Facebook provides some unique opportunities and to be successful at marketing, you need to understand that it is different from other media. You cannot market the same on Facebook as you would do in a magazine, a newspaper or even your own website.
1. Never use Facebook to hard sell
Facebook was created to be a social space. A place where friends connect and share pictures and video. To be successful, you need to join the community conversations and not only be an aggressive salesman.
Users will un-follow you just as quickly as they hit the “Like” button if you only hard sell (use marketing slogans, only post product or service information and prices or specials). Some might even go further and spread negative comments about your brand.
So think carefully about what you post.
2. Have a strategy and define clear goals.
Define why you want to use Facebook and plan the strategy to achieve your goals.
Coffee Shop Example:
As a coffee shop owner you might strategise to increase Facebook generated sales by 5-10% over a 6 month period. This could involve:
- Create a “special of the day” post every morning. To track sales you can add a coupon nr that can be tracked back to Facebook only.
- Have a “Coffee King” of “Coffee Queen” of the day and post their images on your wall.
- Encourage your clients to post images of themselves enjoying your coffee on their wall.
3. Let your business have a human voice
People on Facebook are just that… People. They like to talk to other people and not just with an impersonal brand. So the person looking after your company Facebook page must write in a likeable voice, and sound real. A style that will suit your business, not company jargon only.
4. Post regularly
Stats show that 50% of users visit Facebook at least once per day. So if you are regularly posting (good stuff only, of course), you will be in their face more often and they will think about you regularly. It is good to post once a day if you have good content. Else only post when you have good / interesting information to share. It is good to judge for yourself how often your audience wants to hear from you.
5. Encourage you audience to leave comments and then reply quickly
Encourage feedback about topics that interest your audience. If a comment is left, respond quickly. Best practice is within 24 hrs. Failing to respond will weaken the willingness of you audience to respond or engage with you.
6. Use pictures and videos
Keep your audience entertained by using images and video. For example:
- If you are a clothing retailer, post images of new stock as it arrives.
- Construction companies or architects can post day-by-day images about construction progress.
- Personal trainers can share instructional “how to” videos about specific exercises.
Make Facebook a fun place for your audience. Contests and games can liven up your wall. Discounts and giveaways will also help.
Facebook has a surveys function. Use it to gather customer feedback. Just keep it short.
7. Nurture your relationships
Building trust and good relationships takes time. It is important to be patient. Just keep going – sharing useful, interesting, valuable information.
8. Promote your Facebook page
Add your link to your company letterhead, business cards, website, email signature, in your shop / store or any other place or space that you advertise on.
Facebook can really be something more than a social space. If done well, with careful thought, it can be a powerful tool for any company.