How to Engage Fans with a Facebook Chat

Social sites like Twitter and Facebook have become the go-to place for fans and consumers to interact with brands, but it can be difficult to engage them in an extended, meaningful discussion. We’ve discussed how to tackle this task on Twitter through the use of hashtag chats, but the nature of Facebook can make it more difficult for people to notice discussions. New York & Company recently announced that they would be hosting a Facebook chat with two members of their design team. How did they plan and get the word out about it? Let’s take a look.

Introduced the chatters prior to the discussion

brand facebook chats

Since the average fan probably isn’t familiar with New York & Company’s design team, the brand took the time to give fans and customers a brief introduction to the people who would actually be taking part in the chat. Not a lot of information is given, but the casual nature of their answers and the accompanying photos give a personal touch to the event, and makes fans more comfortable.

Promotion across all platforms

brand facebook chats

Yes, the chat was scheduled to take place on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean that only Facebook fans and followers should be told about it. Using Tumblr and Twitter in addition to Facebook, the NY&Co social team covered all of their bases, ensuring that every fan knows about the chat event.

Email blast reminder

brand facebook chats

Of course, not all NY&Co customers have a social presence, or use it that often. To address that audience, the team also created an email blast specifically advertising the chat, along with a link for fans to ‘Like’ the Facebook page and get in on the action.

Set a convenient time

brand facebook chats

In order to make the task of hosting a chat easier, it’s important to set a time and stick to it closely. Of course, that’s only half the battle, the other half involves finding a day and time when the most fans will be able to participate. Wisely, the brand chose to hold the chat on a Friday from 1-2 pm EST. Despite the difference in users’ time zones, the chat, for the most part, coincides pretty closely with the average worker’s lunch hour — giving them the freedom and opportunity to participate if they want.

Have you held a chat on Facebook? What tips and tricks would you share to help other brands do the same thing?