 I UK +44 20 7886 8241 2011 One to One Connect LLC 3
  4. 4. 2. SEGMENT YOUR STRATEGY Businesses such as Groupon, The Weather Channel, and Craigslist have developed successful national brands by providing local content. While developing overall social brand awareness, parent-child Pages should be considered. As the corporate Page (a.k.a. parent Page) leads the global strategy, the more targeted local Pages (a.k.a. child Page) foster focused and more engaged online communities tailored towards specific customer segments. For Groupon, it is vital to have a Facebook presence for each city since the value proposition for customers is based on convenience and accessibility. In this case, there is little purpose for a dining discount in Chicago to be offered to someone in Boston. The unique content for each city supports this segmentation. Alternatively, Nike segments their brand by division and country. Thus a football (or alternatively, soccer!) presence for individual countries allows community members to subscribe to their team’s Page, not the competitor’s, keeping posts relevant and each commu- nity engaged. Additional factors to consider: • Language Barriers Language barriers can quickly exclude portions of a social community. When faced with a language barrier, a follower cannot easily respond and may feel excluded. For example, posting a video in Portuguese on a US-based Page will not engage a majority of the audience. • Region Brands should evaluate a targeted strategy based on the physical boundaries they’d like to build or sustain a presence. Depending on the brand, the regional content strategy may speak at a national level (e.g. Nike Football Spain), regional level (e.g. Groupon Boston) or community level (e.g. Whole Foods Market on University Avenue ). • Economy and Culture Not only is segmentation necessary for providing relevant content but can also be viewed as a cultural compliance tool. Companies should continually be aware of various regions’ current events – cultural, environmental, political, etc. Customers will be more receptive to your content if you illustrate an understanding for their unique I I US +1 617 425 7300 I UK +44 20 7886 8241 2011 One to One Connect LLC 4
  5. 5. 3. BRING PERSONALITY TO YOUR LOCAL CONTENT Local content creates natural engagement. If a brand can point to a local event, followers can easily engage and respond. With the Whole Foods Market content strategy, the parent Page provides general recipes. However, the individual brick-and-mortar store posts focus on promoting events, publicizing product specials, as well as highlighting specific store rewards. Tailoring the child Pages to focus on community interest builds local personality. The majority of child Page posts should be in tune with the surrounding community with global posts lightly mixed in. A local content strategy may include: • External Motivators External factors beyond the consumer’s control affect their behavior. Holidays, major news events, weather – many of these items influence how consumers purchase and engage. On the brand side, external factors can help refresh content. Is Independence Day coming? Promote a patriotic product special. Bad weather? Post a soup recipe with local ingredients. Is the local baseball team on a winning streak? It would be a good time for the brand to show their support. External motivations can also lead to coupon and sale opportunities which brands can quickly promote in social media. For example, if it’s snowing, a store could invite followers to enjoy a free cup of hot chocolate with a purchase of I I US +1 617 425 7300 I UK +44 20 7886 8241 2011 One to One Connect LLC 5
  6. 6. • Local Icons, Local Imagery By talking about local events, landmarks, and brands, a child Page becomes part of the local landscape. Discussing timely events can add more content to your daily strategy -- “Who’s going to the barbecue cook-off this weekend?” -- and prompts readers to react. Look to also use richer media; upload video from the most recent special event and post pictures of a local celebrity (e.g. baristas at the coffee shop). By connecting local people with the company, you can shift from a brand-centric corporation and move toward a more human-centric organization2 , one where followers can identify with the people who make it come to life. • Community Support Brands can show the ways they are involved with their community. Many large companies sponsor local events, which should be announced on their Facebook stream. Even a post-event wrap-up is generally appreciated (and another reason to post pictures and video). People want to support the companies that show they care about their communities. Give followers a reason to brag about the brands they follow. 4. HARNESS THE POWER OF PLACE PAGES Location-based marketing is becoming increasingly popular as people become more reliant on their mobile devices. Recently, RadioShack initiated a successful location-based marketing strategy with Foursquare, a similar service to Facebook Check-ins. According to ClickZ3 , Lee Applbaum, CMO of RadioShack, discovered that users who checked into his stores via Foursquare spent three-and-a-half times more than those who don’t use the service. Any business that thrives on physical visits – restaurants, stores, event arenas – should work to develop a strategy that leverages the features of Facebook’s Place Pages. A Place Page requires a physical address to be added to the location’s Facebook Page, mapping the address by default on the Info Tab. A Place Page is nearly identical to a standard business Page but is capable of counting how many people have either geo-tagged the business in their posts or checked into the location via their mobile device. 2. 3. I I US +1 617 425 7300 I UK +44 20 7886 8241 2011 One to One Connect LLC 6
  7. 7. Other methods for tying locations to activities are also rapidly emerging. Previously on Facebook, adding a location to a post was only available through a mobile device via Check-ins. However, Facebook now allows people to tag their location in their daily posts and photo uploads. Now, all people who either Check-in or tag their location will be added to the “were here” listing on the Place Page. By adding your business’ location on a Place Page, you can benefit from “word-of-mouth” publicity when a customer tags your location in their post. According to Ad Age4 , Facebook’s perception of a place is to “become another descriptor to add to any post. It can be a place you are, have been, want to go or just want to talk about.” From a business perspective, this means additional opportunities for brands to develop Check-in and tag campaigns, encouraging contacts to share their location. • Location Announcement When someone tags a business or checks into a location on their mobile device, the business name is broadcasted to the contact’s timeline, their friends’ News Feeds, as well as the business’ Facebook Page: 4. I I US +1 617 425 7300 I UK +44 20 7886 8241 2011 One to One Connect LLC 7
  8. 8. • Friend Footprint By checking-in, a contact is tagged to the business’ Page permanently. When a friend visits the Place Page, they’ll see “Friend Activity” which highlights friends who “were here” along with any Check-in comments. • Facebook Places - Check-in Deals Check-in Deals allow businesses to reward users who Check-in using their mobile device. Facebook allows four different types of deals to be created: ◊ Individual Deals – Provides a simple, one-time reward for checking-in. e.g. $5 off your meal. Check-in to Claim. ◊ Loyalty Deals – Rewards customers after a certain number of Check-ins, like a digital punch card. e.g. Free Mocha after 5 Check-ins ◊ Friend Deals – Discounts for people who Check-in together. e.g. Free appetizer for you and 3 friends. ◊ Charity Deals – Gives a charitable incentive for people to Check-in. e.g. Each time you Check-in, we’ll give $1 to fight cancer. People can also find available deals near their current location through Facebook’s mobile application. If a person is looking for a place to eat, Facebook will show a map of nearby deals through their phone. Also, when someone claims their deal, an announcement is made on the contact’s wall: This continuing support for locations and local services is a key aspect of Facebook’s overall vision. As stated in a recent article on AllFacebook.com5 , a spokesman from Facebook stated, “We remain committed to building products to help local businesses connect with people, like ads, Pages, sponsored stories, and Check-in deals... We’ll continue to evaluate how to best serve local businesses.” 5. I I US +1 617 425 7300 I UK +44 20 7886 8241 2011 One to One Connect LLC 8
  9. 9. Another upcoming example of Facebook’s commitment to local services is their parent-child Page management capability: • Parent-Child Page Management The management of multiple hierarchical Pages will be much easier now that Facebook has announced they will begin releasing a new parent-child management system over the next few months, giving corporations more universal control over the corporation’s Place Pages. A few major brands, such as BestBuy and Old Navy, have implemented this native application already. This new functionality allows the corporate Page (“parent”) to define their Places (“children”), thus brands can connect visitors with their nearby locations. According to InsideFacebook.com6 , corporate administrators will be able to easily review each store’s performance through likes and Check-ins, manage and overwrite store posts, as well as install tab applications for each individual store. Such a parent-child structure will offer brands better management and oversight of their related locations, while helping enable a universal message for Check-in deals, custom tab promotions, and other campaigns With a wide range of features, Facebook Places allow a brand’s specific location to engage with their contacts. Busi- nesses should encourage visitors to Check-in or tag their location by providing an incentive to take this extra step. This is a win-win since the contact gets to take advantage of a Check-in Deal and the business receives publicity in the contact’s network. These interactions also add to the engagement metric, people “talking about this”, shown on all Facebook Pages. This stat consists of the total “Likes,” comments, Check-ins, tags, and other activities which occurred throughout the week. 5. ACHIEVE SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT SUCCESS If more than ten Facebook Pages exist for a brand, a social media management system (SMMS) is useful to control, manage, and monitor these Pages. Keep in mind, the intent of an SMMS is not necessarily to mandate content controls. As we have discussed, having a local, focused personality is an extremely powerful and engaging tool. However, your SMMS should provide tools to meet your goals and provide oversight for managing multiple, thriving social communi- ties: 6. I I US +1 617 425 7300 I UK +44 20 7886 8241 2011 One to One Connect LLC 9
  10. 10. • Multi-Page Publishing, Scheduling, and Management With Facebook’s parent-child release, an SMMS can roll out custom applications, Check-in deals, and content to multiple Pages using features of native applications. According to InsideFacebook.com7 , “Settings, apps, and content moderation will be able to be controlled programmati- cally, enabling corporations to push changes to many Pages at once.” An effective SMMS will also provide the ability to filter and segment Pages and thus target posts based on region, store locations, and so forth. With one click, a brand can schedule a post to be released to potentially thousands of Pages at once. Scheduling posts saves time and can ensure a contact’s news stream is constantly populated. You can designate posts to publish immediately, later today, tomorrow, next week or further into the future. The SMMS also helps to work around timezones and allows global posts, published across multiple Pages, to be released at the appropriate time for that region. No brand wants their message to be buried because of a timezone mishap. • Content Libraries In addition to enabling segmentation and scheduled content pushes from a central point, an SMMS enables a company to establish content libraries and inventories in order to empower local representatives with information. As publication and follower building becomes distributed, it is still important to provide support by ensuring they always have things to say, avoiding stale or stagnant Pages (otherwise known as ‘ghost towns’). • Compliance Control Managing turnover is a challenge for organizations of any size. If a social strategist leaves the company, how does the business ensure the employee doesn’t take the child Page in addition to all of the followers? Or, what if a local store is giving the social reigns to an intern but the owner wants to review or approve posts before being published? An SMMS should provide tools to control user permissions as well as a workflow system with the ability to review content before it’s published. This helps avoid mistakes and ensures use of proper logos, imagery, and other media so the content represents the brand’s personality in a positive and consistent manner. 7. I I US +1 617 425 7300 I UK +44 20 7886 8241 2011 One to One Connect LLC 10
  11. 11. • Keyword Monitoring Certain SMMS platforms leverage keyword monitoring, a feature which alerts brands when certain flagged sets of words or phrases show up within their social streams. Targeting prompt keywords (why, what, how, etc.) through an SMMS will help identify time sensitive questions even across a very large social-scape in real time. Additionally, such monitoring will identify if an aggravated customer or troublemaker posts inappropriate remarks or directs followers to the competi- tion, allowing for swift action. At a higher level, keyword monitoring can track trends throughout the brand’s social ecosystem. Similar to Twitter and hashtags, corporations can track instances of certain words to find popular patterns and adjust their campaigns to their contacts’ responses. • Aggregate Reporting Benchmarks must be established to measure how well a brand’s social strategies are performing. However, if a brand needs to report on the engagement metrics across hundreds or thousands of Pages, pulling data using Facebook’s standard reporting can be a significant task in terms of man-hours as well as the potential for mistakes. Your SMMS should clearly identify and visually represent effective Pages and posts, track followers, “Unlikes,” comments, men- tions, etc. on a single dashboard view. It should also provide tools that allow you to pull in these metrics within a manner of seconds. 5. SUMMARY The relationship between a brand and its customer has become more intricate with the growth of social media. To build and maintain an active social community, companies need to develop a content strategy and infrastructure which encompasses both a corporate-wide and localized approach that will appeal to customers’ cultural, regional, and local values. In addition, Facebook Places provides many possibilities for brands to interact with their customers and “surprise and delight” with rewards, deals and offers. When executed properly, Places can help persuade contacts to share their physical visits and experiences online, which leads to brand awareness and follower growth. With the help of a social media management system or SMMS, brands can better deploy and manage local content strategies, forge deeper relationships with consumers and monitor overall engagement across their social I I US +1 617 425 7300 I UK +44 20 7886 8241 2011 One to One Connect LLC 11