Facebook is now the most widely talked about social network platform on the planet. Its popularity is growing with people of all stripes and interests. Is there a place for your business to get involved and engage with social networks such as Facebook? The answer is yes… if you do it the right way. Social network marketing should be a part of your online marketing plan.
Not too many companies have the brand affinity of a Nike or Starbucks where you can naturally attract and build a community. So what are your options if you’re a local retailer, real estate firm, bar or staffing agency? For people to “friend you” or join your group, you must offer some real value in their lives. They are just too busy for another friend. And is anyone really a friend of his or her real estate company? To fit into your potential customers’ daily interactions you have to be both creative and authentic in your approach.
Here are two ideas on how to make some friends on Facebook.
Build a community around shared passions
If you are active in local or regional community causes, Facebook is a great way to share the passion. By setting up a volunteer network around your cause you can invite your customers, clients and employees to join your Volunteers/Friends for (name of cause here) for events, updates and participation. Your Facebook page can now become a hub, or platform, for daily engagement and interaction with your different audiences in new and exciting ways: Start conversations using your daily status box. Make sure you respond to messages on the Wall. It’s your chance for a dialogue. You can also encourage your “friends” share their own volunteer experiences. With Facebook, it is easy to post videos, posters, links and calendars to promote events and causes. There are also applications to survey opinions or create polls. You can even create flash mobs by sending out a message on the day of the event to boost attendance. Be sure to include your employees in the mix to generate some viral activity on their own Facebook sites. Always encourage friends to spread the word and refer other friends. You can also join other related groups to get some infiltration/cross-selling going. Remember, the key to success on Facebook is building your program around a shared passion, not just marketing your products or services
Create a peer-to-peer exchange
Turn your Facebook page into a support or resource forum around your products or services. Build a central hub where customers or employees can ask questions and get answers. Turn employees and customers into idea machines; invite ideas on how to improve products or services. Show off your newest ad campaign and hear what they have to say about it. You can even let your “friends” troubleshoot issues for you. People like to think they can make a difference. Again, use contests, polls and surveys to encourage feedback
These are just two ideas to get you started. To make it work, you really have to understand your audiences and how your business and culture fit in on Facebook. Once you’ve figured that out, you can turn your attention to recruiting people to join your Facebook page. That’s another story… to be continued.
For more information on social network marketing, contact Tom Casale or Bill Kamper at [email protected] or call 312-886-7669.