Not convinced your 2010 marketing budget should include a healthy line item for social networking? Then take a look at the numbers provided by Facebook (Facebook stats):
- More than 350 million users are active on Facebook
- 50% of active users log on to Facebook in any given day
- More than 35 million users update their status each day
- More than 55 million status updates posted each day
- More than 2.5 billion photos uploaded and 3.5 million events created each month
- More than 3.5 billion pieces of content (web links, news, blog posts, etc.) shared each week
- More than 1.6 million active Pages on Facebook
- More than 700,000 local businesses have active Pages on Facebook
- Pages have created more than 5.3 billion fans
And, its not just Facebook anymore. Google now uses social content when determining the ranking of web pages (SEO). Facebook is good for SEO and it has been very good for businesses for some time now.
Facebook Tips for Fan Pages
First Things First – Plan
To be effective requires a plan as well as fresh content on a regular basis. Once again, “content is King.” Give your potential customers and existing clients a reason to not only visit your Facebook pages but also help promote them. Keep in mind that updating the page doesn’t require a significant amount of effort if you first have a solid plan. Planning your campaign is a must – allocating the necessary resources to implement your plan goes without saying.
Social Networking is All About Leveraging Technology
Online marketing requires integration so understand that a significant amount of content is distributed automatically to numerous social media channels. Maximize your content and get better results by:
- Linking your blog posts to your Facebook wall. Your business website doesn’t include a blog? Get one.
- Use a service to update all of your social networks at once (Facebook, twitter, etc.)
- Similar automated services, widgets for example, are available for your YouTube and Flickr feeds
Engage Visitors But Avoid Confusion
Create a landing page on Facebook that you control. It is preferable to send traffic to a controlled welcoming page that highlights your brand instead of the “wall” page on your Facebook fan pages. The Fan page “wall” is a great and valuable tool for communicating with customers and prospects but it can be extremely confusing to first-time visitors.
A controlled page can also be used to offer users an incentive to become fans and help promote your brand. Contests, coupons, weekly specials and other tactics are being used effectively by numerous brands.
Be aware that new Facebook marketing guidelines were published last year in November. The guidelines require brands, marketers and advertisers to go through an approval process for contests. Get help if you don’t understand the requirements.
Interaction and Communication Required
First and foremost, understand completely that social media is all about interaction and two-way communication. Here’s a few basic tips to help you get conversations started:
- Ask questions that solicit honest opinions
- Create polls and provide access to tabulated results as well as candid reviews that support multiple views
- Don’t just post relevant industry news, provide – on a timely basis – executive summaries of industry trends
Don’t miss out; social networking will without a doubt enhance your brand and increase your marketing ROI. Face it, someone else paid to develop the technology and all you need to do is learn how to use it and get plugged in.
Advertising your business on Facebook is definitely something to consider. In fact, there are unique tactics available to precisely target a specific ad to a specific demographic profile. For example, you can target college graduates working in your target market that like fine wines and classical music – or a 50 something professional that likes head-banging punk music and Mexican food.
The two basic types of advertisements on Facebook are: (1) Display ads and (2) Social ads. Either can be purchased like banner ads (Cost Per Click, CPC) and Cost Per Thousand, CPM). Given Facebook users like staying within the Facebook environment, in general, create a killer Facebook Fan Page and direct your ads to that page.
Better yet, create a specific “tab” on that Fan page for your campaign; each tab has a unique URL by the way. If you’re not familiar with Facebook Fan page design, outsourcing is the way to go. Although relatively straight forward for design pros with programming skills, business owners that really don’t understand the features and how to use them will inevitably waste a lot of productive time on social networking.
Just like any business project, the social marketing rewards you’ll receive will be a reflection of the effort you put into it; haphazard planning and implementation won’t get you the results you desire online. But, those allocating the appropriate resources are gaining excellent results by leveraging social networking technology.