Social marketing. You never hear the end of it.
And you probably never will. Marketing on social networks (Facebook in particular) is the marketer’s holy grail – allowing advertising, news posts and promotions to be so incredibly targeted to a niche demographic, you’ll wonder why you ever bothered advertising in the newspaper. But enough big words, it’s already proven that getting your business on Facebook is crucial.
Do you need to be on Facebook?
Does your business need to be on facebook? Depends. Ask yourself this question:
- Is my business a social sort of business, ie. are people going to be interested in my news and promotions, and do I have anything of value to offer them (knowledge, tips, discounts)?
It’s okay – you don’t really need to think too hard about that. Generally, I think everyone needs to be on Facebook except for really boring industries and tradies who don’t really care much about their web presence.
I haven’t got a Facebook Business Page. How do I set one up?
I’ve got a Facebook Business Page. What do I do with it?
- Your first step is to post some stuff up to make it look like there are lots of things happening on your Page. This will attract people to like your page so that they can get updates they’re interested in. For example, I very recently started a Design Psychology group on facebook. To begin with, I put up about 3 or 4 posts, one introducing myself, the others talking about basic aspects of design psychology. This bring us onto the next step:
- Recommend the page to your friends. Your friends are the best way to boost up your page in the very beginning. Depending on who in your friend circles are interested in your business, you might get anywhere from 5 – 50 likes out of it. I got about 10 likes from my friends, which started the wheels cranking.
- Go to other related business pages and leave useful and interesting comments on their posts. Adding to the discussion on others’ pages will get people intrigued in who you are and what your page is about, and you might get some free likes out of it. I got another 10 or so from leaving just a few comments on a Graphic Design discussion page, with little effort. Make sure you don’t comment on direct competitors’ sites.
- Post stuff up! Sit down every weekend for an hour and schedule new posts to go out for the following week. Your mind probably goes blank on what to put up, so here’s some tips: what’s new in your company, promotions or specials, funny videos found on Youtube, funny pictures (cat pictures get lots of love!), quotes, handy tips and information, shout-outs to customers or affiliated companies, and industry news. Scheduling posts in advance ensures that you won’t have to log into facebook and think of something to post every freakin’ night.
- Handy posting guidelines: make sure your posts spark discussion. End them with ‘what do you think? Let us know!’ for example. Tag people in your posts if it involves them (this shows up on their wall). If you have a blog, make sure you write your posts on your blog and then put a shortcut link to your blog website from Facebook to drive traffic.
- Advertise. You can rinse and repeat the last three steps and get a big following for free over time, or you can take the shortcut and go for paid advertising on Facebook. It basically involves putting in your credit card details and selecting a very targeted demographic that you want your ad to appear to. Research how to do this right – talk to your developer or marketing firm. Big likes, real quick.
- Get a newsletter form on your Facebook Page. If you have a newsletter campaign (or don’t), talk to your developer about it.
- Keep your tab on the discussion! Reply to comments on your Page, and keep scheduling posts each week (doesn’t have to be nightly, depends entirely on your target market). A great thing to have is the Facebook Business Pages App on your phone, so you can check page likes and comments on the go without any fuss.
What’s the point?
The nitty-gritty of all this is to:
- build a list you can market to with email newsletters, and
- drive traffic to your website or blog by mentioning posts you’ve written, or specials, or sales landing pages on your website.
Having lots of likes isn’t half the equation on Facebook. What Facebook really looks for is how many people are talking about your page (a stat which can be seen publicly below the banner image on your Page) and gives priority to pages with lots of discussion.
So it’s all about getting lots of likes on your facebook to improve the amount of discussion, and to grab people’s details for your email newsletter list. This is the bread and butter of any good marketing campaign. What else is Facebook good for?
- User testing your new products or designs before they go to market
- Answering your customers queries as a kind of Help Desk
- Making friends and contacts!
There’s so much advantage to Facebook Marketing, it’s unreal.