Turning Facebook “Likes” Into Customer Loyalty & Information
Yes, yes, it’s true — another post about Facebook. After writing up that series about how to create and use a Facebook page for your business, I’ve been keeping my eyes out for new thoughts or updated information about the subject — after all, the best practices of social media change just as fast as the technology itself. My goal’s to provide you with the information to help your business benefit most from this free marketing tool (and others), which means I’m passing along ideas as I find them. The new thought with Facebook pages? — this year’s change to the “timeline” format allows businesses to leverage the amount of “likes” they’ve acquired over past months into real, useful information and customer loyalty. (Which means this connects back to creating lifetime customers, too, I suppose.)
Anyway, what this means in pragmatic terms is that, assuming you’ve built a base of followers who like your Facebook page already, it’s time to shift your focus from getting more and more page “likes” to providing compelling content on your timeline. Compelling content, the argument goes, leads to customer and fan interaction: comments, likes, reposts, etc. Mark Herring, chief strategy officer of the consulting firm Expion, urges restaurants to “think of [their] Facebook pages as a portfolio of things you have to put out…and provide a mix of things to keep you compelling.” So, whether you’re posting photos, special deals, information, specials, or menu changes in little blurbs on Facebook, it’s important that everything feel relevant to your fans; these are things they will care about or be interested in, things that will engender them further to your establishment or brand.
Perhaps most importantly, you want to be creating genuine conversation with your Facebook page. It’s not just about providing inert and non-interactive posts about what you’re doing, it’s about asking fans and followers for feedback, for input, for their opinions. By involving them in the process, they’ll feel more connected to your business — more loyal. This is what’s meant by “relevant”; what you post should be not only important or useful, it should also be designed to get further likes and comments from your customers, which lead to multi-person interactions that you can yourself respond to or engage in. As I’ve mentioned in multiple posts before, restaurant customers are most often looking for somewhere they feel secure, welcome, and valued, whether they realize this consciously or not. They’re looking for a home, a family, away from home. If you want to keep them coming back again and again, you have to provide this sense of community, of knowing one another. Facebook interaction is just one way — but in this digital age, it’s an important one.
If you don’t already, try posting some new — more interactive — content on your Facebook page. See what happens. I bet you’ll like it. Leave a comment below or contact us here with questions.