Marketing today is increasingly relational in all media. When it comes to marketing via Facebook, the largest social networking platform on the planet, being relational, respectful of your fans, and marketing within the existing culture are vital for success. These 12 tips will help you form a winning strategy your fans will appreciate and welcome.
1. Create a Compelling Profile Page
Work hard to design this page to be attractive to your existing business contacts. If they like it, the page will increase your reputation with them, and they may pass it along to others. Discuss the needs of your target market, so that when potential clients or customers are checking you out via your Facebook page they will come to view you as a good source to fulfill those needs. Craft your content to outline your approach to meeting and exceeding client expectations.
2. Form a Circle Around your Business
Become the center of attention by inviting your business contacts to add you as a Friend on their own Facebook pages. You’ll find that an increasing number of the professionals and business owners you have contacts with are on Facebook so will likely be happy to add you. Reciprocate, of course. Talk up the benefits of Facebook to contacts not yet onboard, and offer to walk them through the simple process of setting up an account and getting started. You’ll likely be their first friend, and they may become a source of additional contacts. In this way, you are forming a circle around your business, and filling it in with existing and potential clients.
3. Get a Group Going
Facebook offers you the ability to start a group, hosted by your business, in a sense, and then invite others to join it. This is an up-front way to invite others to develop a mutually beneficial business relationship, and can be very effective. Look for other groups to join that have a focus you believe you can tap into. Pursue marketing in a way appropriate to a social networking culture.
4. Post Valuable Content
Make sure that the content you add is will be welcomed by your fans! Post interesting market news, useful tips related to your field, or links to where good information can be found. It’s okay to mention new products or promotions, but add value to those posts by offering discounts or giveaways.
5. Post Frequently
The rise of blogging and micro-blogging has produced an expectation of consistently fresh content, so you’ll need to deliver it to stay relevant. It’s also true that with Google now indexing Facebook you’ll benefit there through the introduction of fresh and frequent content additions.
6. Advertise on Facebook
If it is in the budget, consider investing in ad space to raise your business profile and generate traffic to your Facebook page or your main business site. This method is affordable, and Facebook provides you with the tools to customize the look and to do quality demographic targeting. You’ll have the option of choosing pay per click or impression ads, and both offer trackable results.
7. Connect your Facebook Page to Everything
Start by adding a Facebook fan page button to your blog, your website, and your Twitter account. Advertise your Facebook page on signage, store receipts, business cards, and your print ads and flyers.
8. Add Video
Make your page a video portal so your visitors can read essential text and watch quality content in the same place, an effective way to brand you and your business.
9. Welcome a Dialogue
Good marketing relies on listening and responding to the needs and desires of your market. Post questions related to future product or service development, or bravely ask for comments about your existing lines. Show appreciation for the feedback and make good use of it.
10. Encourage Employees to be Fans
Starting with 2 fans, or 10, is better than none! Give them company time to comment, send invites to friends, and play the part of gung-ho fans. It will multiple the starting energy and spread the news more quickly.
11. Vary Promotions and Pitches
When you offer discounts and giveaways, mix them up so that your fans will have something new to respond to. The same sales pitch and promotions start to feel like spam, too, if posted too frequently.
12. Do it Right
Make sure that your content, video, layout, grammar, and text are of good quality. Get constructive criticism from a few respected colleagues before loading these things to your page. They may see things you don’t, and a few helpful changes will boost the quality significantly.
If you want to most effectively mine the significant marketing potential that Facebook represents, invest some time getting to know it thoroughly, including its applications and add-ons. Create a small budget for Facebook advertising, and your dual marketing investment may very well pay some healthy dividends.