Facebook is a great tool for product promotion, so in case you are yet to capitalise on some of the hidden gems within this every day platform, here is a fresh look at some of the elements that you’ve probably been taking for granted.
Our motto in social media marketing is to start with clarity around objectives and purpose. In terms of Facebook it is a great tool because a large proportion of the people who can potentially be your most valued customers are currently spending a great deal of time and thus their attention on Facebook. Gone are the days when Facebook was the preserve of the young. Today both adults – yes real grown-ups, (the average Facebook user is now 38) and professionals from across the globe make up a significant proportion of Facebook users. If your objective is to capture the attention of more of your target audience so that you can convert them into paying customers, given the prevalence of your audience on Facebook, it makes sense to become familiar with the promotional tools and strategies available via Facebook.
The Facebook page, put simply, is an alternative website. Somewhere businesses can display information about their products and services and engage with their community. Unlike a website, pages on Facebook have the added advantage of already been located where people are spending significant amounts of their time. Adding HTML, flash and other Facebook applications, can customise Facebook pages. The new tabs facilities mean that your Facebook page can be dynamic and engaging 24/7. Hence the most skilful brands run competitions and coordinate offers and special promotions running on their pages with activities in the real world. The only limit to what can be done with a Facebook page is your imagination and of course your resources.
Facebook pages provide a place for loyal customers to leave messages share content and really engage with your business. The trick is to make it a fun experience. After all most people, even professionals, understand that the Facebook brand is about fun and light-hearted engagement. If your brand is able to emulate this relaxed attitude it will encourage more engagement.
Facebook groups are a hangout for your community. Places where your customers, partners, advocates and friends can engage in conversations about your products and services. Groups can be used to update your customers about changes to your products or services or poll opinions about issues. Although groups work best when they are not overly large, they can be used to amplify your brand’s message by encouraging group members to act as advocates for your products and services in their wider social networks. Key features of groups include the ability to set up a group email which can be used to email all group members; updates that are automatically sent to members’ Facebook inboxes and emails by default (unless they changed privacy settings). Moreover, group members can invite their friends to join the group so there is the potential to grow rapidly. In addition you can use group document and file to share presentations, schedules, documents and other file types with group members.
Photos and Notes are two Facebook applications that are also underutilised by businesses. They allow users to share detailed information and images with contacts on the Facebook platform. Notes are mini blog posts and can be customised using basic HTML and images to produce well-designed engaging documents. The key is to remember that your aim is to inform and engage, not sell. Provide the information that your community is interested in and that addresses their issues. Clearly if you focus on how great you and your products are you will risk it coming across as a sales pitch and you will soon lose the interest of your readers.
To promote your brand with photos think engagement rather than showcase. That is post the sort of pictures that will encourage discussion and comments as well as sharing. For example unusual pictures of your products or shots of your products being used in unusual locations or left field situations. Also humorous images and inforgraphics are much more likely to be shared and commented on.
Facebook Events makes it easy to spread product news to hundreds of people. Real world or cyber events provide focal opportunities for community engagement. Events can be used to launch new offers or products, provide a platform for an expert to address key issues within your community or simply fun events for networking and building relationships. The Facebook event application makes creating and managing events simple. You can create events that are linked to your group or Facebook page and invite all your contacts as well as run a discussion on your event wall to maintain interest in the run-up to the big day.
Once you start to utilise Facebook to market your brand, it is important to measure your results so that you can be clear about your ROI. Facebook Insights provides analytics for your fan page. Other services that can help you dig deeper into the data and use it to help boost your business on Facebook, including AgoraPulse, PageLever, Webtrends, AllFacebook Stats, Socialbakers, and Simply Measured. You can even get a little extra insight into your personal profile with WolframAlpha.
When used effectively each of the tips mentioned has the potential to rapidly amplify your brand’s reach –to go viral as they say. Consequently, it is worthwhile paying more time and attention to your business’s presence on Facebook. Of course, there are also a host of other applications available via Facebook and some other methods to promote product on this social media platform, I covered just the more well know ones. Whatever tools you choose remember that success in social media marketing comes from consistently apply your strategy and making informed directional changes based on the feedback from your monitoring.
Is Facebook part of your marketing strategy? Please share your experiences and if you have come across any issues please let us know and we will endeavour to assist you.
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