Dec 202010
 

Here are 4 tips to gain more Facebook Fans and keep them active.  Fans can be a valuable asset as a way to connect to your customers and build your brand.  Engaging your existing Fans can be a great way to see what your customers want and what problems they are having with your products.  Fans are alway a great tool for Social web marketing, as if you can get yourself into their newsfeeds, you can reach out to all of their friends as well.  Promoting dialog and giving your fans incentive to participate can allow you to fully utilize this important new aspect of marketing.

(early winter frost forming on shaded leaves – Stockholm, Sweden)

Tip #1: Have a custom landing page

If a potential Fan lands on your page you want to make a good first impression.  Having them land on the page wall is not going to do anything to encourage them to Fan you, or even really give them an idea about what your business is all about.  With a custom page, you can make it clear how to become a Fan and offer a nice looking, branded message to give them incentive to Fan you.  Make it clean and concise as many people will immediately click off a page if they feel overwhelmed with information.  To set-up a custom Fan Page, you must add Static FBML to your page – then the programming works much like HTML.  I’m actually not a programmer so I won’t embarrass myself by trying to explain the specifics.  Check out this article: http://mashable.com/2010/02/22/build-facebook-landing-page/ It’s a pretty decent explanation.  Creating a static URL for your fan page is also key as it makes promoting the page easier – you do however need at least 25 fans to do this.  I am currently sitting at 0 Fans, trying to figure out step one of this post myself working with a template landing page I found.  If you feel like being nice Fan me – since I can’t make a static URL myself at this point.  Here’s what my big ugly broken link looks like – hopefully you can avoid this!  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Eiconnectlink/135490946508868?v=app_4949752878 – feel free to Fan me and make fun of my page! I’m working on it but I know it’s terrible right now.  If you read this soon enough you may get to see it before I have a chance to fix things.

Tip #2: Put links to your Facebook Page everywhere

Because of the vast marketing opportunity offered by Facebook, you may find you’ll have much more success promoting your company here, as opposed to promoting your own website.  Tapping into the social aspect of how Facebook works is an important element of this.  That being said, you should really want to get people to Fan you – as they are basically giving you consent to spam them (of course you don’t want to make it feel that way!)  Put links to your Facebook Fan page in all your email signature, link it at the bottom of all your blog posts, link to it on your website, tweet it regularly to reach your twitter followers, if you do video marketing, make sure to show the address at the end (or throughout) each video, and finally think about promoting it offline as well.  For example if you run an eCommerce business, with each product you ship you could write on the invoice your Facebook Fan Page URL and tell your customers if they sign up, they will get a special discount on their next purchase (or some other promotion idea you may have).

Tip #3: Targeted Facebook Ads

Facebook ads offer amazingly targeted advertisements at minimal cost.  You can target very specific demographics based on your target market.  You can target people who have specific interests listed on their page if you think your product and their interests might have some overlap.  When you set up the ad, make sure to change the ad text – I would not advocate using the default.  Also, after selecting your target audience, Facebook will give you a suggested range to bid for clicks.  I recommend you underbid the suggested price.  If it says $0.80, try bidding $0.50 per click.  You may find it still will end up showing up quite a lot.  This is something I did all the time using Google Adwords.  We were bidding on certain popular keywords that had a very high cost per click.  If your competitors daily budget runs out, you will start to show up at your preferred rate.

Tip #4: Engage your Fans

A great way to get more fans is to engage your Fans.  If you get them commenting you will show up in their newsfeed and be able to reach out to their network for free (that’s a good price!)  It’s a good idea to create a few discussion boards (3-5) with topics your Fans might find engaging.  It’s also a good idea to post questions in your status updates.  For example, recently Skype received 147 comments on a post asking “did you meet your partner over skype?”  Using the words, “you” and “your” (e.g. what are your thoughts) is another way to make people feel personally included.  If anyone does post a comment, make sure to respond, and reference that person by name.  Use @username in your response to make them feel personally included.  Make sure to thank your Fans often for merely existing as appreciation can go a long way.  Also, occasionally surprise your Fans with unrelated, but interesting content.  This will keep people interested in your page and give them a reason to check it often.  Remember, post quality is measured by Facebook insights based on a 7 day rolling average.  If your post attracts a lot of interest, it will rank higher.  This affects you, as a higher ranking post will stay in people’s newsfeeds for longer, hopefully netting you additional new Fans.

_______________________________________________________________

That’s all I have for now, there’s so much more you can do – since I’m relatively new at this, I hope you will comment with additional tips/ideas I may have missed!  I plan to revisit this topic as I get my Facebook Fan page up and running and have some actual personal examples to post.  If you made it this far, thanks for reading! please subscribe, tweet, share, etc. etc. I will be humbly and wholeheartedly grateful!   …. Nick

Dec 092010
 

Facebook users represents a huge opportunity to connect with your customers.  Effective Facebook marketing is key to success in Social Media Marketing.  Utilizing all the potential this platform has to offer is important as it offers you a very inexpensive way to promote to your customers and also build your brand.  There are some easy but highly effective steps you can take to get started.  This entry talks about some general topics which will be explored in more detail in future blogs.

(image of wild winter berries growing in Stockholm, Sweden)

Creating a vanity URL with your brand name is important, however you can only do this after you accrue 25 fans (otherwise it will look like this: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Eiconnectlink/135490946508868).  You should complete your profile with as much detail as possible and link to all your other social media accounts.  You should focus on making it appear as professional as possible to emphasize that you are indeed a legitimate business.  While working in e-Commerce we were always looking to use our web site to make us appear like a larger business.  Through professional design, we were able to give the impression we were a much bigger company.  It is useful to note, for a business, a Facebook “Fan Page” is much better than a group, if for no other reason than there is no message limit.  If you have more than 5000 fans in a group, you cannot message them all.

Something to consider is adding Static FBML (Facebook Markup Language).  You can find the link here: http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=4949752878 .  This is the language used to develop Facebook Apps.  The primary concern for you, is that it allows you to create a custom landing page for your Facebook Fan Page.  This insures when someone visits your page, you will be able to make the proper first impression.

Now that you have a Fan Page, how do you get Fans?  First off, you should consolidate all your mailing lists and send a concise email out with a link to the Facebook page.  This seems like a no-brainer, but you should make sure to start by using all the contacts you already have.  Another good way is to join related groups, such as industry and professional associations and join the conversation.  This is a good way to get your page noticed.  You can also consider buying Facebook ads which are relatively inexpensive.  You can narrowly target people based on location, age, likes, interests etc.  There are some guidelines regarding ads see here: http://www.facebook.com/ads/mistakes.php#faq_1 .  Facebook offers campaign reports where you can access information on the people who actually respond to your ads. Once you know who these people are, you can more directly target them in future campaigns.  Once you have people on your page, if you are selling a product or service, consider offering discounts for Fans.  This will encourage people to become a Fan (and maybe actually make a purchase).  This also helps retain Fans for future marketing campaigns you may wish to run.

The best thing about social networking sites is you can put your Fans to work for you.  If you offer rewards for referrals (such as discounts or gifts for a successful referral), you can give your Fans incentive to promote your company for you.  You can also run promotions such as Groupons, where you allow people to bunch together to make a bulk purchase at greater discounts.  A giveaway is another way to get a lot of attention since word spreads fast through Facebook when something is free.  Consider using apps such as Wildfire (see blog http://eiconnectlink.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/wildfire/ for more information) to promote sweepstakes and contests which can engage Fans and utilize the social network newsfeed to further promote your page.  You can also use trivia and quizzes to get Fans interested.  The quizzes should have some questions about your company (such as what is the CEO’s email?) which force Fans to visit your company website to find the answer.  You should mix in pop-culture questions to make the quizzes fun.

Engaging your Fans is very important.  Talking to them is a great way to build your brand and also learn about what they want.  You should quickly respond to comments and answer questions with helpful information like links to resources to further answer their inquiries.  You can also respond with information such as what number to call and who to talk to if they have a problem.  Having online help available is a great way to keep your customers happy and happy customers will gladly promote your brand for you.

As far as your posts go, keep the content fresh.  Try to encourage a conversation to keep Fans visiting your page often.  Building a sense of community among Fans is a great way to build your brand image.  Organizing group chats with audio and video can help you learn about your customers likes and dislikes about your product and further foster the sense of community.  Sometimes it is important to also share useful or interesting information posted by others.  This can keep Fans interested in your page and get them commenting (which means you will enter their newsfeeds and have access to the rest of their Facebook friends).  You should however avoid posting too much, as clutter can cause people to leave a page quickly.  Keeping your posts a little mysterious can be helpful as well.  You can tease big news – like a new product release or promotion.  Teasing customers can keep them checking back for updates.  Posting images and videos are great ways to encourage comments and likes, so make sure to use this to your advantage.

There are a few more tricks, such as reveal tabs and profile photo hacks that can be employed strategically to help gain attention.   Reveal tabs are where someone first arrives at your page, they are encouraged to immediately “Like” it before they actually get to see the page.  This will get you into their Facebook newsfeeds and gain you a Fan right away.  Without a reveal tab, they may look at your page but never actually “Like” it.  A profile photo hack is a great way to stand out.  It’s a topic in and of itself and I will discuss it further in a future blog.  Here’s a link to some more information http://www.allfacebook.com/facebook-profile-photo-hacks-2009-02 .

Facebook offers a unique way to interact with your customers.  It allows you to build your brand image.  A brand image is constructed one interaction at a time.  Each time you have a happy customer, your image will rise.  You should look at Facebook as a way not just to market to and get new customers, but as a way to actually help make their experience with your company better.  By listening to their feedback, it will also help you tailor your product offerings to what your customers want.  It will allow you to focus limited resources where they are best utilized.  The connections established by Facebook between people are a great way to spread information about your brand and promote your company in a cost effective way.