Internet, specifically, social media like Facebook and Twitter has somehow replaced the media such as radio, TV and newspaper. Internet is not only used to research on topics for education, information and entertainment, but also for promotion and marketing.
Janette Toral talked to Digital Specialist Leynard "Ley" Quizon on Facebook marketing and promotion.
Make Facebook Promotion Work for You from Janette Toral on Vimeo.
I have to agree with Leynard, companies should tap social media. Even personalities, websites and bloggers create Facebook fan pages to reach out to their followers. This simply means that social media is such a powerful tool in building and destroying one's name.
But companies should also consider that Facebook marketing doesn't end with having thousands of fans. If I may share, I know and liked an international food chain store Facebook pages (and I really meant, pages) because I really like its products. This company has created 3 Facebook pages for Philippines alone. One is the official page carrying the brand name (Facebook Page 1), the other one has an "official" in its fan page name (Facebook Page 2) and the third is being maintained by a fictional chic introduced by the brand who they say best represents the brand (Facebook Page 3).
The brand launched a promo where in fans must post a photo in the Facebook page. It is clearly stated in the email blast (I subscribed to their newsletter) which Facebook page should we upload our photos (Facebook Page 1) to. In the middle of the promo, the mechanics were changed - asking the fans to upload in the other Facebook page. Until the winners were announced (and as expected, I wasn't listed). The company only chose the winners from the list who posted in Facebook Page 3! That is quite disappointing knowing I was one of the firsts who joined the promo. But what is more disappointing is how they managed and planned the promo. I posted an inquiry to the fan page that there has been a change in mechanics and so contestants got confused and just randomly posted in the 3 Facebook pages. I was even more surprised when I received the answer. The admin who is maintaining the Facebook Page 3 replied that the promo mechanics was first launched in that page. I replied and even posted a screenshot of the newsletter I received and a blog entry regarding the promo stating that photos must be uploaded in Facebook Page 1. The admin said they would investigate on this. Until now I was awaiting for the response. I even sent them an email voicing out my disappointment (not for not winning), but for how they organize things, since we expect alot from this famous company. I haven't received a replied yet and this was in September 2010. I was not asking for a piece of their product, as a consumer, all I need to know is the explanation - on what went wrong, what to expect in the future and what is instore for all the followers.
What is the take away?
For companies, promotion doesn't end in having thousands of fans. Make the most out of the fan page. Some Facebook Fan Pages even post links of the blog reviews to share with their followers (great example is Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf). This strengthens the branding of the company and gives assurance that everything is not just promotion.
The fan page is also a good venue in addressing customers/followers' concerns. We can easily post a question in the wall and the admin can easily reply. This would be efficient too since customers/followers' who would have the same concern need not to post the same question, but rather just follow the conversation or status update.
Updating the Facebook page with promotions and new products is also a must for the companies. I know some Facebook pages that has died out with no updates, whatsoever. I guess commitment from the marketing team must also be present when deciding to go social in promoting the brand.
Contest must also be run smoothly from the mechanics announcement to claiming of prizes. I adore Watson's for being a good example on this. Announcements are always complete with the information on how and when to claim the prizes. The admin is also prompt in answering the questions and concerns.
For a Facebook page to be really successful, it should be engaging. Two of the most engaging Facebook pages I have encountered is the Go Nuts Donuts and Maybelline Philippines. Go Nuts Donuts has a lunch time promo which is a big hit for the followers. The admin posts a question which would only run at lunch time. So everyday, there is donut winner. A great and smart marketing - in which the company doesn't need to invest too much in the prizes. I am sure that Go Nuts Donuts is getting a lot of new followers everyday - because of the updates sent to Facebook by those who comment on the contest announcement. Maybelline on the other hand, always has something new and exciting contests in Facebook. Last month, Maybelline surprised all the birthday celebrants for the month of January and February and gave them the product that they answered on Maybelline's contest question - what is your favorite Maybelline product? Too bad, I didn't post a reply. :D
Creating a Facebook fan page is already a creative way of marketing, but once a company has a Facebook fan page, it must also be creative in keeping its followers interested and engaged.
As a consumer and follower on the other hand, we also need to be responsible. Although Facebook pages are accessible for us to post our rants and complaints. We always need to be professional in dealing with issues. Better ask for the marketing's email address and send a note to voice out your concerns. This way, the company would have a more valid support document when investigating on the concern/issue. If you haven't received a reply (like I do), well, you can always unlike the page. ;) Funny but true, experiences affect how we perceive brands and companies, but the voice of the consumer is always the good trigger to improve the service and products. We may not get the result that we wanted at this point, but we can always look forward in what they would offer in the future.
I may not be a professional in marketing and social marketing, but I have a voice and opinion because I think and act and not just follow. :)
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