Tips for Marketing on Facebook
Finding a good place to showcase your products, services and websites for free in the online world is a dream for everyone – Facebook has made this a reality. With half a billion Facebook users and thousands of online communities to choose from, Facebook has brought potential customers much closer to you.
It’s no big secret that Facebook can help you in online marketing. However, I know there are many of you who believe that just registering on Facebook is enough… it’s not. Your Facebook success story ends before it even begins!
There is much more to marketing on Facebook than just creating a profile. Keeping your fans engaged is the key. Don’t be a brand, but be a community they love being a part of. In this article, I’m going to tell you how you can use the medium of Facebook to increase your customer base as well as retain the ones you have!
CREATE YOUR PRESENCE ON FACEBOOK
1. Facebook Profile: By creating a profile for yourself or your business, you are establishing your identity. This will take you a long way in developing relationships with fellow users and in positioning your business. You profile lets you interact with people on a personal note, more so if it’s a local business. Here are some aspects of a profile page:
o Profile Picture: Always put your best foot forward, which means use the most flattering picture as your profile picture. No matter what they say, a book is judged by its cover. I came across M.A.C makeup’s profile and thought it was really catchy with the colors used on the face. Hundreds of indifferent people with little time to spare are going to decide whether to add you based on your picture. So, make sure you get this one right!
o Add Friends: After creating a profile, don’t wait for things to happen. Add new friends every day and the word will spread that you’re on Facebook. Before you know it, you’ll be starting your day by accepting friend requests! However, make sure you don’t add more than 25 – 30 people a day as excessive adding can get your profile removed from Facebook.
o Wall: This is your main platform to interact with Facebook users. Post messages on your wall and also comment on members’ activities, though, only when relevant. A cafe once commented on my status when it was something about food. And there! A personal connection was built in a second! I knew that I was going to visit this place more often. However, make sure you don’t spam people every other day or they may remove you from their friend list.
o Photo Albums and Videos: Photos and videos are a great way to showcase the latest collection of your product. I know many people who love to see what goes on behind the scene during a photo shoot or while a baker does his magic in the kitchen. Moreover, the first thing most Facebook users check are photo updates. So take that camera and start shooting!
2. Fan Pages: Facebook Pages, known as Fan Pages, are designed for businesses, brands, companies, products and celebrities. It enables public figures, organizations and other entities to create an authentic and public presence on Facebook. You can encourage users to become fans of your page and share information with them by uploading pictures, videos, status updates, hosting discussions and displaying wall posts. Unlike Facebook Profiles, Pages are visible to everyone on the internet and are generally better for long-term relationships with your fans, readers or customers.
3. Groups: Facebook Groups allow people to come together around a common cause or activity to express their views. One of the best features of groups is the ability to send messages directly to members’ Facebook inboxes. It’s a great way to form a community and help your brand image.
Nowadays, it’s almost a necessity for movies to establish their presence on Facebook during its post-release period as Facebook users look for movies here. The good thing here is that you can send bulk invites to your friends, while it is manually done on Pages. Groups are generally better for hosting quick active discussions and attracting attention.
4. Events: Simply put, Facebook Events can help you connect with your target audience and invite them for your events, even if they aren’t on your friend list or one of your fans. Events can be created individually or even from Profiles, Pages. What I like is that Facebook gives you a choice between making the event Public and Private.
Let me explain the difference. I got an invite from Alanis Morissette Unplugged Acoustic Performance for a show next month, though I’m not a ‘friend’ or a ‘fan’. This is an open invitation for a public event where anyone can access the page and RSVP to it. However, if you want to maintain an exclusive guest list, choose the ‘Private’ option and the event page won’t be visible to anyone except those you choose. If you’re planning a launch or celebrating a landmark event, the ‘Private’ option lets you selectively invite people and give details on a page that can’t be accessed by anyone else.
The Next Step: HOW TO USE FACEBOOK FOR ONLINE MARKETING
Social Media Marketing is still in its infancy. I consider this as an advantage because there are not many set rules, you can try & experiment with different methods & techniques. However, if you don’t want to experiment, here are some tried and tested methods that will ensure success:
5. Be Unique and Keep Updating: There’s nothing more boring than bland Facebook pages. Add lots of personality andfun to your profile. If possible, try to create applications just for your page. Offer something different so that they keep coming back, instead of letting them wait for updates from you. If you checkDell’s Facebook page, you’ll see that it keeps updating its status and gives new information on their products and about technology.
6. Use a Big Profile Picture: Who says size doesn’t matter? Using a big profile picture is one of the best ways to brand your Facebook page. Facebook allows images of up to 200pix wide x 600pix high to be used as profile images Pages. This way, you stand out in a crowd. Check out Bob Marley or Johnny Depp’s page on Facebook and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
7. Tag Fans in Photos: You can tag your fans in pictures of new collections, or even ask them to tag themselves as a part of a game or contest. Musician Lenny Kravitz uploaded pictures of his concert in Italy in 2009 and asked everyone to tag themselves. This gave him good publicity as the update on being tagged appeared on the fans’ walls.
8. Exclusive Landing Page for Users: Use different pages to target different sets of people. Take new users to a page that encourages them to ‘Like’ you or to a page they would find interesting enough to keep coming back. Members/fans can be directed to the wall or a game page that might interest them. Red Bull’s profile page is designed in a way that users are given a hint to ‘Like’ the page, while fans are taken directly to the Wall. You can get innovative in designing landing pages and targeting different people.
9. Reward Loyal Supporters: Encourage loyal supporters to join yourPage and reward them. Tabs or badges like ‘member of the month’ that can be placed on their profiles for visibility can be awarded to them. A happy customer on Facebook can get you lots of attention. Remind users to Like and Share information about you. When their friends see the updates on the News Feed, it’s highly likely for them to do the same.
10. Use Contests and Polls: Holding contests encourage fans to interact directly with you. Domino’s ‘Show Us Your Pizza’ is a contest where people can send pictures of Domino’s pizzas they’ve orders. The best picture will be chosen by Domino’s and the photographer gets a prize of $500 and a chance to get his picture featured in an ad. This has received a lot of attention from Facebook users.
11. Actively Participate Outside Your Page: Find other Facebook pages related to your industry or topic using Facebook Search & start actively commenting on their posts & updates. This is a great way to build relationships in your industry and even adds credibility to your business. If you’re willing to offer free advice on communities and discussions, it will encourage people to check your website out.
12. Integrate Facebook Social Plugins to Your Site: When I go to CNN’s website, I can see what stories my friends have ‘Liked’, or what movies my friends ‘Recommend’ on IMDB. The Like button on your site enables users to share pages from your site back to their Facebook profile and the Recommendation button gives users of your site personalized suggestions for pages that they like. There are many more buttons like LikeBox, Comments, Live Stream etc that you can add to your website. With this, you can see for yourself what your target likes and design your product/service accordingly.
You can also integrate Facebook Connect Plugin in your blog which will enable Facebook users to leave comments on your blog without registering. The comment they make will be put up on their wall instantly which will be visible to all their friends. So, you effectively get a lot of exposure without doing much!
13. Marketplace: With Facebook Marketplace, you can buy and sell anything using the listing service. The Marketplace application page displays all the most recent listings in your networks. The difference between normal listings and the Marketplace is that you don’t see another boring list of business, but they show up as the site’s own updates. For example, a sales listing would show up in news feeds as “John is selling Abstract Art.” In this case, John can be a ‘friend’ of your or even a friend’s friend. You can find out what people want, what they are offering and also how you are connected to these people on Facebook. This is what the page looks like:
14. Don’t Just Write for an Audience of Teenagers: It’s time we free ourselves of this misconception. Facebook isn’t filled with youngsters. Though Facebook has many youngsters who belong to the age group 16 to 25, we see an increase in the number of people from other age groups who use Facebook regularly. According to Pingdom, 61% of Facebook users are over 35 years old. In fact, the 26 – 34 age group rivals the 18 – 25 age group in both the US and the UK. So, make sure communicate to your target the right way.
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