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How well do you know your Facebook fans: 3 ways to get consumer information

 

Ok great! Thousands of people follow you on Facebook. You’ve got great interaction stats and the channel is being used effectively to answer questions or disseminate information to the people out there.

But ask yourself these important questions – Who are these people? What exactly do you know about them? Do you have their contact information or their likes/dislikes when it comes to your services? And most importantly, when the time comes will you be able to contact each one of them individually?

These are the questions you should be asking yourself if you are assessing how effectively you are using Facebook to your advantage.  You may think that the questions above don’t relate to how you are using Facebook. Although there are some chances this could be true, I haven’t come across a business in the world who wouldn’t want to hold more relevant information about their consumers.

That’s why I wanted to share my thoughts with those of you looking to increase the information you know about your Facebook fans.  Here are 3 strategies you should definitely consider while setting up your Facebook page. If your page is already set up then you should use these tips to build in features that will get you the information you want.

Implement a contact information form

This is one the easiest things to do. Set up a form similar to that of a ‘contact us’ form on the website.  You don’t have to call it a ‘contact us’ form. You can call it whatever serves as a better call to action message. For example “Register for news about exclusive updates and competitions” may be a good title for the form in order to catch the fans’ attention.

While you should no doubt be getting contact information of the person, you should also build in some preferences to maintain along with it. Giving the person a list of interests/activities (as they relate to your product/service) is a good idea, as it gives you the ability to segment your data by interest.


You must remember though, not to go overboard with this form. Consumers don’t like filling in mountains of info for no immediate gain, so you’ve got to make sure that you don’t cross the line of what can be called a reasonable information request.

Among others, Pagemodo2.0, Tab Site, North Social, Contact Me and Involver are all providers of ready-made contact forms that you can use on your page. In many cases these forms are free or are quite cheap.

You can even build your own forms by using an iframe in which you can embed the form. That’s not complicated to do but requires help from you web team or some understanding on how to use iframes.

Build/Use apps that help you record consumers’ interests

Whenever you develop or use an app, think about how you can use it to help you get more information about your consumers. Step 1 is always building in a step to get the consumer’s contact information and then try to build the app idea around getting his/her preferences. For example:

–          Build your own product: A car manufacturer might make an app that focuses on building your own car. Building one’s own car allows the business to get preferences on what kind of make, model, colors and features their consumers like. Retailers and fashion houses can use the same idea and ask their fans to build the best outfit from a list of items in their store. Doing this will show them what’s in demand and what isn’t

–          What kind of service user are you: A telephone services company can make a fun pop quiz that enters users into a draw to win a free month of service. All the users need to do is answer 6 or 7 questions that matter to the company the most in terms of providing impeccable service or getting their preferences. Hotels and malls could use the same model for finding out what they are doing right, which are their most popular restaurants, shops or attractions and what items the can improve on. At the end of the quiz the consumer can be shown a funny result as to what kind of service user he/she is. For e.g.

“Based on your quiz, you’re a high maintenance diva who’d rather not wear anything than wear something that costs less than a 1000 bucks.” 

This status can then be shared on the consumer’s wall to get his/her friends interested and taking the quiz as well. That’s how things go viral and interaction is increased with your brand.

Get additional permissions from consumers while building the app

This is something that is also quite beneficial if you can achieve it. When people start using your app, they have to grant the kind of access they will give to it. The most basic one is to give access to ones basic information. But there are other things you can ask to be given access to;  like personal interests, favorites books, friends lists, birthdays and even pages this person is a fan of. There are also a lot of other permissions that you can get access for (check them out at http://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/api/permissions/) but the point is trying to get access to things that matter to you the most. Once you have this access you get further insight into what this person is all about.

Now that you have this information, the possibilities on how you can use it goes far beyond Facebook status updates. You can now directly email or call these people. You know specifically what they like and what they will be interested to know about. You even know if they are single looking to mingle with other people or if they are family folks looking for family outings. But again these are just a handful of things you get to find out. Using strategies similar to the above, there is so much more you can learn about your consumer and then reap the benefits.

 

 
 
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