Social Media & Facebook Marketing For Business
Social media is the small business online buzz word for 2011 and beyond.
This year I have noticed a lot of talk about Twitter and how businesses should be on Twitter.
I’ve attended a number of ‘workshops’ or presentations in which we are told ‘You should be interacting on Twitter and Facebook’ but I’ve yet to hear exactly HOW business should be using this stuff.
Whether you should be on Twitter or Facebook is dependent on the question;
What platforms are your customers on?
If they are on Twitter then I completely agree – you should be on Twitter too!
But the fact is that most people are not on Twitter and even if they were would they be interested in your 140 character observation on the cheese & mayo sandwich you had for lunch or the fact that BT have once again cocked up your phone system and you now spend most afternoon trying to convince old ladies that you are not the cat sanctuary!
Depending on your business there are probably many more social media sites that you could establish a presence on that would be much more effective than Twitter, or even Facebook.
Does the product or service that you provide have its own niche forum? If so that’s where you should be posting stuff and where, if you read a couple of good reports on forum marketing, you can find new customers and build some useful and profitable relationships.
Facebook is a slightly different animal to Twitter, well not slightly – much different! Facebook is GREAT for business, especially if your business is in any way social – bars, restaurants, clubs, retailers, etc.
With 500 million people signed up as users I guess that some of your target customers will be on Facebook, so you should too.
The first thing you need to understand about social media is that it is about interaction, so when someone leaves you a comment or send you a message you MUST respond!
Secondly using Facebook for business is DIFFERENT to using Facebook for social purposes – stick to business DO NOT get drawn into the trap of thinking that you have to be friends with everyone.
Thirdly you have to satisfy the WIIFM instinct. WIIFM is not a new radio station from Nintendo (Wii.FM – geddit?) but an acronym for ‘What’s in it for me’ – if you want people to ‘Like’ you and to invite you into their online circle so you have access to all their connection then you need to give them something first and that something needs to be relevant, valuable and useful.
How do I market on Facebook?
There are plenty of guides out there online that can give you some great tips – just search for “how to market on Facebook” or similar and you’ll get a ton of results. But beware, facebook makes constant changes to it’s functions and interface and many guides are a little out of date.
For example Facebook used to host everything on a page, but has now done away with FBML (its own coding language) and now custom business pages require hosting, iFrames and not a little technical knowledge!
Another thing to look out for is that from October 2011 Facebook pages using iFrames and thus hosted elsewhere will require an SSL security certificate. Again this pushes the technical challenges of creating a state-of-the-art business page up a notch further.
So, I’ll answer the question literally – how do I market on Facebook.
1. Buy a domain. As this is not to have any SEO implications register the cheapest domain you can find. Namecheap and Godaddy often run specials and have discount codes. I bought a .info for 99c!
2. Create the domain on my hosting and install WordPress and the W4FP theme. Now have the SSL cert installed before you do anything else – I found someone to do it for $30 (£20).
3. Decide upon a gift to encourage users to like your page – must be useful and valuable to my prospect. For example, discount code, free ‘lite’ version, training material, product guide, etc
4. Create a graphic that will be my ‘call to action’.
5. Create a Fangate using the MaxEZpages plugins and the graphic. The fangate ‘forces the Like’. It promises the hidden content in exchange for the ‘Like’.
6. Create a paid ad campaign to get fans
7. Send Facebook fans to your website and website visitors to Facebook
8. Make regular updates. Link Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and LinkedIn so that as one updates they all update.
9. Use Hootsuite to control and schedule posting
10. Interact with fans, offer exclusive specials that can only be found on Facebook.
Facebook is a very versatile platform and can be used by businesses in a veriety of ways;
- to organise and promote events
- to interact with customers
- to run competitions
- to get user generated content
- to promote of web content – video, blogs, etc
We provide further info on Facebook marketing for business on our Facebook page – just click the image below to connect!