Facebook for Brands: Pinpointing the Timeline for Customer Engagement
Awhile ago, I was browsing through Facebook and I saw a great post from Target. It reads "What's your first Target memory? We're reliving our first (almost) 50 years as we start filling in our new Facebook timeline, with more milestones to come."
I don't know about the rest of you, but I find this to be an utterly brilliant social move by Target. As you can see there were already 1,000 comments and 50 shares when I first spotted it. People were sharing stories of shopping with their parents, and now shopping with their own children, or even how Target team members helped keep a store of customers safe during a tornado in Ohio. It's personal, it's engaging, it's brilliant.
Not only does this encourage people to share their memories of Target for further consumer engagement, but for many of the top stories, they can pop them up on their timeline and give a deeper perspective to the brand.
While Target is making the most of their timeline use, brands also have the opportunity to leverage Timeline for their consumers. Here's an easy example: I purchased a car recently. I want to show my car off to the world, because I'm thrilled about it! I took some quick photos on my camera, and then went to Facebook to upload them into an album, which quickly became littered with likes and comments.
Out of curiosity, I searched to see if there was a "life event" on the Timeline that I could add for purchasing my car. Sure enough there was. It asked for the Make/Model of the car and where I purchased it, and next thing I knew, it attached both a page for the model, and for the dealership I worked with, which I didn't even think of "liking" before. Thumbs up for both.
The life event asked for a story and for a photo, I added that I "Love my car!" and one of my photos and there was my new glowing life story.
Little does the dealership know this, but I just provided them with a great advertisement geared toward my social network. If any of my friends are considering purchasing a car and they see this good-looking car and that I'm completely happy with it, they might just ask me for more information, or check out the pages to get more information.
Brands: Encourage the Recommendation
While my experience at this dealership was great, and I've certainly rated them high on their rating systems, one dealership wasn't so lucky. Unfortunately for them, the salesperson I worked with provided a link in email correspondence to their "glowing ratings" and in return, I gave them a piece of my mind.
When it comes to a large-scale purchase like a car, buyers will often consider customer service as a deciding factor on where to purchase. It's crucial that they establish a high reputation for customer service, and customer recommendations can help in that regard.
Wouldn't it be great to send a new eager buyer home with a card that says (using my own example here) "Welcome to the Hyundai family! Snap a photo and let us see your new Elantra on our Facebook page!" with a QR code linking there? Most dealerships want to help with the taking of pictures and enjoying your excitement, so it wouldn't be that hard for a salesperson to include that in the final run through of the car. Doing this at the point of sale instead of asking a few weeks after, gets the most excited response and a greater likelihood that the buyer will be enthusiastic about recommending their experience.
The same goes for really any sort of product or service, whether repairing/installing windows, or a hospital visit (minus the pictures, of course). Ask for the review at the end of the visit and encourage them to write about it on your Facebook page or theirs (while tagging you). Your prospective customers will be excited by the stellar reviews of your current customers and more motivated to choose you for their next purchase.
With these tips, not only will you re-engage your current customers, but you might also get some prospective customers to tune in as well. What are your thoughts on these Facebook strategies? We'd love to hear them in the comments!