Tuesday, September 27, 2011

They LIKE You, They LIKE You Not: Is Your Brand Likeable?

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Congratulations, your Facebook page has just hit 500,000 likes! That means your brand is in the clear: your customers love you, sales will skyrocket, and you’ll be making millions in no time… right? No more worrying about late nights at the office because it’ll be smooth sailing from here on out… right?
Um… no.  That’s totally wrong.
Sorry, but 500,000 likes doesn’t necessarily make you a likeable brand: neither does 1 million likes, nor does 5 million likes. Yes, people may like your product or service, but do they really like your brand? The bottom line is that people want to feel appreciated: They like you, but what are you doing for them in return? In social media, communication is a two-way street – your fans want to be liked as much as you want them to like you. The more you show appreciation for your fans, the stronger your relationships with your customers will be. The stronger these relationships are, the more likely it is that your fans will become loyal, long-term customers (cha ching… there’s your ROI!). So… how do you show your fans how much you like them? Here are a few suggestions:

LISTEN to them! Your fans are not posting on your page for their comments to end up somewhere in cyberspace, never to be seen or heard from again. They want to know that you’re listening and care about what they say. If they have a complaint about your product, find out what’s wrong and how you can help. If they love your product, say “thank you” and ask them about the last time they used it. If they just stop by to say “hello,” say “hello” back and ask them how their day is going.
Take Action! Actions speak louder than words: you can tell that person that never received the product they ordered 3 weeks ago that you’re going to fix the problem, but it means nothing unless you actually do it. Apologize, track down his order number, send him a private message, and maybe send him a little extra something to make up for experience. Remember that customer service extends way beyond the Facebook wall.
Don’t be a salesperson, be a friend! How would you feel if your friend kept making you buy her things? You’d probably feel as if she were taking advantage of you. Well, your fans would feel that way too. Rather than constantly telling them to buy your product, try asking them questions. What’s happened to them recently? What stories do they have to share? Show them that you’re there to listen.
Surprise and delight! There’s nothing wrong with showing your fans a little extra love. Show them you appreciate them by offering them an exclusive discount or new feature. What about that woman who’s order got lost in the mail? Send her a little something extra. Surprising yours fans with unexpected rewards makes them happy, so they’ll keep coming back for more.
Is your brand likeable?
How do you show your fans that you appreciate them?


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