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Build Fanbases

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Build fanbases

Whether you call them “fans”, “friends”, “followers” or “subscribers”, building a community of visitors will help a company grow its visitor base as well as participate in the conversation about it. Few would argue that customer satisfaction is the foundation of true customer loyalty, while customer dissatisfaction is one of the key factors that drive customers away. This may sound obvious but its importance cannot be overstated. Increasing loyalty is what building fanbases is all about, but you should be aware that building large fanbases and gaining thousands of followers shouldn’t be an end-goal in itself, it is important to put a system in place that produces enough content to keep these fans engaged.

As per Jones and Sasser’s zone of affection, satisfaction levels are high and “customers may have such high attitudinal loyalty that they don’t look for alternative service”. It is within this group that “Apostles” or “Influencers” reside, and this is the group that is responsible for improving future business performance. It is within this group of devotees that businesses can find their most vocal and valuable customers. Through social media, these people can be discovered, nurtured, and stimulated to spread the company's message far and wide. 

To increase a company’s fan base, Facebook recommends doing the following:

  • Encourage visitors to “like” your page; obvious but effective.
  • Partner with other brands or local organizations: this can promote viral sharing of customers between businesses.
  • Expand the reach of your posts: when you mention a person or an organization in your posts, be sure to connect to them in a post so that your post will automatically appear on their wall.
  • Use social plugins on your website: Installing a “Like” box on your homepage or on your newsletters will drive people to your Facebook page.
  • Encourage physical check-ins at your business: these posts will appear in a customer’s News feed, thereby providing more exposure for your business.
  • Promote with ads and sponsored stories.  

The best way to encourage engagement and interaction on Facebook is to post multimedia links on a company’s page. Businesses should post images regularly so they have a better chance of standing out against the competition. Even such things as image status updates will catch the eye of a company's future followers and images are shared much more often than simple text. Running competitions is another great way to increase fans participation and foster engagement, but companies should be aware of Facebook’s rules as they can be quite restrictive.

Just as on Facebook, images are also a great way of increasing engagement on Twitter as well. With the likes of Instagram and Camera+ allowing Twitter integration, it's easier than ever to tweet images. There's no harm in cross posting from different social media sites so businesses shouldn’t be afraid to link to a Facebook or Pinterest post if it's interesting. Better yet, post the image and provide the link to the other site.

A handy way of gaining a few new followers is to use Hashtags (#) when tweeting. While there are always trending topics, businesses shouldn't latch onto them for the sake of it. Instead, identify hashtags that are relevant to the brand and tweet witty or useful information using it. If a business provides value, its tweets could be retweeted, resulting in more exposure and some new followers.

Facebook groups aid in the power of relationship building and forming genuine connections with an audience. Groups will help spread the word through a company's fan base and, in many cases, Facebook groups allow the fans to do most of the marketing work.

Facebook and Twitter chatbots can also be utilized to connect with potential visitors. Currently, Facebook is delving into the intriguing world of artificial intelligence (AI) in order to have computer software programs, called bots, take over sales and customer service functions on Facebook’s Messenger platform. This has profound consequences not only for Facebook’s bottom line, but for marketers such as Melco as well.

For example, the airline KLM uses Facebook bots that allow customers a quick, easy and painless way to book travel on the airline. It provides a customer all of his or her flight information, ticket confirmations, boarding passes and up-to-date flight information. It is a simple application, but it is effective, allowing people to book flights right within Facebook Messenger in about half the time it would take on their website. Moreover, all of the notifications appear in Facebook, not on email.