The process of creating a deep, delightful, mutually beneficial and voluntary relationship with customers is called enchanting them. From Dale Carnegie to Robert Cialdini, people have explained how to make this happen, and now there’s another tool for you to use. They're called simply Facebook Pages (often called "fan pages"), and there’s never been an online tool as powerful for enchanting customers.
1. Be likable
Have you ever been enchanted by someone you didn’t like? Probably not. Thus, the starting point of using Facebook fan pages is to personify likability. This means every update, comment, picture, and video must be positive and uplifting—they should be the equivalent of a beaming smile.
The pressure is on: You cannot have bad days on Facebook. If you want to wage war or argue with someone, do it privately with messages, e-mail or a phone call, but not in a public place like your Wall.
2. Be trustworthy
People can like someone, but still not trust them. Think of, for example, Hollywood celebrities. At an extreme, you could like Charlie Sheen, but not trust him. The way to gain trustworthiness on Facebook is to accept that the burden is on you to trust others before they trust you.
You should think like a baker, not like an eater. Eaters see the world as a zero-sum game: if others have a bigger slice of the pie, then they get a smaller piece. Bakers, on the other hand, make bigger or more pies.
3. Create a great cause
Trust someone who’s tried to enchant people with great stuff and less-than-great stuff; it’s much easier to enchant people with a great product, service, idea or organization than with crap.
A great cause is Deep, Intelligent, Complete, Empowering, and Elegant (DICEE). Deep = lots of features and power; Intelligent = understanding and solving peoples’ problems; Complete = a total solution including documentation, revisions and support; Empowering = making people more creative, productive and efficient; Elegant = a beautiful and intuitive user interface.
4. Post pictures
On Twitter, my contributors and I focus on providing links to informative articles that people might not have seen. The primary value of following @GuyKawasaki is filtration and curation. At first, I did the same thing on Facebook, but there were few comments and “likes” for these updates.
My theory is that Twitter is a link economy, and Facebook is not. Now, I post—and encourage fans to post—pictures. But pictures of what? Pictures of products, employees, customers and your office or building are obvious. I would extend the range to whatever your customers might find interesting. For example, here’s a picture of me and some Apple booty.
Want to read more about setting up a Facebook Page? Check these out:
5. Optimize your thumbnails
You may be wondering: What should a business take pictures of? One of the consequences of the picture orientation of Facebook is that a picture the size of a postage stamp is crucial—it has to entice people into clicking to expand it.
This means that you need to crop your photos and increase the level of brightness, exposure and contrast. Most of the time, you really don’t need to see people from head to toe, so get closer to your subjects and snap pictures from the chest up. Click to learn more about good portrait photos.
6. Answer every direct message
Speaking of a lot of work, you also need to answer all the direct messages to your account. This has nothing to do with your fan page per se, but it’s an integral part of enchanting people on Facebook.
This is the hardest of my recommendations to fulfill because there’s isn’t an e-mail client like Outlook or Mail for Facebook to make responding efficient. I admit that I fail to heed my own recommendation here.
7. ABC: always be commenting
The ideal ratio of peoples’ comments to your responses is one-to-one. The exception is when there are many comments that are generic such as “Nice!” “Cool!” or “Love it!” Each of these doesn’t require a response, but when comments are more individualistic, jump in and comment back.
People want to know that you’re reading your Wall and reacting to comments, so the three keys of commenting are: fast (within 24 hours); many (respond to everyone); and often (make commenting core to your Facebook activity). This is a lot of work, but enchanting people is a lot of work—otherwise more people and companies would be enchanting.
8. Show your gratitude
One type of comment that you should respond to every time is when a customer buys your product, uses your service, or does something for you. This goes back to likability: Likable people are grateful for business and support.
It may seem pedantic to you to keep saying thanks, but it’s not to the people you’re thanking. You may have thanked everyone else, but the person you missed or skipped will think you’re an ingrate. Anyway, you should be so lucky that showing your gratitude is a burden.
9. Use a “reveal tab” promotion
The most effective thing that I’ve done to increase the number of fans was to run a “reveal tab” promotion. This means that after people “liked” the Enchantment fan page, they were presented with a new landing tab.
This landing tab provided a way to download the PDF of my first book, The Macintosh Way (give it a try by clicking). Companies use a reveal-tab promotion to provide digital content, exclusive offers and discounts. It’s a way to reward people for becoming fans and to bring them into your community.
10. Repeat the proven stuff
When you hit the jackpot with a post (as you can see by the number of “likes” and comments), don’t be afraid to run it again. Yes, all the “social-media experts” will tell you that this is wrong and that doing so will upset your fans—leading to mass desertion from your fan page.
But ask yourself this question: Do you read each and every update of each and every person or company that you “like” on Facebook? If so, you’re on Facebook too much. When you have a clear winner, run it again and see what happens.
One last power tip: sign out of your Facebook account and view your fan page from an account that isn’t an administrator. What you see as an administrator is not exactly what everyone else sees. You need to experience your fan page as most people do.
If you found this advice useful, you should enter American Express OPEN’s “Big Break for Small Business” contest. Five winners will receive $20,000 and a two-day trip to Facebook’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California for one-on-one consultations on how to improve their presence on Facebook. I am a judge in the contest and will be looking for small businesses that can optimize their social media presence. Learn more about the Big Break contest, and you soon may be on your way to Palo Alto. And if you want to become a world-class enchanter, please check out my book: Enchantment.