Facebook Marketing Strategy
If there is one thing I could make sure that you take away from this article it is this… people login or visit Facebook to connect with friends and family. They go there to have fun. They do not go there with the intent to purchase something. Typically if someone buys a product, downloads a special offer or coupon, or enters a sales funnel this is an afterthought of the session or experience.
Facebook for business has a couple core benefits. First it gives you the ability to create ongoing touch points with people that follow you. Next, it enhances branding—imagine someone that lands on your website and is unsure of whether or not they want to do business with you. They see the Facebook icon and check out your Facebook page. This accomplishes a couple of things.
It makes you more approachable as a business and company. It also gives the person the ability to form more of an understanding about who, what, and how you operate your business and customer service.
This is powerful because in a way Facebook gives you the ability to somewhat humanize your company.
Here are some more questions to ask yourself:
- Who is the target audience (discussed in detail below)
- What is the purpose
- When and who will update it
On Facebook, Profiles are meant for people and Pages are meant for businesses. To fully engage and
leverage Facebook’s features, you should create a personal profile. If you’re worried about privacy, or
balancing business and personal contacts, we’ll cover that in the next section.
What not to do with your personal profile: Do not create a personal profile for your business. Profiles
are for people, Pages are for businesses. Facebook is building significant new functionality for businesses, and all of this functionality is only available to Pages. We’ll talk about Pages more in a later section.
If you are just getting started with Facebook your first task is to understand the target audience you want to attract. This plays a role into your planning and marketing because a huge part of social engagement is how you engage your audience. What value and trust you build with them.
Just Getting Started. If you’re just getting started then we suggest that you decide on how you can first add value to potential people that will follow you. If you know your customers or target market in and out then this step should be rather simple. If you are unsure then in the first few months you will tend to do quite a bit experimenting as to what drives engagement with your audience.
Already have a Facebook page. If you have a page that you have started with any amount of followers you can use the insights tool with Facebook. This will allow you to understand the demographic makeup of your followers.
For some industries or individuals you might be able to create direct friendships with your clients or customers. Generally real estate agents, insurance and mortgage brokers, and other individual professions can create direct friendships.
A word of caution though—when you create a direct friendship with a client you are enter their world of trust. This is the highest form of permission marketing and this should not be accepted lightly. It’s also the most effective because your updates, what you do, and your interactions have the potential to be seen more often.
Here are some general tips on direct friends with your customers or prospects:
- Comment, share, and interact on a personal level
- You can share business but do it 10% of the time, the other 90% you need to be a person and interact with people.
- Find a way to mix fun and excitement into your business updates. Let’s say you’re a real estate agent… you are showing a house and you see this unique light fixture. This is a great opportunity to create content but also gently remind people of what you do. Upload a picture and under the comments put something like “I was showing a house today and saw this pretty cool light thing”. The key here is you are providing some entertaining value and the fact that you are real estate agent is a byproduct of the update.
It required that you have a personal Facebook account to setup a business page. Your business page will be managed and created from within your personal account.
Once you’ve logged in to Facebook, go to the bottom and find Advertising. Then click Pages and Create a Page. Select the type of business you own and start filling in all the details.
You want to complete this information with as much detail as possible. Not only will people who find your page appreciate this but also this helps with your search engine rankings.
One of the things you want to do with Facebook is set up a custom image for your page. Look at this as another opportunity to sell your services, products, or what you do.
While you can go with a standard square logo or profile picture we suggest you get a little creative. We like to create business profile pictures that appear to be integrated into the page itself. Below is an example
There has been a general consensus when creating a Facebook page which says that you don’t want to land your users on your Facebook wall. We tend to agree here with one exception. If you have an audience or target market that is inherently social this would be okay.
Most of the time though you want to direct people to a customized tab (this can be done with FBML—Facebooks custom markup language). This customized tab should have a clear call to action and ask people to Like your page. It also should clearly explain the benefit that someone gets if they do like your page.
At first you are not able to create a customized URL for your business. Once you have acquired 25 likes (or fans) to your page you then get the option to create a customized URL. This is something you will want to do once you hit this threshold.
When creating a custom URL you have two options. You can choose to use your company name or you can choose to use a combination of keywords that center on your company.
How to make this decision? Let’s say you have a landscaping company in Atlanta named Jim’s Landscaping. If you feel that your name would resonate more on business cards and other promotional material then go with that. On the other hand what if you were to select “LandscapingAtlanta” as your custom URL?
It’s still memorable and it also would help with search engine optimization efforts.
Use your tabs wisely. If you think of a Facebook page as a secondary website for your business, you’ll realize that the tabs at the top of the page are like site navigation. You can have a tab for your newsletter, a tab for donations, a tab for products, etc. How? With that nifty FBML application.
- FBML. FBML is Facebook’s version of HTML, the language that web pages are written in. For the most part, a knowledge of HTML is all that is needed to utilize the functionality of the Static FBML application. This particular application, which was created by Facebook and can be added to your pages, allows you to create a “web page” within a tab or box that you can attach to your page. Sound complicated? It really isn’t, once you dig in and get started.
- Facebook notes. Set this application up to pull in the RSS feed from your blog or other content source and it will automatically bring everything into Facebook and show all of your friends that you’ve posted a new Note.
- RSS Feed. This app easily pulls in your RSS feed from your website or your blog.
- Twitter App. This will automatically pull your tweets into your Facebook status, and it puts a cute little Twitter-themed box on your profile, so everyone knows you’re cool enough to be on Twitter. It also saves you time in updating AND ensures profile activity to keep you relevant.
- Wildfire. Wildfire enables you to simultaneously publish your social media marketing campaign on Facebook Fan Pages, Twitter and your Website with just a few clicks. It’s secure, can handle massive traffic and is always up to date with the latest changes of the Facebook & Twitter platforms.
- Slideshare – SlideShare is the world’s largest community for sharing presentations. You can upload your own PowerPoint, OpenOffice, Keynote or PDF files and view presentations shared by others. This is a great way to spread thought leadership and expertise through presentations you may have delivered locally.
- Testimonials – Use Testimonials to gather your personal and professional references in one place. Encouraging customers and contacts to post testimonials about your work and expertise adds great marketing content to your profile.
Acquire, Engage, and Monetize
Setting up your Facebook page is your first step—where the your effort and time pay off huge is engaging your audience. These three steps are Acquisition, Engagement, and Monetization. To learn more about each one of these visit our 3 Pillars of Social Media Engagement article.
The first think you want to do is include your Facebook URL on your website. You typically want this on 95% of all your pages.
Insider Tip: instead of just saying visit us on Facebook you want to give your prospect or reader a reason why they should follow you. If you give special deals or advanced looks at new products we suggest you tie this in with your messaging. So you should say Follow us on Facebook for a inside look at product or for special deals.
Next you want to put your Facebook page on other related promotional materials. From business cards, brochures, to even your storefront if you have one.
It’s tough to give engagement advice for Facebook because each business is different. Generraly here is what we suggest for engagement:
- Update at least 2 times a day. One in the morning and one in the evening.
- Create a 1 to 5 ration between engagement items and special offers or monetization (see below).
- Share highly relevant information with your follows, such as links or unique news.
- Remember the backbone of Facebook is pictures and video—the more of this that you can provide the more effective you will be at engagement.
One more note on engagement. Just as in other forms of marketing you want to test and track your results. If there is one thing we have learned about engaging within Facebook it is that no two companies or audiences are the same.
Monetization is your final step to engaging within this platform. The key for monetizing Facebook comes down to truly knowing your audience. What will get them to act—remember very few people login to Facebook with the intent of ever buying anything.
If your product or service is inherent in what you do then monetizing will be easier. If it is not you will have to find unique ways to work your product or service into your updates and offers.
One application that allows you to do this on Facebook is called Payvment. Payvment’s free storefront app for Facebook takes discovery a step further by enabling your store and products to be found and purchased via search from the thousands of other merchants using the platform.