Part two of Using the tools available to your advantage

So I have been experimenting with a number of different out lets for interacting with the Email Marketing Community and I’m had some great success with twitter and some mediocre success with some of the other channels I’ve been playing in. Ad serving for one – but that is a different post – and Facebook.

For Facebook I’ve been playing with two different application this first a Fan Page and the second a Blog Network. both have 20-25 members and very low engagement rates even though I frequently update them with the posts made right here.

So I started to look elsewhere for a success story on Facebook and last night I was presented with it completely by chance. Some of you may have seen my list of Blogs (bottom of right column) that I maintain or write at other then this one… and last night I was out an an event for one of them where I got to talking with the Marketing and PR team of the event organizers (no names as I didn’t ask permission to discuss the details here and have had to pieced together much of the campaign based on my own observations).

Get more members to join their Facebook Fan Page – Starting number ~100 Fans. The team began thinking about how to further engage an already already active community – Active in our Forums, on Twitter, on Facebook (but not fans), and in community sites – within a new dedicated channel.

The ultimate responsibility fell to the community managers for this organization where they took the lead in creating a contest focused on engaging the target audience – pick something people are passionate about and figure out how to catch their interests in this case – post your picture while engaging with our product.

They focused on a number of different areas…

    1 – Notifying the members of their various networks and posting links back to the community forum.

      a) Twitter – asking people to Re-tweet the contest – Tweet note: leave at least 16 characters available in the original message so you can be Re-tweeted (usually RT @InitialUser: Original message)
      b) Facebook – Asking people to update their status to include your promotion – possibly for an extra entry.
      c) Email communications – Promote the Fan page in your regular communications and for new initiatives dedicate an entire message for this new channel.
      d) Home Page/Forum notices – place a notice about your ongoing campaign.

    2 – Drive people to enter by posting on Facebook – Images and stories about the contest.
    3 – Give the community (Fan page members) the ability to comment and engage with each other, being careful to moderate and police comments and keep things civil.
    4 – Continual updates and reminders – the event ends in 3 days, 2 days, tomorrow, today.

The Results:

    – Net Growth of Fan base 1300 members – total now stands at ~1,400 Fans.
    – 360 entered into contest
    – Dozens of replies and comments on each of the updates and reminders for the contest
    – One happy customer

Thinking about engaging your users on Facebook but not sure how – well I hope this story gives you some good ideas on how to go about growing your community.

Remember most social networks are free to use, and require only that you be creative and invest the time and attention being evolved with your virtual neighbors. Also i’d add that once you have a community people will use it as a place to vent problems and concerns over your products and services – you have to be ready for this and prepared to deal with these people. Support and empower your community managers to help turn each issue into a win-win success story for the customer and your organization.

Have an opinion? Share it with me by commenting here or sending me a tweet @emailkarma