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Talking to Brand Fans: The Best Kind of “Feedback” Loop

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Talking to Brand Fans: The Best Kind of “Feedback” Loop image social media feedback 300x207Social media is becoming a bigger and bigger avenue through which consumers can interact with businesses, and customer service via Facebook, Twitter, and other sites has become increasingly common. In this article, learn why engaging in a Q&A feedback cycle with brand fans on social media can boost your social presence while also improving brand loyalty.

Word of Mouth Advertising Continues to Dominate

Piggybacking off of my recent articles on engaging with brand fans and loyal customers, let’s talk about some new statistics in the social media marketing arena. MarketShare just released a white paper that focuses on an analysis of word of mouth advertising, particularly social media.

The analysts looked at four different industries (brokerage, investment, beverages, and auto, for the curious) and measures the effect of what they called “social voice” on sales. This “social voice,” which is essentially word of mouth advertising done by brand fans in person and through social networks, it turns out, has a huge effect on sales.

Word of mouth advertising, according to the white paper, lead to marketing efforts that were 54% more effective than campaigns that didn’t have the backing of brand fans. Up your social voice by 10%, they found, and you’ll likely see an increase in sales in the ballpark of 1.5%. These are just the statistics to back up what you already know: it’s hugely important for your business to engage with brand fans online. Now, how are you going to do that?

Answer Brand Fans’ Questions

It seems like an obvious point of engagement with brand fans, but answering their questions through social media is often left off of how-to-improve-your-social-media-game lists. Answering questions that fans ask on your social media page is a fairly perfect form of engagement. On one hand, you’re supplying additional, factual information, which can help win them over from your potential competitors. On the other, you’re showing them that you care about their business, and you care about them personally (at least, if you don’t direct them to a FAQ page!).

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A recent post on MarketingProfs makes a few suggestions for brands looking to engage with their fans by answering questions.

  • Answer at least 65% of the questions asked by your brand fans. You don’t have to respond to everyone, but you want to make it clear that if fans ask a question, you’re likely to engage with them.
  • Invite fans to ask you questions and give you feedback, through both an open social media presence and posted CTAs.
  • Respond in a timely manner. On average, respond to fans on Facebook within about 13.7 hours of the initial post. Don’t leave your fans hanging!

The speeds with which brands respond to inquiries and the number of questions they answer are both increasing, so you’ll want to get in on the action before your competitors sweep you away.

Questions: Part of a Social Media Strategy

Of course, answering questions can’t be your only strategy for engaging with brand fans. You should also be asking questions. Another MarketingProfs post highlighted seven lessons learned from the recent Super Bowl ad campaigns, and noted that while roughly half of the Super Bowl ads provided a URL for the main business page, way fewer provided a social media access point. Even fewer included a CTA or point of engagement for customers.

The article highlighted Oreo’s Instagram campaign, which asked fans a direct question: is the crème or the cookie better? While questions to your fans are likely not going to be based on an iconic dessert debate, there are plenty of ways that you can engage with fans in a question and answer cycle through social media.

You might ask, for example, what fans’ favorite product or service is, or you could take a humbler approach and ask what you can improve. Ask fans to talk about memories associated with your product or service, or what they get out of your business. The possibilities are limitless, and so is the amount of engagement that you can inspire from your brand fans.

Remember: your engagement with brand fans through social media needs to be a two-way street, not a bunch of content tossed at your followers and forgotten. Engage in a conversation with brand fans by asking and answering questions, and see how you can turn that social voice into conversions!

How do you handle questions posed to your business through social media? Are you aiming to get feedback from your brand fans?

Comments on this Article: 1

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  1. Carolyne says:

    Great article! Social Media is increasingly impacting how businesses interface with their customers, and while word of mouth remains the most effective channel in communicating with your brand followers–social voice is definitely the new word of mouth in social media space, and those who engage their followers in this exchange will no doubt benefit.

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