Instant engagement or long-term campaign?

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Many brands use one-off Facebook campaigns to drive traffic to their site, grow the number of fans, generate new leads, or increase conversion. By offering a special promotion, they can often create a spike in sales while the campaign is running. The drawback to this approach is that while the campaign can generate a significant increase in Facebook traffic, it isn’t building overall engagement or long-term brand loyalty. While brands may be bringing fans to their page and generating sales, they are missing out on the long-term engagement possibilities that Facebook (and integration with other social media channels) can offer.

The value of instant engagement

Many brands opt for a one-off campaign because they can see instant engagement and ROI. However, these fans may only be accessing the page to get access to a special promotion, not switching their brand loyalty. In fact, a recent study by AisleBuyer found that 75% of consumers would switch to a different brand if the brand offered them a discount or special promotion.

What are some of the reasons that brands would run a one-off campaign?

  • Promotions to drive traffic to retail stores: Some brands offer special promotions to their Facebook fans to generate more foot traffic to their stores or to see an overall increase in their Facebook fan base.
  • Fan gate to increase “likes”: Some campaigns provided gated content to capture “likes” or emails to build a fanbase and generate leads.
  • Competition: Running a competition such as a photo upload or brand story can be an excellent way for brands to capture Facebook likes and receive unique content from fans.

Not all engagement is created equal

Fans will invest more of their brand passion into submitting user-generated content than liking your Facebook page. Also, by actively managing your Facebook engagement and cultivating a passionate community over a long period of time, you can build a foundation of brand ambassadors. A proactive approach that is centered on improving your fans’ experience with the brand can build a more of a buzzing community.

Here are some of the benefits of long-term engagement versus a one off campaign:

  • Authentic conversation versus pacify criticism: Do you use your Facebook page as a customer feedback platform? While this can be a great way to communicate with fans in real-time, you are reacting to the conversation instead of managing the dialogue. By building up a relationship with your fans around unique content and one-on-one communication, you can steer the conversation from complaints to more involvement with the brand.
  • Is your content starting a conversation? With more involved campaigns, you can ask feedback from your fans, run campaigns to generate their own content to share with their extended networks or get them involved in the co-creation of new products.
  • Asking questions of the community: Using your Facebook page to get feedback in real-time is an often underused benefit of this social channel. As we’ve discussed before, Facebook is an invaluable platform to co-create with fans on products. You already have a base of fans who know your product inside-out, why not use their expertise to mold the product?

Do you know of any great Facebook engagement campaigns? We would love to hear your feedback!

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Ben started his career as Lead Engineer at a social software company, acquired by Student Advantage, and co-founded a company that built award-winning web sites for Nokia, The North Face, Sony Pictures, and Calvin Klein. In 2002, Ben became CTO of DFILM, a web and mobile company with clients such as Sam Adams, Hyundai, Old Navy, IBM, The Sierra Club, and Scion. Ben graduated from Stanford University with Honors, Distinction, and Phi Beta Kappa.

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