Build Fanbases: Be “Liked”

it is important to put in place a system 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.”47 It is within this group that “Apostles” or “Influencers” reside, and this is the group that is responsible for improved future business performance.47 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.

With little marketing expenditure, a company can get its message out to the wider community and, once again, because these recommendations would be coming in through a marketed person’s contacts, followers and friends, they are messages that are much more likely to be acted upon.

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

  • Encourage visitors to “like” your page.
  • 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
  • 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 your page.[i] You should post images regularly so you have a better chance of standing out, even on status updates as images will catch the eye of your current followers and images are shared much more often than simple text.184 Running competitions is another great way of increasing fans and fostering engagement, but be aware of Facebook’s rules as they can be quite restrictive.184

Just as on Facebook, images are also a great way of increasing engagement on Twitter.184 “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 don'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.”184

Twitter can also be used for competitions, but, once again, check out the rules. Twitter’s rules might not be as strict as Facebook’s, but you should refer to them to understand what is acceptable and what is not.

Building up a following on LinkedIn is not as easy as it is on Facebook and Twitter as there isn't as much scope for posting content.184 However, LinkedIn recently bought Slideshare and they have made it easy to integrate any Slideshare presentations on a LinkedIn page. With LinkedIn, it is important to get involved in groups and discussions as that’s a good way to get one’s brand name out there.184 In this case, you might be promoting yourself more than your actual company page, but your strategy should be about building up your own reputation, which should, subsequently, build up your brand.184

As it is entirely based around visuals, Pinterest has a dedicated following that is worth the time to engage with a casino resort.184 The great thing about it is the fact that you can create boards that only vaguely relate to your company.184 The first step you should take is to pin high quality images. Your followers are going to judge your pins based on their appearance, no surprise there since this is a visual medium so you should use the best quality images available.184

“Something else worth remembering is that for each Pinterest page, each board has its own number of followers that mightn't even be following your page. If you have a number of boards, check to see just how many people are following and prioritize the boards with the most members,” the digital agency Simply Zesty recommends.184 “That doesn't mean you should neglect your other boards, but it can be useful to focus on one or two boards as you build up your following,” Simply Zesty advises.184

Hashtag marketing is, in itself, a science. Casino operators should use hashtags to market the many events that occur within its halls, from sporting events, concerts, to conferences, to eSports events, and beyond. “A handy way of gaining a few new followers is to use hashtags when tweeting. While there are always trending topics, you shouldn't latch onto them for the sake of it. Instead, identify hashtags that are relevant to your brand and tweet witty or useful information using it. If you provide value, you could be retweeted, which will result in more exposure and some new followers.”184

The important thing to keep in mind while you’re building fanbases is you have to keep your content current, you have to make a commitment your fans, they will not return if they have no reason to return. For IRs, there is a constant stream of events and activities and any casino marketing department worth its salt should have plenty of content on events like UFC/MMA fights, Indian film or Asian Oscar Events, Esports competitions, or musical concerts to fill up its social media channels. Why not build an audience who is keyed into these events and build marketing lists of people to be advertised to the next time one of their chosen events roll around?

 

[i] Simply Zesty. (2012, November). How to increase your social media following. Retrieved from simplyzesty.com: http://www.simplyzesty.com/Blog/Article/November-2012/How-To-Increase-Your-Social-Media-Following

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