1. What to expect out of Facebook Marketing:
Understandably, social media marketing and Facebook in particular is the answer to next gen marketing and the reason why everyone is eager to join the bandwagon. However, you must still work on your marketing campaign to achieve your goals; Facebook is a tool that you can use to accelerate the campaign. For a Facebook campaign to be successful, you must understand the goals of your campaign. Ask yourself questions like: Do you want to reach new customers or existing ones? Do you expect to generate direct revenue from this campaign? Are you trying to increase your referral business? Are you trying to reposition your brand or product? Do you want to improve the customer perception about your customer service? Are you trying to establish a platform for your future products or services? Answering these questions will help you decide how aggressive your marketing strategies should be. Design your marketing strategy bearing in mind that Facebook is an interactive medium.
2. Reaching out to the target group:
Do you know that with the ever-increasing Facebook users, the 35-45 year demographic is the fastest growing one? One of the main strategies to be successful in marketing on Facebook is to understand your target audience. It is not only easier, simpler and cost effective to use Facebook to reach out to your customers but also easier to reach out to people with similar liking, thinking and interest. Your marketing strategy for Facebook must include the following:
Create brand awareness,
Provide a platform for your customers to communicate
The last strategy of communicating with your customers is very important and has a direct bearing on the first and second strategy. Once you address your customers’ complaints and implement their suggestions, you can see improvement in your sales revenue and improved brand image. The recent AT&T’s Facebook marketing approach is a strategy gone wrong due to negligence of customer complaints.
3. Find Fans for your Facebook Page:
Potential to reach millions of people is made possible through Facebook. You can market your product through
Facebook pages. A page can have unlimited number of fans. When you start building your fan page, invite all your friends to be part of it. Once they add themselves to you fans list, this activity will be visible to their friends through the news feed. The main difference between Facebook pages and Facebook profiles is that the former is visible via Internet search engines. Once a member becomes a fan of your page, he/she can receive messages from your pages. Use the share option to share your page with other members; this helps in bringing more people to your page.
Facebook has a flexible privacy model; you can share your page with only those you know or make it available on the Internet search engines.
4. Don’t use traditional marketing strategies:
Implementing traditional marketing strategies doesn’t attract customers on Facebook; it might rather backfire on you. An example of traditional marketing is ‘controlling’ your customers. Indulging in intelligent conversation with the Facebook members is a smart and productive strategy. Follow the four pillars of Facebook marketing, which are:
Intelligent communication is one that will assist you in generating revenue for your company and at the same time provide customer satisfaction and loyalty by implementing their suggestions.
Collaborating on Facebook can be for various purposes such as viz., projects, events, exchange files and ideas. While project collaboration happens within the organization, events and exchange idea collaboration can be moderated to include the customers. This is a great place to build customer loyalty and brain storm for better product ideas. An open event on Facebook is visible to everyone on the events page and anyone can add themselves to the guest list.
However, if you want guests by invite only, change the event to ‘secret events’ category.
5. Use your skills to educate and entertain:
You can use Facebook as a platform to educate your customers. There are many skills that people like to learn. It could be something as simple as mending a broken chair to fixing the computer. As an example, if you are trained in troubleshooting Windows 7 and have a license, you can post it on the Facebook pages. You can post videos too, to make it entertaining. Facebook is one of the best platforms to interact and reach out to your customers. Let us assume that you are a pastry shop owner who specializes in cakes and has a Facebook page too.
Here is how you can market yourself on Facebook: Create a page that provides the tips for cake baking; post videos showing the process and finally post pictures of pastry from your shop. When there is quality information available on your Facebook page, many members will become a fan of your page and also recommend their friends to visit your page. The live feed model of Facebook further makes it possible to share real-time conversation.
6. Establishing your presence:
It is an added advantage if you own a business where your employees are active members on Facebook because you can develop your presence using your employees. However, certain precautions must be taken to ensure that this process doesn’t turn into a fiasco. It is important for all your employees to use the same name of your company on their profile/pages. When you start to create the page for your company, classify it and choose to go public; it provides more visibility to your page. Once you create a page under a particular name, you can’t change it. The only way to get a new name is to create another page. Always remember to upload your logo since it represents your company and helps in branding.
7. Provide audio/video of your company/business:
How do you measure intangible assets? Can you measure your company’s reputation or goodwill? No. So, how do you convince your customers about your reputation? One of the ways is through testimonials. But, it doesn’t always work. A prospective client might ask, “Why should I believe in the testimonials?” A valid argument, indeed! Under these circumstances, it is easier to convince your client by taking him/her on a tour of your company. If your client is in a different country, wouldn’t it be much easier and simpler to tour your company on Facebook? Yes, that is why you should upload videos and photos of your company. If you are a manufacturing company, you can upload videos of the manufacturing unit and the implemented safety measures. If you are in hotel industry, shoot a video of the cooking process to prove your cleanliness standards and if you are a software company, post videos of employees working at their desks in a cosy atmosphere that helps boost productivity. These videos and photos will speak a lot more than words or any other testimony.
8. Establish your brand:
Brand is the way consumers perceive your company. To a parent, the brand ‘fisher price’ is related to quality and safety; similarly, for a sports person, Nike relates to comfort and performance. So, what exactly do you want your customers to associate your brand with? If you are a realtor, you might want your brand to be associated with trustworthiness or if you are an orthodontist, you might want to associate your brand with ‘smile’. Whatever the case, you have to use a consistent design. A brand design can include logos, colours, catch phrases, name etc. You can’t undo your brand features once it is established. So, it is important to think about what you want to convey through your logos, name, colour etc. McDonald’s logo is a classic example of a simple logo that conveys a strong corporate image. Your aim must be to create a logo that by itself evokes perception about your product and services in the minds of your customers. However, do not try to copy logos from other organizations since they are copyright protected; doing so will land you in lot of trouble.
9. Engage in two way communication:
For any communication to be fruitful and bear results, it must be two way. As a customer, how many times have you felt that it is futile to complain about the poor customer service or the low quality of the products? It is not uncommon for people to experience sub-standard service for the money they pay. The most important thing after creating your Facebook page is to establish a two way communication with your customers/fans. Assume that you have a bed and breakfast business and have successfully established your Facebook presence but neglect communicating with your customers. Here is what will happen:
Your customers might write on your wall appreciating your customer service and when it goes unnoticed and un-reciprocated, the appreciation and communication declines and eventually stops – a very bad marketing strategy. When other customers see that you don’t respond to feedback on your wall, they stop posting feedback and you lose a valuable resource to measure your standard of service and reputation.
So, take time and effort to answer to your customers’ queries, to thank them, to apologise or just to stay in touch.
10.Sell products that align with your brand image:
Do you remember the failure of Colgate’s Kitchen Entrees that never took off or that of Pond’s toothpaste, which failed miserably? These are classic examples of products that are not in line of the brand image. Colgate has always been associated with dental and personal hygiene; for consumers to relate ready to eat meals with Colgate was not palatable. Consumers always associated Pond’s with fragrance and freshness. So, when Pond’s launched toothpaste, people couldn’t relate dental hygiene with fragrance. The lesson learnt from the above examples: Do your homework before you venture into launching new products. You must understand your customers thoroughly to know their likes and dislikes. Once you have established your brand on Facebook, remember that you can’t undo the writings on your wall. You will be attracting thousands of fans for your page. Therefore, use discretion before launching a new product. For example if you are a flower shop owner, extending flower arrangement offer for special occasion falls in line with your brand but not selling sweets and confectionaries.
You must understand your customers thoroughly to know their likes and dislikes. Once you have established your brand on Facebook, remember that you can’t undo the writings on your wall. You will be attracting thousands of fans for your page. Therefore, use discretion before launching a new product. For example if you are a flower shop owner, extending flower arrangement offer for special occasion falls in line with your brand but not selling sweets and confectionaries.