News

Your Company’s Facebook Page is a Retention Tool

07.09.13

Ever since Facebook Pages were launched, companies have been trying to find a way to monetize them. They’ve tried Facebook-only sales, Facebook storefronts, Facebook in-stream shopping, and much more to try and make Facebook a revenue stream. So far, organically (without using Facebook Ads) making sales through a Facebook Page has had mixed results. Despite the sheer number of people who use Facebook on a daily basis it simply isn’t the place people go when they want to buy stuff. Instead, they still go to Overstock, Google, Amazon, eBay, Craigslist, or other Internet retailers when they are looking to make a purchase.

Does that mean a Facebook Page for your company isn’t worth maintaining? Absolutely not. As we’ve mentioned here before, customer service remains a vital part of any social media strategy. But one important offshoot of providing excellent customer service (whether on social media or through traditional channels) is customer retention—and that is one of the most important reasons for actively managing your company’s Facebook Page.

A recent study by Syncapse called “Why Do Consumers Become Facebook Brands Fans?” found that 78% of people who follow a brand on Facebook are existing users or customers. This means most of the fans you have on Facebook have already been exposed to your marketing campaign, they have probably already converted on your site, and they made the choice to follow your brand after they converted. The key now is to make sure those customers have a positive association with your brand through your social media efforts. If you can do that, you increase your chances of them returning to your site the next time they have to make a purchase, or renew their yearly subscription when it runs out. But what if one of your customers had an issue and asked for help on Facebook and got no response? Or if your Page posts were so sporadic and irrelevant that Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm decided not to show them to the majority of your followers? Or what if your updates consisted of a constant barrage of marketing and sales messaging? Instead of retaining existing customers because they had a positive association with your brand, you could be losing potential repeat business.

Luckily, managing a Facebook Page isn’t rocket science.  With a minimum amount of effort you should, at the very least, avoid doing any harm, and with some planning and integration across departments, you can do a quite a bit more. If you are able to build relationships with your Facebook followers, you will not only increase the probability that they will continue to be a shopper, but they could also become your brand advocates and bring additional people to your Facebook Page.

If you want to increase your customer retention through Facebook, you can start with:

  • Being there for your customers when they have a problem.
    • This doesn’t mean using the same “copy and paste” responses to all inquiries
  • Providing your audience with relevant, informative, and interesting content.
    • If you’re a national brand, most followers don’t want to hear about your local sports team
  • Being strategic with sales and product posts.
    • If you have a different sale every week, you’ll end up diluting the value of your sales
  • Talking with your fans, not at them.
    • Avoid “marketing to” your fans and instead just interact with them
  • Building trust with your customers.
    • If they don’t trust your company, they’ll stop doing business with it

If you include customer retention as a goal for your social media efforts, and just start with the basics, you could find some of the missing ROI you’ve been looking for from your Facebook Page. The next step is to figure out how to track and measure it!