By Jay Bemis | Advertising Systems Inc.
Perhaps you saw Facebook debut its first Super Bowl commercial earlier this month. Titled “Facebook Groups: Ready to Rock?” and set to Twisted Sister’s “I Wanna Rock,” it ends with comedian Chris Rock and actor Sylvester Stallone, decked like Rocky Balboa, celebrating at the top of the steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art — a la Stallone’s famous “Rocky” scene.
They and a flash mob are celebrating Facebook Groups, and before its raucous closing, the ad has shown you that there are indeed Facebook groups for about every interest: Craft cocktails, rock climbing, rock buggies, rocketry, triathlon and, yes, people who love Rocky Balboa, among them.
The ad sounds a bell on one way your company could ramp up its social marketing efforts. Joining a Facebook group or similar online forum can not only reap potential customers; it also can bring more exposure and traffic to your website and related social-media efforts.
Try by joining a Facebook group that fits your company’s niche — say, digital marketing. A Facebook search will reveal, for example, a group titled Digital Marketing (Work From Home), which itself boasts more than 104,000 members and generated nearly 6,000 posts from its membership in the last month alone.
Digging into the forums within these groups, you also can get some insight into what like-minded people are talking about or want to know more about. Better yet, maybe someone is asking a question that you specifically can answer through your company’s website or a recent blog post. Respond within the forum, and provide a link to the site and blog.
Forum discussions often appear in top searches on Google, too. Perhaps your forum answer will strike some more gold in potential customers and traffic.
Getting involved in Facebook groups and other such online forums isn’t the only way to drive more traffic to your site and make it more visible, of course. Here are three more social marketing actions that you could take to help you accomplish the feat:
1) Bring Customer Service to the Forefront
Think of your social media channels as a second storefront or office operation. By answering customer concerns or insights on those channels promptly, your customers see you as a company that cares — and one that provides a convenient place at which they can get quick information.
A good rule to follow: Respond to customer concerns or insights on social media as quickly as possible, at least within 24 hours.
Even behemoths such as AT&T, with its thousands of storefronts and offices around the world, view social media as a second doorway to their customer base. AT&T’s Twitter account, @ATTHelp — formerly@ATTCares — gets a large amount of traffic from customers who may have become frustrated by long voicemail holds or other phone delays with company representatives.
But tweets to ATTHelp usually get top priority and attention — as in quick replies from the company, which posts responding tweets to show the company cares about its customers.
2) Become a News Source
Successful social media channels have found that sharing news about community events is a good way to interact with their customers. Followers on those channels particularly like posts with which they can identify, such as the approaching weekend or holiday plans or whatever’s currently trending on social media.
When you share news, offer your own insights with your posts, such as your own company’s involvement in the event, and add a question that might get your customers engaged.
3) Network With Other Businesses
LinkedIn, as you may well know, features a rather fair share of groups and niches of its own for its ranks.
When you see on your LinkedIn feed that a cross-town business that offers products similar to yours has won some sort of award or recognition, share the post with your readers and offer some congratulations, perhaps with a hashtag or an “@” if your message is a tweet.
That other business might have triple the number of followers that you do, and when others see your post, they may just give you a look and start following you on social media, too.