Brands on Facebook

24 04 2009

social-networkI feel quite strongly about the fact that Facebook is not a suitable fit for all brands.

For brands who are wanting to  set up some kind of presence within social media, Facebook is an easy to set-up, cheap option – but just by setting up a page within the popular social network, doesn’t really ensure that you are engaging with your customers effectively.

Just being on Facebook ≠ smart social media plan.

But that being said, there are tools within the platform which brands can use to engage their customers.

  1. Set up a group page, where your customers can become “Fans”
  2. Advertise on the right hand column
  3. Create an application

Mashable has a great article which explains the “5 Elements of a Successful Facebook Fan Page”

Do you think being a “Fan” equates to being an advocate of your brand?

Do you think that Facebook’s recent changes have improved and created a more suitable space for companies to exist?

Tips for On-line Communities

20 03 2009

While I enjoy all aspects of social media, on-line communities is what I have been living and breathing of late – and I have come up with some general tips for companies who are thinking about creating an on-line community for their brand.

Be sure that you are ready to listen to your customers
If you are not genuinely interested in listening to your customers, don’t bother with on-line communities. Don’t waste your time or your customer’s time and beware that a half hearted attempt at social media will almost certainly have a negative impact on customer loyalty.

Be prepared to respond to your customer’s questions
There is no point creating a forum to give them the opportunity to talk to you, if you’re not going to listen. People will only have a one way conversation for so long before they become disinterested and move on.

Respect your customers
Brands can no longer assume that customers aren’t aware or that they are passive. In today’s world if customers do not feel like your brand is being genuine on-line with them, they will tell others about their negative experience – creating negative word of mouth.

Be prepared to dedicate enough time and resources to invest in a real conversation
Remember that creating an on-line community for your customers is a long term investment, that will hopefully create a long term relationship as a result.

Keep your content relevant and interesting

To ensure that your customers will want to return to your community, want to contribute, and participate – the community must contain relevant information, interesting conversation and a space for them to interact.

In tough economic times, and really at all times, a company’s greatest asset is customer loyalty. Customers now have a wealth of information at their fingertips, and are almost always researching reviews of products before they buy.

I won’t book a hotel without reading the reviews on tripadvisor, I won’t buy a product on-line without checking for cheaper deals beforehand, I won’t visit a restaurant before reading the reviews on-line and checking their website…

A recent study found that “86% of consumers read online business reviews before making purchasing decisions; 90% of whom say they trust these reviews” ( survey of 600 users, December 2008).

Source:, read the full post here.

Customer to Company

18 03 2009

angry2Possibly the funniest example of brands missing the mark – and customer’s not liking it. Worth a read, and I apologise if you have already seen this in an email – “An Open Letter to James Thatcher, Brand Manager, Proctor and Gamble“.

Also have a look at the recent Motrin Moms scandal – another example of corporate lack of understanding that caused a huge backlash with customers – will they ever learn?? A drastic drop in their sales might help…