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Facebook Community Building Guide


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Are you serious about building and promoting your brand online? Do you want to reach out to and more important engage with your target audience? Want to build a live and engaging community around your brand? Ultimately, scale up your revenues & profits and move ahead of your competition!

If yes then this guide on building a community on Social Media (especially Facebook) will be quite relevant to you.

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Facebook Community Building Guide

  1. 1. Facebook Community Building Guide “Build Brand | Engage with Customers | Generate Leads n Sales” Author: Pradeep Chopra (CEO, Digital Vidya) |
  2. 2. COMMUNITY BUILDING ON SOCIAL MEDIA (FACBEOOK) Facebook Community Building Guide Are you serious about building and promoting your brand online? Do you want to reach out to and more important engage with your target audience? Want to build a live and engaging community around your brand? Ultimately, scale up your revenues & profits and move ahead of your competition! If yes then the following articles on building a community on Social Media (especially Facebook) will be quite relevant to you. 1. The 'Cost' of Facebook Marketing 2. How to build a Great Company Facebook Page? 3. Why will people come to Your Company Facebook Page? 4. Tracking Your Company Facebook Page All of these articles in this guide were originally published at Wall Street Journal India by Chief Mentor: Pradeep Chopra |
  3. 3. COMMUNITY BUILDING ON SOCIAL MEDIA (FACBEOOK) The ‘Cost’ of Facebook Marketing (Originally published at Wall Street Journal: Chief Mentor) There are frequent debates in our workshops about whether the time and effort spent on building a Facebook marketing or brand experience is worth it. Is it really positive when it comes to return on investment? Let me walk you through an interesting example of an ROI evaluation of an Indian brand’s community on Facebook. Ching’s Secret’s Facebook community has around 120,000 fans. According to Ajaay Gupta, chairman and managing director of Capital Foods Ltd., the brand owner of Ching’s Secret, Smith and Jones and Raji brands, this is how he compares the ROI of its community on Facebook with the ROI of advertising in print: 1. A half page ad in a city tabloid (with a circulation of around 100,000 readers) costs around 200,000 rupees ($4,350). The “opportunity to see” as defined by the same tabloid is around 300,000 (100,000 multiplied by three, the average number of readers per household). In reality, only a fraction of readers actually see the advertisement. 2. The OTS of any message posted by an administrator of Ching’s Secret’s community on Facebook is 18,000,000 (120,000 multiplied by 150, an average number of connections on a Facebook user page). Surely, this number is |
  4. 4. COMMUNITY BUILDING ON SOCIAL MEDIA (FACBEOOK) theoretical and will never happen. However, to whatever fraction you may want to discount this number, the final number of people who will see the message will still be much larger than the reach of an advertisement in print. But the real ROI of the Facebook community, based on the parameters below, is extremely positive when compared to other competing advertising media: –Recurring Cost: To reach out to the same readers they reached earlier through print, they will need to pay for every new advertisement. In the case of Facebook, it doesn’t cost them any money for a new message. –Engagement Level: The quality and quantity of engagement on Facebook far surpasses the potential engagement opportunity in print. According to the company, they can expect 0.5% to 1.5% of fans to engage with their message on Facebook. In the case of print, if they present an opportunity for readers to respond through an SMS, they can only expect 0.2% as the response rate. –Visibility: In the case of Facebook, they have complete visibility of their audience’s profiles while they get negligible visibility through print. –Virality: Finally, the opportunity of their existing Facebook fans bringing new fans or influencing other people’s decisions toward their brand almost doesn’t exist in the case of print but is exponential on Facebook. These are smart rules of thumb that can be applied to any business, small or large, while measuring or planning a Facebook presence in a marketing plan. I look forward to hearing about any arguments or models of evaluating Facebook effectiveness for business growth. |
  5. 5. COMMUNITY BUILDING ON SOCIAL MEDIA (FACBEOOK) How to Build a Great Company Facebook Page (Originally published at Wall Street Journal: Chief Mentor) “Does your company have a Facebook page?” It’s a question that most firms, large and small, encounter today. While the question highlights how powerful Facebook has become as an online marketing strategy, it also signals a herd mentality: you must have it if your competitors do. In order to be truly successful in building a live and engaging community on the web, you need to have both a positioning strategy and an execution plan in place. To formulate a strategy for your online community, you need to answer a few critical questions before you begin. Why should I create a community? A community can serve multiple purposes and can be very powerful provided you have a clear objective. Some of the objectives for you to consider include:  Brand building and promotion. Coke’s community on Facebook has more than 5.7 million members  Customer feedback. Starbucks’ community has more than 7.5 million members and the community decides the flavor of the brand’s next coffee.  Lead generation and online sales. Gunpowder restaurant in New Delhi does much of its table booking through its Facebook fan page  Online reputation management. Dell’s Facebook page for small and medium- sized businesses is a great tool for the company to continuously strengthen its reputation as a brand that is committed to customer service. |
  6. 6. COMMUNITY BUILDING ON SOCIAL MEDIA (FACBEOOK) (Ching’s Secret, a packaged food company uses its Facebook page to target the young, tech- savvy consumer) A packaged food brand, Ching’s Secret, is one of the few Indian consumer brands to cross 100,000 fans on Facebook. It considers the community to be the most effective customer relationship management tool. Its seriousness about leveraging value from its online community is obvious from the fact that its upcoming product packaging will have links to its Facebook and Twitter accounts. Having clarity around the business objective for launching a community doesn’t mean that you become rigid about it. You should be open to changing your objectives as you witness what works and what doesn’t in the community-building process. Also, your business objectives will define the metrics by which you measure and optimize the success of your community. Who’s the target audience for my community? Another important element behind successful community-building is to know your audience. Segmenting the target audience includes weighing their location, age, gender, income, education, attitudes, values and lifestyles. Another approach to segmenting your audience is to consider their role as influencers, decision makers or users of your product, brand or service. For example, if you sell corporate workshops to sales professionals, a sales manager is likely to be an influencer, the head of sales the decision maker, and the complete sales team will be the user. Depending on your business objectives and the customer segment you plan to serve, you will decide on the channel or channels to pursue – whether Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or another - to engage with them. For example, Ching’s Secret participated in a bootcamp that we had organized in the past, and wanted to build a direct relationship with youth and technology savvy folks. Its key target segment was digitally inclined. Accordingly, building a community on Facebook turned out to be their natural choice. On the other hand, large communities such as Commonwealth Games 2010, which we launched while I was running my previous business, have every Indian as their target audience. |
  7. 7. COMMUNITY BUILDING ON SOCIAL MEDIA (FACBEOOK) What’s in it for my target audience? This is the most important question you need to answer if you want to capitalize on the true potential of the online community for your brand. However, in my experience, this is also the least understood and appreciated question about building a successful community. Obviously, the people in your organization who are talking to your customers can best answer this “need fulfillment” question. There are two basic questions: Why will a person join our community? And why will that person participate in the community on an ongoing basis? If your audience consists of a variety of members, you will have to answer these separately for each of those segments. While you may not have the perfect answer to begin with, the extent to which you are able to define these objectives will determine the effectiveness of the community. For example, at our Digital Marketing learning community on Facebook, we engage with sales and marketing and digital marketing professionals. Sales and marketing professionals are interested in case studies about how other, similar, businesses have leveraged digital marketing. But digital marketing professionals are more interested in getting insights and do’s and don’ts about successfully executing a digital marketing campaign. Well thought out answers to the questions above will help you lay the strategy for launching your brand. However, it is the execution of the strategy, which will ultimately give you the business results you want out of building an online community. In the next part of this article, I will examine the key elements of execution - channels, content, promotion and measurement - and also look at one of the most interesting and critical elements: What causes engagement in an online community? |
  8. 8. COMMUNITY BUILDING ON SOCIAL MEDIA (FACBEOOK) Why Will People Come to Your Company Facebook Page (Originally published at Wall Street Journal: Chief Mentor) (Ching’s has a strong community that returns to learn recipes by watching videos that the company puts up) Communicating the presence of your company Facebook page and keeping users or readers engaged is a second important part of building a company page on Facebook. I had written last week about developing a strategy and an execution plan as a first step. After you’ve identified your community-building objectives and the target audience, the key question to answer is: “What’s in it for them?” The success of your efforts to promote your Facebook page resides in having answers for these questions: Why will a person join your community? And why will that person participate in the community on an ongoing basis? Which brings us to the fundamental question: “What causes engagement on Facebook?” The answer is central to the phenomenon of community-building across social media platforms. To answer this question, I thought of using the power of community, by posing this question to people in my Facebook network. The result was some valuable consumer insights into the content that users look forward to. These were some top categories: 1. Contests and giveaways |
  9. 9. COMMUNITY BUILDING ON SOCIAL MEDIA (FACBEOOK) 2. Quizzes, surveys, polls, requests for feedback so every relevant question attracts an answer (i.e. engagement) 3. Humor, jokes and trivia 4. Controversy or debate 5. Patriotism (especially in countries like India and Japan) 6. Real-life stories or examples 7. Breaking news 8. Unexpected information 9. Interesting pictures and videos; in the U.S. and other developed nations, where Internet bandwidth is not an issue videos are viewed even more than pictures Drawing from the above, I would say that “relevant, interesting and easy to consume” content always draws engagement. However, the process of identifying the relevant content isn’t always logical. For example, at our digital marketing learning community on Facebook, we’ve seen thatDigital Media Cartoons and Jokes, which have no direct relevance to “learning,” are among the most engaging content. Chip and Dan Heath have captured all of the above distinctions very well in the “SUCCESs” model in their highly popular book “Made to Stick.” According to the “SUCCESs” model, any idea (or content) which has the following traits in it causes stickiness (or engagement): Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, Stories. I’ve seen this model working amazingly well for any form of communication (Facebook wall post, Tweet, post, a proposal, or a business presentation) on any medium (online as well offline.) Interestingly, you don’t need to create all of the content you would want to publish in your community. For almost every business vertical, there is an abundant amount of free and readily available content across various digital avenues such as search engines, blogs, video channels (e.g. YouTube), document channels (e.g. SlideShare), photo channels (e.g. Flickr), discussion groups (e.g. Google Groups), Twitter search, Wikipedia etc., which you can aggregate in a useful and copyright friendly way for your audience. The best part is you don’t need to search for this content. It can come to your mailbox if you use smart tools such as Google Alerts or SocialOomph (a keyword |
  10. 10. COMMUNITY BUILDING ON SOCIAL MEDIA (FACBEOOK) alert tool.) Further, using tools and applications (such as SocialRSS), you can automatically republish your content from other channels (e.g. a blog post or a tweet) to your Facebook fan page. The process so far will ensure that you’ve laid an extremely solid foundation to build a live and engaging community. Your job then is to scale up and you can use some of the promotional opportunities below: 1. Facebook advertising: This is one of the most powerful and least understood and explored opportunities to build a critical mass for your community. We’ve used it for over 20 communities on Facebook and it has helped us acquire relevant fans on Facebook for as low as one U.S. cent per fan. 2. Facebook applications: There are numerous freely available Facebook applications such as Poll, which allow you to continuously engage your audience and encourage them to promote your community within their network. 3. Integration with other digital channels: You can embed your Facebook Fan Page Box or a widget in your website or blog. Similarly, you can promote your Facebook community through a presentation on SlideShare, YouTube, and Email signature, or through a tweet. 4. Leveraging offline channels: Inviting the target audience to join the community by publishing the link of your Facebook community on a business card, restaurant menu, billboard, print ad, or product packaging is increasingly becoming a trend even in India. 5. Search engine optimization: With the inclusion of Facebook fan pages in search engine results by all major search engines (Google, Yahoo and MSN), you can optimize your fan page to attract more community members. The rules of optimizing a Facebook page are similar to the rules of optimizing a web page. The common elements of SEO such as inclusion of keywords in the page content and URL and incoming links from other relevant sites should be continuously leveraged to generate organic growth. In the next post I will explore the metrics or consumer signals that you must regularly track. |
  11. 11. COMMUNITY BUILDING ON SOCIAL MEDIA (FACBEOOK) Tracking Your Company Facebook Page (Originally published at Wall Street Journal: Chief Mentor) In my previous posts on community building on Facebook, I mapped out a way to create a Facebook strategy and promote your company’s Facebook Page. Monitoring it continuously and making sure it occupies the right position in the consumer’s mind, though, will require you to use the right analytics. Your business objectives for launching a community on Facebook will define the metrics you use to measure and optimize the success of your community. For example, if you are building a community to promote your brand, you may want to measure the number of relevant target users that are part of your community and the quality of interactions with those users. Similarly, if your objective is to generate leads for your business, you may want to track the number of relevant queries you receive through your efforts to build a community on Facebook. How will you know that you are on the right track? “Unexplored India - A Treasure Hunt” is a travel community on Facebook that was launched in one of our workshops and stands out as a niche yet, strong example. Within the first three weeks of its launch, this community grew to over 2,000 fans with an exceptionally high degree of engagement (i.e. over 600 interactions per week). |
  12. 12. COMMUNITY BUILDING ON SOCIAL MEDIA (FACBEOOK) Examining the data more, it also became clear that: –With around 400 page views per day (out of which half were from unique visitors), this community had a high proportion of repeat visits –With over 250 photo views per day, it is evident that pictures of unique places are one of the most popular pieces of content offered –Also, with a gender ratio of 70:30 (male to female), it is clear that this community is currently used more by men Practically, this gets translated into the following trends on Facebook Insights (a free metrics dashboard available to all Facebook users): 1. Fan Growth: The number of fans (as well as unsubscribed fans) on your page over a period of time. In the latest version of Facebook Insights, you can also see where fans came from. 2. Demographics: Given that Facebook is aware of the demographic details of its users, it provides highly relevant and useful demographic information comprising age, gender, location (country as well as city) and language. 3. Interaction: The extent of interaction is measured by page views, number of wall posts, likes and comments, which also tell you about the engagement pattern of your page. You can also get insights into what kind of content (text, photo, video etc.) is working or not working. At a macro level, there are a few interesting tools which help you assess the value of your community on Facebook and allow you to do a thorough competitive analysis as well: 1. Facebook Grader: A tool designed by HubSpot to help you assess the ranking of your company’s Facebook page among other pages. 2. Social Page Evaluator: A tool designed by Vitrue to help marketers get a better understanding of a Facebook page’s ”value.” Although it is not a perfectly scientific tool, it can be used as a good indicator to compare two Facebook pages. Here is another study by Vitrue to help you gauge the dollar value of each fan on your company’s Facebook page. |
  13. 13. COMMUNITY BUILDING ON SOCIAL MEDIA (FACBEOOK) To summarize the complete process of launching and nurturing a community on Facebook, let me give you a framework which you can use as a guide to connect all the pieces of community building covered in this article series. I would like to end this series by encouraging you to continuously experiment and evolve your strategy as you move along in the community-building process on Facebook. I will be writing next on “Online Reputation Management.” Do let me know the topics in digital marketing you would like me to write about. |