In May this year, it was revealed that only 37 percent of marketers think Facebook marketing is effective. As a blow towards Facebook’s dreams of being taken seriously as an advertising platform, they don’t come much more lethal than that. But is Mark Zuckerberg’s behemoth really such a waste of time for marketers, or are many of us simply not realising the site’s full potential? Beneath the sneering of a thousand disaffected advertisers, Facebook has proven time and again that it can be harnessed in incredible, unique ways that suggest it’s not quite ready to be forgotten.
Here we give you a rundown of the marketing practices to make sure your Facebook venture becomes a success:
Give Fans a Sense of Purpose
The trouble with most Facebook company pages is that the marketing team don’t see any potential and therefore simply make it a repository for bland information and the occasional one-off deal. And then they wonder why it fails. The thing we would all do well to remember is that internet users are savvy people, and won’t align themselves to your page simply because it has a logo on it.
By giving fans a reason to click that ‘like’ button and plenty of opportunities for them to get engaged, you can ensure that users will keep an eye out for your page. And that sense of engagement means they’re far more likely to respond to any promotions you undertake. Make your fans feel appreciated and needed and you’ll reap the rewards.
Promote Your Page Aggressively
Another common mistake marketers make is in assuming people will just come looking for your Facebook page. Undoubtedly some of them will, but you’ll want to make it as easy for them as possible. Get your social media icons to a prominent place on your homepage and make sure you draw attention to them. Promote your Facebook page in store, get it out there on all your material (the iconic ‘F’ logo will suffice) and generally make the existence of your fan page impossible to ignore. You’ll eventually snag the attention of enough people to make the initial outlay of time worth it.
Interact with Fans
Facebook fans are a needy bunch and won’t make do with simple, dull updates like ‘new discount range in store today’. If you want their attention, you need to try and engage them on a personal level. One of the best ways of doing this is by asking questions: ask the right question and you can cause an explosion of interest on your Facebook page that would be unthinkable otherwise.
Simple, slightly-personal questions that can be answered in one word, but leave room for humorous anecdotes, are best. Something like: ‘worst Christmas present of all time?’ Be imaginative, but also intelligent. Facebook has access to a whole load of obscure metrics about the site, chief among which is a ‘happiness index’ that reveals users are frequently happiest on Fridays. Capitalise on this with your own TGIF promotions or shout-outs. Whatever works for your fans!
Use Videos and Images (wisely)
Words, competitions, coupons, promotions and so on are all OK, but nothing grabs the eye like an intriguing image or video popping up on your timeline. People share videos and images on Facebook like nothing else – only Twitter is comparable with its sharing of links. So if you have a humorous picture that has that unidentifiable ‘viral’ factor, make sure you use it! The great thing is that it doesn’t have to be content directly-related to your company; it can simply be a video or image from elsewhere that seems to encapsulate your ethos, or simply seems like the sort of thing your brand would engage with. This can be a fast, effective way of generating maximum interest with minimum effort.
License: Creative Commons
Amanda Cummins is an active blogger in the social media scene, working alongside Gift Library, and believes, properly utilized, Facebook is a brilliant tool for any marketing campaign.