Using Facebook to be High Touch (but low cost.)

» Posted by on Jun 20, 2011 in Business Strategy, Doctors, Facebook, Marketing, Medical Practice | 0 comments

This weekend I had a conversation with a friend about using social media to be “high touch.”  This is something social media is great for, and it’s important to note for the doubters who wonder what place social media has in corporate strategy.

The whole point of social media is that it’s…well, social.  It’s all about personal relationships.  Companies who want to be “high touch” – to form personal relationships with their clients and prospects – will find that social media is a vastly more efficient way of doing so than hosting a lot of expensive face to face events.

Let me give you some examples.  The Weight Watchers fanpage on Facebook has almost three quarters of a million fans.  Every day, someone at Weight Watchers posts a comment related to weight loss – today’s was about burning calories by playing golf.  Pretty much immediately, more than 50 WW members had an impromptu “discussion” about burning calories by playing golf.  These members were bonding with each other, giving each other support and advice, and becoming a community – just as if they were in a meeting together.  Hosted by Weight Watchers, the page becomes a way for members to feel connected to the brand and to each other, and using the page to communicate about a healthy lifestyle becomes a habit that keeps them with the Weight Watchers company.  (Not to mention helping them meet their weight loss goals.)  For WW, having their members connected and using a WW forum as a personal support network means longer subscriptions and fewer cancellations, keeping the recurring revenue stream going.

Here’s another example of a Facebook page where members connect to the organization to support one another.  The Autism Awareness site, with over 300,000 members, posts links to articles a couple of times a day.  Every post, regardless of the topic or time of day posted, generates comments.  The members of the page are connecting with each other for support and discussion through this organization.  Regardless of physical location, socio economic status, or lifestyle, the members are bonding with each other – and are loyal to the organization that provides them the forum for that support.  By posting a “badge” to their own pages, members can spread the word and direct friends to the organization.  It’s win-win marketing, and a great way for the organization to disseminate valuable information about autism.  Other sites to check out include the American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society, both of whom offer successful examples of Facebook communities.

For companies that makes good use of Facebook, it’s a winning business solution.  Facebook pages, even with a customized marketing page, are inexpensive and low maintenance.  The posts are short and generally link to other content – not even requiring particularly original thought.  (“What are you doing for Father’s Day” wasn’t especially brilliant, but generated discussion  with more than 100 members on WW.)  It’s fast, it’s efficient – and it works, building those valuable personal relationships with your customer base that will keep them as customers and make them want to refer their friends.  High touch – at a Low Cost.

If it’s clear your customers love to connect with you and with each other, put together a great Facebook strategy to start with.  With the numbers going up daily, you’ll find a large percentage of your customer base is already on Facebook – probably looking for you.

To learn more about Spalding Barker Strategies, visit our homepage or Contact Us to see how we can help your business.

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