This guest-post was written by Mary Walker. Mary is a junior at the University of Georgia. She is studying public relations and consumer-journalism, with the intention of attending graduate school for corporate communications. Mary is currently an intern at Heideldesign. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.If your business isn't on Facebook yet, consider this: Facebook membership has swelled to more than 750 million active users, and many of them are likely potential clients. These users spend 700 billion minutes on Facebook per month, making this social network a game-changer for the company-consumer relationship.
Facebook isn't just for individuals anymore. Facebook gives businesses constant access to their target audiences, with opportunities for direct, open communication in a friendly, non-invasive environment.
So how does this work? The Facebook company/customer relationship can be mutually beneficial in several ways. On Facebook, your customers can "Like" your business page. When they do so, it's a public recommendation of your organization that everyone in their Facebook network can see. In return, you give your fans special offers, event updates and exclusive product or service information.
Your Facebook page is also an ideal environment for two-way communication, allowing customers to leave feedback, reviews or ask questions. Having this dialog in a public forum allows you, the company, to have a positive voice - a personality - and to showcase your customer responsiveness.
From large to small, businesses around the world are using Facebook in a variety of ways. Here are just a few case studies.
Nike's "Free Arena"
Nike utilized Facebook to help promote one of the company's most successful active-wear lines to date - the Nike Frees.
Nike introduced a unique Facebook page called the "Free Arena." The page allows fans to upload home videos of themselves doing something active. The posted videos include a plethora of dunks, skateboarding tricks, high dives and other stunts users can view. Anyone can upload a video - they simply have to be active.
Nike used the "Free Arena" to promote the idea that there is no right way to be active, and to encourage customers to use the gear freely.
Other major corporations such as BMW are using video to increase their Facebook page views. BMW utilizes "BMW TV" to upload videos about their cars, and most videos have had at least 10,000 views.
Stella & Dot
Stella & Dot is a San Francisco-based social selling company that creates entrepreneurship opportunities for women around the country. With more than 110,000 fans, Stella & Dot uses Facebook as both a recruiting and promotional tool. The company's "Opportunity" page allows women to learn how they can start a Stella & Dot company from their home.
The company also reaches out to its customers through a "Style Guide" page that shows women how to accessorize like celebrities, clips about Stella & Dot in magazines and news about their upcoming collections.
Willy's Mexicana is an Atlanta-based Mexican food on-the-go restaurant using Facebook to promote the company's friendly environment.
Willy's Facebook page includes a "Wednesdays Willy-isms" page where the founder shares a random thought of the day. It connects the followers to the establishment by giving them a view into the personality behind the food.
Affordabike, a Charleston-based custom cruiser bike shop, uses Facebook as an extension of its website. The company allows viewers to create a custom bike on the page. Once the bike is created, the user is forwarded to Affordabike's website to purchase the creation - a perfect example of interaction between Facebook and a company website.
Cool Mom Picks
Cool Mom Picks, a Heideldesign client, is a website run by moms who find intriguing new products that are mom-friendly, yet trendy.
Cool Mom Picks' unique Facebook page, "Cool Mom Tech," allows followers to become email newsletter subscribers so they can receive exclusive features, techie-trends and special offers. They also stream their latest Cool Mom Tech post direct to Facebook automatically using Movable Type.
Facebook has changed the way consumers interact with the companies and corporations they support. In response, companies ranging from large to small are finding unique ways to utilize Facebook to increase their client-base. Are you ready to do the same? Contact us to see how we can help you capitalize on the added exposure of a successful Facebook campaign.