There is a reason for the word “fan” in “Facebook fan page”. It’s there to imply interactions with your fans, right? Well, only partially. An effective Facebook fan page not only provides a platform for business-to-fan conversations but it also helps enable fan-to-fan interactions. Last week you heard from Charlie how the Cisco Networking Academy team is using Facebook. This week’s story is about the Linksys Facebook fan page. As Brenna Karr (@BrennaNoD) Social Media specialist for the Linksys brand within Cisco Consumer Products put it so nicely: “You’re not running the conversation, you’re playing in their space. Be one of them.”
1. Know Your Target Audience…On Facebook
Understanding your target audience is one thing, but an understanding of how to provide information that is interesting and relevant to your fans on Facebook is another. Defining the purpose of your page and then creating content and engagement opportunities that suit your fans is critical to success.
2. Encourage Your Fans to Share and Comment
Corporations are starting to get the hang of asking questions on their Facebook pages to encourage conversations with their fans. This is a good thing. But what the Cisco Consumer Product team has done well is taking these conversations to the next level – by asking their fans to share their content and comment on each other’s posts. In other words, they encourage conversations amongst their fans. Encouraging fans to share content can help exponentially spread the word. And by asking people to comment, you can help create a deeper engagement which in turn gives people a reason to come back to your page. Just remember to make the call to action visible and straightforward.
3. Enable User-Generated Content
In the spirit of community enablement, the Cisco Consumer Products team introduced the “Linksys: Show Us Yours” program in the summer of 2010. This 2-month challenge targeted Twitter and Facebook fans, urging them to post photos of their network hardware setup to the Linksys Facebook page. This helped bring some fun into their day-to-day activities and spark some healthy competition among networking aficionados. “People really got into the Show Us Yours challenge and were commenting on each other’s photos, and arguing over whose network setup was best”, said Brenna.
4. Embrace the Side Benefits
This fun activity has created a series of side benefits for the team. For one, the photo uploads and comments triggered passionate debates about the Linksys products and this challenge evolved into a learning forum where people shared tips and tricks with each other. In addition, the Linksys Facebook page has grown into a place for technical support as enthusiastic Linksys owners, or “brand ambassadors”, jumped in to answer questions and help out their fellow community members. By embracing the community’s dedication, the Linksys team was able to tap into the collective wisdom of their fans.
5. Budget Is Not Everything
This challenge is a great example of how you can enable peer-to-peer interactions on a shoestring budget, or in this case, no budget at all. Brenna continues: “There are people who have a true passion for Linksys and we took a chance on them. There was a winner each week in the “Show us Yours” program but there were no prizes. The challenge was for bragging rights. People participated because they wanted to show their creativity and solutions, and see how others addressed the same challenge. When you create opportunities that are relevant and interesting to the fan base, monetary prizes are not required to ensure participation.”
What were the results, you might ask. Fan engagement during the challenge increased 600% – 700%. Over the course of the year, with the combination of challenges like these, product launches, and advertising, Fan page membership quadrupled, and the team saw an increase in Linksys router sales. Well done!