Social media is all about interaction, it is an ongoing conversation. What is striking today is that many social media initiatives fail to understand this concept, because they do not address their audiences using the right approach.
What is the right approach? It includes creating brand engagement by using diversified content that does not only appeal to the brand itself, but that mostly creates a two way communication between the customers and the brand in order to build ‘’human relationships’’ with them, because in the end, it is the human factor that contributes to sharing brand experience, engagement and loyalty.
Each brand has its own voice on Facebook, and usually, the more ‘’fun’’, “rich” and “original” the tone of voice is, the more customers will interact with. But does it really have to be that way?
As a community manager, I monitor what brands are doing on Facebook on a daily basis, and I have identified 5 brands on the Lebanese market that have the “right” approach in terms of content. These 5 brands are: AL Wadi el Akhdar, TUC ME, Castania Nuts, Nido Arabia and Samsung Lebanon.
1- Al Wadi el akhdar is a famous Lebanese food brand, with a fan base of 19,583 fans. Their content is directly related to their food products. The diversity of their posts during the commercial peak (holidays recipes, desserts, soups, health facts ..) along with their recent ‘’Kitchen follies’’ competition where users had to test their ‘’Holidays recipes’’ ingredients maximized their visibility on Facebook during the months of December-January. Draws were conducted on a weekly basis and the award was a Moulinex Pie&Co. The other competitions that were also launched in a period of 6 months succeeded to increase level of engagement with their fans and strengthen their visibility on Facebook.
2- TUC ME: The famous cracker brand managed to have a fan base of 53,194 fans in a period of 2 months.
Their content is very diversified and unrelated to their products in most of their posts. They mainly focus on interactive/funny visuals which is proven to be the most effective type of content to generate interaction with their fans.
They recently launched the TUCMAN competition that is similar to the PACMAN game with various encouraging prices (iPhone5, Samsung S III, iPad mini, PS3) for people to participate. They faced many complaints from their fans who were reporting cheating and took action by ANNOUNCING they are disqualifying the cheaters, a post that has strengthened their credibility among their Facebook community.
3- Castania Nuts is a Lebanese nuts brand with a fan base of 38,160 fans.
During Christmas they launched h a funny competition where fans were supposed to throw nuts to feed Santa. This game resulted in more visibility for Castania because of the automated “share” message that allowed the game to go viral. Their content is focused on their products and they mostly include posts that are related to their products. One example is a post where they use the predicted date of the end of the world Dec 21 2012 to promote Castania.
4- Nido Arabia’s fanbase is 84,477 fans. Their posts are not only interactive, but also informative, both in Arabic and English, in relation to children’s health. They mainly target parents by giving advices on how to properly give the right nutrients to children using the expertise of Nutritionists and certified health professionals and prepare delicious recipes for their children.
They also use the approach of launching competitions on their Facebook page. One of their competitions was ‘’Mommie Knows “in addition to another app called ‘’Parent talk’’ where they pushed user generated content by asking parents to share their stories of how they encourage their children to drink milk.
5- Samsung Lebanon’shas 74,388 fans on Facebook. Their content is informative and focused only on Samsung’s products and features, along with tips on how to use certain products like Samsung S III and galaxy note II.
During Christmas they resorted to a CSR campaign where the fan with the most shared pictures would contribute to the give away of a camera to “ANTA AKHI”. They launched an event called ‘’ Galaxy note- Be creative event’’ which was a good mean of promoting a new product by involving their community since they have asked fans to wear disguises and tag themselves.
Sharing informative content, positioning your brand as an expert on a certain topic related to what you sell, offering tips and help for your audience, distracting and amusing your community with funny facts, using insights from your fans to promote your brand, these are some of the directions your brand can adopt when managing your community on Facebook.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that it is enough for you to say that you have a good social media “strategy”. Being present on social media is not enough: you need to plan everything behind this presence according to your business objectives. So before stating that you already have a social media strategy just because you have a large fan base and a good level of engagement on Facebook, think about it and ask yourself: why are you actually doing it?