Should you have to pay Facebook to speak to your Fans? (Part 2)

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The first part of this blog article considered the value of Customer to Customer communications in light of the changes to Facebook's algorithm, this post considers how to motivate true Customer to Customer sharing...

Paying to Speak to Your Own Fans? (Part 2)

The Principle of Sharing: Value for the Giver and Value for the Receiver

The key to understanding this is the principle of ‘what’s in it for me’ or ‘WIITFM’ for your Fan. But also you need to think about ‘what’s in it for my friend’ or ‘WIITFMF’ from the point of view of your Fan to encourage sharing.

As argued above, if you can provide a good deal to your Fans they are more likely to be receptive and research has shown that one of the key motivations of friending on social networks is to gain discounts and access to exclusive offers.  But you can incentivise your Fans to share the offer with the possibility of a lower price, better deal, some exclusive content or other reward such as back stage tickets.

When the reward is seen as valuable and linked to your product or service, it should be seen as legitimate and importantly you answer the ‘WIITFM’ question for your Fans.

Simply encouraging your Fans to spam  their friends doesn’t work as you do not provide value for both the recipient and the sender of the offer.  Friends who send ‘spammy’ communications are only a few clicks away from  being unfriended. However, if you can be clear as to the incentive for both your Fans and their friends, then you can encourage a natural sharing behaviour.

People like tipping off friends with valuable information and sharing good deals with them. There is kudos from being able to be the first to tell your friend valuable information. For example, that their favourite band has reformed for a one-off revival concert or there is a snap sale for their favourite clothing brand and thanks to you they can get a 70% off coupon.

Your Fans should be able to judge the likely interest of their friends in the offer, and the friend will also benefit from the price dropping or the value improving as more people buy. This point answers both WIITFMF, as the friend gets access to something valuable, but crucially also WIITFM as people who appreciate their network of friends can get a feel good factor from providing welcome information to a friend.

Co-creation, Gamification and Innovation

As well as offering a great deal, in a social environment, key elements that add to fun and engagement are co-creation and gamification. Co-creation can help your fans feel some ownership in the deal, such as curating the content or deciding what deal to offer or other elements of the package. Gamification can introduce extra elements by adding time limits, challenges, competitions and leaderboards to add a bit of tension or risk of losing out. Prizes can be offered for various levels of participation to increase incentives and reward those who do the most to make your offer a success.

But innovation is also a key element. People do eventually get bored with Price Drop TV. In social media, people are looking for something that stands out from the crowd. Merely rehashing the same old format time and time again will eventually see diminishing returns. You need to create a platform  that can be continually refreshed and work with different creative ideas to create new engaging experiences.  But the good thing is that the only bounds are your imagination as to what kinds of engagement strategies you can mix into social selling.

What this means?

If you can make good offers to your Fans and motivate them to share those with their friends and followers on social media, you can counter the continual depreciation of the value of a like on Facebook and counter, to some extent, the rising commercialisation of these platforms.

To do this well you need to clearly understand that:

  • You need to provide a good deal, as your Fans will be best placed to appreciate the real value of the offer you make
  • Your Fans, as users of your product and service, are the most convincing advocates to help break through the noise of competing products
  • By providing value to both the giver and the receiver of an offer you encourage natural sharing
  • Co-creation and gamification elements can help deliver more engagement
  • Social selling can be added as the missing element to social media campaigns, in fact applying creative input will help keep campaigns fresh.

At Buyapowa we think we have a solution that solves all or part of this problem. If you would like to talk to us about this or if you know of or think you have a solution that can help solve the issue of how to combat the depreciation of a like, we would be happy to speak with you.

If you missed the first part of this article see it here

Image attribution: MD4 Group Flickr Creative Commons Licence