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Inbound Marketing Blog

    Social Media Management Lessons from a Used Bookstore

    Posted by Angela Suico

    Hail McKay’s Used Books, Secret Facebook Master

    I’ve praised that wealth of knowledge and low prices that is McKay Used Books before, and it turns out the staff is pretty savvy with social media management, too. The store’s social media manager always follows the best Facebook practices by sharing fun images and clever content. But two weeks ago, McKay’s took things up a notch. They asked their 27,000 fans one thing: “What is one question you’ve always wanted to ask McKay?” The status got 106 comments, which was great for engagement alone. The week after, the store started picking individual questions to answer in depth, which is driving engagement even further.

    If anything could make McKay’s Used Books even better my eyes, it’s certainly this. The questions picked so far have been a mix of funny and serious, much like the motley mix of McKay’s wares. The first question the store answered was about pricing practices. The second was asking for the store’s hand in marriage. This is brilliant stuff, folks. So brilliant it’s inspired the following list of ways to master Facebook with social media management.

    1.) Have Your Fans Ask You Questions

    It’s a common piece of advice to ask your customers questions in your Facebook posts. But with the constant stream of content on Facebook, you can only hold people’s interest for so long. The beauty of what McKay has done is that it’s set the stage for a dialogue that can continue much longer than the usual FB exchange. Try doing the same. Ask your customers what they’ve always wanted to ask you. The extended talk will be good for both you and your customers. They’ll get to learn the history and inner workings of your business, while you’ll get insight into what your customers are thinking. They may even have questions that will spark a new idea for your business. Isn’t social media great? 

    2.) Host a Facebook Chat

    Facebook chats are a more formal way to talk to customers, if you know your customers have a pressing question about a certain subject. Similar to Twitter chats, Facebook chats are exchanges that revolve around one topic. You schedule a time, announce the chat to your fans, and when the day arrives you post a status marking the start of the chat. People are then free to comment away as you respond to questions in real time. Assist Social Media’s Elizabeth Maness suggests you may even invite an industry expert to reply, so that you’ll pull in double the audience. With their fans and your fans participating, you may find that your company’s “Likes” have increased by the end of the day.

    3.) Ask for A Story

    ECT News Network’s Vivian Wagner suggests you ask your fans to tell their stories. Specifically, “What story would you like to share?” Ask a question that relates to your product. A few inquisitive words can give you an entire range of funny or inspiring anecdotes. You can pick the best stories to highlight on your company page so that a wider audience sees them. If your post generates many comments, you could also highlight the good ones that may get lost in the mix. Shining the spotlight on your fans’ experiences would be a great way to tap into the trend of user-generated content that’s taking over social media.

    4.) Ask What They Find Useful

    Asking what products your fans like the best can be a nice gauge for what your company does well, and what it could improve.  If you offer two similar products, you could ask about your fans’ personal preferences. As Wagner writes, “a winery might ask something like, ‘Which do you prefer, our chardonnay or our sauvignon blanc? Why?’ This kind of question gets people thinking about your company and what it has to offer. It also might give them ideas about products they would be interested in trying.”

    5.) Use the Recommendations Section

    I can’t end this article without mentioning McKay one more time. One other way the business masters Facebook is by keeping a Recommendations section on its page, which is another excellent way to tell people about your business. Let’s face it; you can perfect your elevator pitch all you want. But the truth is that nothing will compare to your customers’ praises when you’re persuading someone to give you a shot. There’s also a five-star rating feature, and of course, there’s always the chance that you’ll get a low rating or bad review. But take these bad seeds as learning opportunities that show you what you can improve. Good or bad, feedback is useful. 

    A great company Facebook is one that’s just as much about the brand’s fans as it is about the brand itself. With that in mind, go forth! Talk to your fans, ask them questions, and listen to the responses. These are the lessons of a secret Facebook master.

    What other creative ways do your favorite companies use Facebook?

    Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net/David Castillo Dominici

    Lead Nurturing

    Topics: Social Media