Facebook marketing is becoming increasingly important for certain kinds of businesses. These include locally owned businesses, brands with exceptional personality and organizations that inspire great loyalty in their customers. Sixty-one percent of Internet users visit social networking sites, like Facebook. Chances are, a percentage of your customers visit Facebook every single day (or multiple times a day!).
The basic building blocks of marketing on Facebook are to develop a page for your business, regularly update that page and advertise to get customers to ‘like’ your page. Once a customer ‘likes’ your page, your updates will display on their wall; their friends will be able to see that they ‘like’ you, and they will have a chance to interact with your business on Facebook.
If you do a great job marketing on Facebook, customers will engage with you, recommend you to their friends and stay interested in all of your updates. Your page will be a great marketing tool that your customers will enjoy. If you do a bad job with Facebook marketing, customers will ‘hide’ your posts, and your efforts will be useless. If you do a really bad job, customers will ‘unlike’ your page and tell their friends about their bad experiences.
To help you do a great job with Facebook marketing, I’ve put together some Facebook marketing tips. To illustrate my tips, I’m using posts from the Cincinnati Zoo’s Facebook page. With 60,000 ‘likes’ and 2,500 check-ins, this marketing effort is extraordinarily successful. A quick glance at the page shows why their Facebook marketing works– the Cincinnati Zoo has implemented marketing strategies that attract interest and interaction from its customer base.
1. Post interesting content on Facebook.
Content is king. Content keeps your customers interested and keeps your business top-of-mind. Like this video post from the Cincinnati Zoo:
Not every business can post a video of a baby bearcat, but you must develop content that will be interesting to your customers. Try to post many different types of media like pictures, videos and blog posts. Strike a balance between entertaining, informational and promotional content.
2. Motivate your customers to interact on your Facebook page.
One way Facebook marketing is different from email marketing is that the customers can talk back to you. Inspiring interaction is a great way to get customers more involved with your business. The Cincinnati Zoo has a contest every Friday, soliciting photo captions, like the one below:
This particular contest received 346 comments, 149 likes and many voters on the individual comments. That kind of participation is well worth the prize given away. Other ways to encourage participation would be to have a poll, ask for picture and video submissions or simply asking an intriguing question.
3. Respond to your customers’ questions.
Before a joint event with the Zoo and the Cincinnati Reds, I posted a question on the Zoo’s Facebook posting. Someone answered my question in under an hour. By responding to questions quickly, you teach your customers that your Facebook page is a resource they should keep returning to.
4. Be subtle with your sales.
Facebook users are on the site to get updates on their friends, share about themselves, be entertained and learn interesting facts. They aren’t on Facebook to see advertisements on their walls. Here’s a subtle way the Cincinnati Zoo promoted their summer camp:
The Facebook poster shared a child’s experience and asked others to share their children’s experiences. It started a nice dialogue, but the real goal was to educate customers about the existence of a summer camp. It’s fine to occasionally post informational updates about a new product or your annual sale, but do it in a way that will interest your customers. Just posting a picture and a price isn’t enough.
These are just four tips to help your Facebook marketing, and following them is crucial to building a successful presence. There’s lots more to learn to become a Facebook marketing expert, though. If you have specific questions about your business’s unique situation or offerings, feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org