Guest post by Marianne Pratt
As with all things social, your company’s Facebook presence should create relationships with prospective customers, ultimately generating sales. Making new friends might happen naturally, but you want to make it happen soonest and make “quality” friends who are your most likely future customers/clients.
You need a comprehensive Facebook marketing strategy focused on achieving your overall goals, so you can post content and nourish relationships to grow casual page visitors into advocates and buyers.
A smartly-designed Facebook marketing strategy includes these elements:
The personal touch.
- Branding consistency is critical. Your page must look and feel like your website, but consider adding something unique so your Facebook followers will know they’re part of a special community.
- Humanize your page and business. Use a one-on-one voice, and include content that shows your personal side – people using products, your staff in action, etc. If it fits your company, you can even show or talk about hobbies, etc., but remember your page is there to promote your brand.
- Create a “welcome” tab that serves as the default landing place for first-time visitors. Include a special offer they can respond to, and tell them (very briefly) what to expect from your Fan Page (“join our community and you’ll be the first to receive the latest product information and special discounts”).
- Create additional landing tabs to receive response from Facebook Ads or other special offers.
Content that teaches, entertains and empowers fans.
- They’re a diverse group, so the more diverse your content is the more likely you’ll really connect with fans. Develop an editorial calendar to plan and monitor your “content diversity.”
- Use contests to attract attention, and post frequent updates.
- Fan response is your primary goal. so always include a specific call to action — e-news sign-up, “click here” to receive an offer or “watch this” video clip. You’re teaching visitors to interact with you.
- A successful Facebook marketing strategy is all about word of mouth.Encourage sharing with a promotion that rewards referrals (inviting friends to participate), but make sure it’s well targeted.You only want quality responses.
- Link from your blog using Simplaris BlogCast or Networked Blogs App. And add photo or video links – video can generate significantly higher interest.
Interactive, two-way communication.
- Post regular updates to stay top-of-mind and give fans more opportunities to respond and share.
- Ask questions to get fans talking about themselves and how they use your products or services. Asking questions is also a superb way to conduct market research.
- Encourage fan-to-fan conversation, to further connect them with one another as well as your products and brand. Post periodic “Fan Spotlight” Q&A articles.
- Become active on Facebook yourself. “Like” a few relevant business Fan Pages so you’ll receive their updates, then comment to start a dialog with them. Turn them into leads and broaden your community by inviting them to your page.
Consider adding Facebook Advertising.
Your Facebook Fan Page is free, except for the time you devote to creating, using and tracking it. Facebook Ads cost money but can substantially enhance your strategy, by expanding your reach and allowing detailed targeting of messaging and offers.
We can’t say this often enough: monitor, measure, track, refine.
Monitoring is vital – for your page and for your ads. A monitoring schedule will ensure you respond quickly to both positive and negative comments.
Establish key performance indicators that match your Facebook marketing strategy goals, and use Facebook Page Insights to measure a wide range of performance details. Tracking these metrics and analyzing the results will tell you what’s driving leads and sales and what you need to change or eliminate.