Over the weekend while checking my stats I noticed something strange, over 10% of my traffic was coming from Facebook. Ok that might be not strange to you but remember that it was only about 6 -8 weeks ago that I actually decided to try to get a grip on Facebook and learn as much about it as possible.
I am sure that many of you feel as I did that Facebook is great for keeping in contact with friends but as a business tool it sucks.
I am not ashamed to stand up now and say… I was wrong. If you take time to go and learn how you use it it can be an amazing resource and a great business tool.
Leave Your Marketing Hat At The Front Door
First off it’s not a place to go and try to make sales right up front. You won’t You might get lucky and make a few sales but the real income is in building relationships just like list building. Having said that I actually made $90 in sales in 48 hours while spending about $40 in advertising while I was testing something…and testing is important.
However 99% of the time selling won’t work because people don’t got to facebook to buy, they go to be entertained and socialize. Consider it like this. When you go out to have fun do you go to Walmart or a nice bar? When you go out to shop do you go to a nice bar or do you go to Walmart? See where I am going there?
Now just supposing you go to that nice bar and you are sipping cocktails with your friends and someone you don’t know walks up to you and say’s ” Buy This iPhone 5 it’s awesome” are you going to buy? Probably no
If one of your friends or someone you know says, “Hey this Iphone 5 is great look at all the stuff it does do you wan to buy it ?” The i suspect a few of you would buy it or at least consider it if you were in the market for one.
Like Me Like Me!
So lets forget about selling on Facebook for the moment the thing we want to do is to build up fans and likes because initially these are all that matter
So first off lets look at why likes are so important and easy to get
No information required. Like trying out new pickup lines in a bar or other public place, nothing’s exchanged. After a participant clicks to like a page or post, nothing else is required. Unlike email or text messages, nothing is pushed to them via a communication channel.
Allure of potential discounts. For most consumers, this is the connection they’re seeking. It’s like wondering whether you’ll exchange phone numbers with someone you’ve just met. For marketers, the challenge is that they need to attract prospects to Facebook in addition to offering lower prices. This is a double whammy! It translates to lower margins and trains customers to wait for better deals.
Desire to interact with other fans. As a marketer, you need to get over yourself. Users fan you to engage with others with whom they share similar interests. In this case, you’re just providing the social media drinks – in a manner of speaking.
Gets them attention. Likes are a way to get enhanced information and other goodies without any commitment.
Makes them look good. When it comes to romance, everyone wants to look his or her best. Depending on your product, a Facebook like may reflect well on how they’re perceived. Yet for marketers this is a zero sum game since it’s not the same as buying and using a designer handbag, for example.
How To Use This as a Marketer
Show up at the Facebook party. Let prospects and customers check you out while they’re in the research phase. As the 800 pound gorilla of social media, Facebook warrants attention. It’s important to stake out your turf for branding and competitive reasons.
Offer valuable content. Provide context in the form of useful content that educates and entertains. Also, ask prospects and customers to contribute to the conversation and content. If you’re too overzealous in your Facebook interactions, they’re gone.
Strike up a conversation with prospects, customers and the public. Contribute to the interaction as you would in any social setting. Also, let visitors talk to each other. In addition to answering each other’s questions, they want this interaction. Just create the forum.
Be ready to seal the deal. Make sure prospects and customers can purchase once they’re ready. Whether you use f-commerce or another option, streamline the purchase process to the fewest steps possible or you risk loosing the sales.
Offer good service to your customers. Consumers often cite this reason for connecting with brands on social media. To this end, have employees engaged on Facebook and other social media platforms who can respond to customer questions via written responses.
Still Not Convinced?
I have in the region of 700 Fans, (Thank you!) I recently posted an image on my wall and asked people what they thought was the greatest skill an IM’er should master, that post was seen by over 9965 people. You see on Facebook people share interesting /good information. When was the last time someone shared one of your emails? You can see the post I shared at:(http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=430656400313428&set=a.407475025964899.84314.156835394362198&type=1)
It’s All About Perception Baby!
If you email people 2 or 3 times a day , you’ll lose most of your subscribers pretty quickly Facebook is totally different people like to see 2 or 3 good nuggets of bite sized information. You see it’s all about Perception.
People perceive that emails are sales tools , however they perceive that Facebook posts are generally interesting and entertaining, keep within your niche and people will continue to look at your content. Don’t give them a reason to unlike you and you will continue to be able to put your messages infront of them AND their friends.
Development is the Name of The Facebook Game
Facebook is still in development which means things are changing and developing, very recently they changed their notifications API which gives you the ability to send notifications to people who have signed up through and app. You can read about it in their developer blog (http://developers.facebook.com/blog/post/2012/08/31/reach-users-1-1-with-the-notifications-api/) However the bottom line is that it makes it potentially easier for you to communicate with people when you something important to tell them.
For example if you look at the 2nd item down in the side bar, at the moment it’s just a simple button and I’ve not added any information or offers around it as I don’t want to draw attention to it yet. However the simplicity hides what is potentially the most powerful subscriber tool on the site.
Think Like a Marketer
Time to put your Internet Marketing heads on for just a short time and think like marketers.
Imagine if you had a simple tool that when pressed added people to your email list,
ok thats cool but not unique.
How about if it also added the email address they used for Facebook which is not some throwaway email address, chances are it’s one of their main ones.
Ok thats a bit cooler
How about if it also connected you to them in Facebook at the same time
Yeah now that would be very cool…
What if every time you wrote a post or had something important to say you entered a message in the back end of your blog and it appeared in their Facebook account under notifications….
Oh yeah now thats ultra cool, and that’s exactly what Leah Butler Smith’s FB Lead Genie does. I love plugins like this as they are right at the cutting edge and allow you to think out of the box and also do things that no one has thought about before…
Internet marketing is all about getting your message in front of as many people as possible and thats what Facebook allows you to do.
I promised you a free report for wading through this post, one of the members at WordPress Goldmine Dean Martin (he’s heard all the jokes!) has just written a guide to getting started with Facebook pages. You can download it here: http://imdeanmartin.com/SocialMediaMastery.pdf Stop by his blog and say thanks !
This blog post has hardly scratched the surface of FB but hopefully it will have inspired you to find out more.
Thats it for this mammoth post… I hope you coffee didn’t get cold and you got to the end…
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