Establishing Brand Management on Facebook

The number of consumers using Facebook as their primary means of interacting with brands is increasing. If companies are looking to maximize their brand management efforts, they need to not only have a presence on the social network, but they also need to actively engage  prospects and customers.

According to a recent report from market research firm Lab42, approximately nine in ten Facebook users (87 percent) “like” brands on the social network. Moreover, 50 percent of respondents believe Facebook is the most useful point of contact for a company, even more so than a business’ homepage.

More than four in five said that Facebook is an apt communication channel to engage with brands, and 75 percent of consumers who have interacted with a company through the social site feel more connected to that business than they have previously. Additionally, these connections tend to be viral, as 69 percent of a brand’s Facebook fans have done so because their friends also follow that company.”Only five years ago, the term ‘like’ was just another word used to describe one’s preferences,” Lab42 notes on its blog. “In today’s digital universe, however, the notion of ‘liking’ something has become ubiquitous. Liking is one of the primary ways people exert their tastes and preferences online, and it has created an entirely new type of conversation – one between consumers and brands.”

Still, many Facebook users believe companies aren’t managing their brands effectively on the social site. Among the 82 percent of survey takers who thought Facebook was an effective means to interact with businesses, only one-third (35 percent) have ever had brands respond back to them, highlighting the half-hearted nature many companies take toward social brand management.

Simplifying social brand management
Facebook is home to upward of 800 million consumers, approximately half of which use the social site through their smartphones and tablets. Obviously, this represents a significant brand management opportunity, given the frequency of usage and number of people logging on to the social site.

At the same time, keeping pace with fast-moving social networks can be a difficult task. The bigger a brand is, the harder it can be to read all the incoming messages and respond to each one in a thoughtful yet efficient process. Brands need to realize the importance of social media to brand management, while at the same time work on developing effective engagement strategies that can be executed in a timely fashion.

There are a number of steps that you can take to establish and improve your brand on Facebook.

First and foremost, businesses need to create and share content that exemplifies the personality of their brands. Social lives and dies by the content that’s published and shared through it. Popular media will be shared more often, which greatly extends the potential reach of your business. If your fans share your content, that means you are engaging not only them, but also all of their social media connections.

Remember that your social media fans and followers are just that – enthusiasts. You need to realize that you can’t control them with your social media strategy, but by developing engaging, effective content, you can encourage specific behaviors. As noted by Wendy Clark, senior vice president of integrated marketing communications and capabilities at Coca-Cola, “quality content is the currency of social media.”

“With 72 hours of content uploaded every minute on YouTube, the world is not suffering from lack of content,” she told CNN Money. “With this in mind, content creation has to be useful, interesting, important,and  share-worthy.”

Of course, if you’re trying to establish your brand, it’s also important that all social media is compliant with the guidelines you set for your company. Brand-approved digital asset libraries are tools that can help you ensure off message media doesn’t make its way on to your social media profiles and in front of consumers.

Remember, once a piece of content is live on a Facebook profile or Twitter account, it can be very difficult to remove it before it’s seen. Digital asset management can help your company stay on point with your message, regardless of how many people are working with your brand.