Getting your brand a Facebook page is like getting a shop at the prime location of the newest mall in town. Footfalls come in automatically without making much of an effort. People of all age groups, ethnicities, income groups, etc are on Facebook. So are their friends, family and acquaintances.
The chances of your marketing campaign going viral and gaining a word of mouth momentum are immense with this mammoth audience. At the same time, even a small slip will derail the campaign and people notice that too. So what are the right ways and key steps that make a marketing campaign on Facebook a success?
Get a Facebook Vanity URL
Just like a domain name, vanity URLs and usernames are very important in protecting the identity of your brand. People will remember www.facebook.com/brand rather than e854ca07d80ae3817. If somebody else is sitting on your brand identity, ask them nicely or contact Facebook if you have a copyright. If nothing works, go for a cool suffix or prefix with the brand name.
Complete your Profile
Leave nothing out. Add as many details as possible about your brand on the Facebook profile page. After all, your customers can get to know that you are for real and professional and not a scam artist. Do not forget to link your other social media profiles. A clear and crisp description of what exactly your business does is important too.
Design a Custom Facebook Page
Facebook offers a lot of tools to customize the business page of your brand. There are also additional third party tools available to help you spice up your Facebook page without having to do any coding. Done carefully, your Facebook page could be as good looking as a custom webpage design. Check out our coverage on creating Facebook page in three simple steps, available third party apps and what other brands have did with their Facebook page.
Join Related Groups
No, do not join your direct competitor’s Facebook page and start a flame war. Join the special interest group of your industry, professional associations, charities of interest etc. and be visible. Engage in meaningful conversation and do not be a chatter box.
Buy Facebook Advertisements
Promote your brand with targeted Facebook advertisements. Write a great copy, create a cool banner, link to a landing page and wait for the traffic to come in. Facebook is so huge, your webpage traffic will surge so be prepared to meet the server load. For the same reason, but only Cost per Click (CPC) ads instead of paying based on impressions.
Offer Exclusive Facebook Discounts
Lot of brands offer exclusive discounts and freebies to members of the Facebook fanpage. This helps in getting a ton of new users. To retain the existing fans, keep a long term discount running ensuring brand loyalty and positive word of mouth.
Social networks and Facebook in particular are the hotbeds of referrals. Make it easy and compelling for your fans to recommend your brand to their friends. Offer kickbacks, discounts or gifts when there is a successful referral. You can really benefit from the network of your fans without having to embark on a costly marketing campaign.
Bundle products and run promotions at steep discounts. Offer discounts when a bunch of people but together in true Groupon style. A valid reason like reaching 1000 customers or founding day or Black Friday will yield better results.
Giveaway Your Product
Sponsor giveaways at regular intervals and place your brand at the center of attraction. Giveaways spread like a wildfire and you will benefit from word of mouth and positive attention.
Conduct Trivia and Quizzes
Post a weekly quiz about your newest products or a trivia to find the email address of the brand’s CEO. Make sure your fans get to know something about your brand with this exercise. Mix and match the questions with pop culture stuff to make it more interesting.
Host contests and reward the winners. Rewards could be a combination of your products and popular third party products, say iTunes or Amazon gift cards. Even people who are initially not interested in your brand will jump in at the opportunity to win an iTunes card. That’s lot of opportunities at your doorstep.
Engage Your Fans
Talk to your fans and talk back. When someone asks a question or expresses concern, address it at the earliest. Point them to the appropriate help resource at the knowledge base or to the right person to talk from the support team.
Add Fresh Content
Just like a blog, your Facebook page needs to have fresh content too. There is no point in setting up a great Facebook page and letting it gather dust. Link diligently to content posted in your corporate blog. Summarize press releases instead of dumping them in their entirety and liven up product updates with a great copy with a fresh voice.
Keep the Conversation Going
Ask for feedback or post a question of interest to your fans and keep the conversation going. The longer the conversations, more engaged your fans will be. Conversations help foster the sense of being a community and that will do wonders to your brand.
Organize Group Chats
Virtual meetups with audio and video chat apps are great way to connect with your community. Members from the product or development teams can interact in a friendly and informal manner. If you have got a brand ambassador with atleast some star power make them participate in the chats too.
Share Interesting Content
Your news feed does not always have to be all business and no fun. Share interesting developments in your domain, latest breaking news (relevant or otherwise), occasional funny videos that are not NSFW and so on. The idea is not be serious all the time and balance is necessary to ensure that the content is not junk and slapstick.
Have an Online Helpline
Ensure that you have atleast one person from your support team online at Facebook for helping users. Be it may potential customers or existing ones, it is a great way to show that you care about your customers. Round the clock efforts may be overkill but do clearly mention the timings of support availability prominently.
Move content from multiple sources to their respective tabs avoiding clutter and confusion in the news feed. Unclogging the news feed avoids noise and makes people stay on the page longer and know more about your brand. Make use of the tabs features to differentiate between things. For example, you can have dedicated tabs for your Twitter stream, trivia, contests, promotions etc.
Post User Experiences
First hand accounts by existing customers is a great way to market your brand. Ask users to come forward with their stories as to how your brand helped improve things for them. Reach out to your repeat customers and those who do not have the time to write and post the transcript of the conversation. The key here is openness and try not to edit or chop the user experiences submitted.
Decide on the Privacy Settings
You can either set your Facebook page fans only or for all the world to see. This is purely dependent on what your business is and how openly you want to interact with your customers. For example, if you are offering a discount only to your fans, you will have to lock your page down till the user becomes a fan. There is a risk of losing users but be sure to let those who are visiting the landing page what benefits are awaiting them once they join as your fan.
Listen to Your Customers
Before a product launch or update, conduct a poll among your fans to rate their top feature expectations. Since those are the people who will be buying & using the products, there is no harm in listening to them. You might not be able to incorporate all of their ideas, but ensure to incorporate atleast some of them and inform them regarding the same. Tell them why some features did not make it and if they will show up in the future product map.
Invite People to Join You
Shift through your address books and contact lists of email accounts to create a consolidated mailing list. Send them a neatly designed and brilliantly written email with link to your Facebook page. You can also try importing the list directly and expand the network. Remember, being part of the social is gathering a crowd and with crowd comes more potential customers.
Before announcing anything major, tease your audience with bits and pieces of details to evince interest. Reveal the USPs one by one at regular intervals. A fitting launch will then complete the circle and there is a possibility of getting good street cred if you do this right.
Integrate a Shopping Cart
There are a number of ways to integrate a shopping cart to your Facebook page. Once the Facebook page visitors are convinced that your brand is good enough, a shopping cart could seal the deal right away. Do not make the customers go through a lot of hoops to complete the transaction as it will kill impulse purchases.
Don’t Boss Around
People are unique and so are their characters. Some of your fans may be a bit more aggressive or foul mouthed or mischievous than the rest of the flock. Just because they are your fans you do not get to boss them around and tell them to shut it. Politeness goes a long way and if somebody says something offensive or shares something NSFW, do not ban them right away. Tell them nicely not to engage in acts like that as it tarnishes both his/her image as well as the brand’s. Give them fair amount of warning before kicking them out.
Got your brand a Facebook page and have some interesting tips on marketing via Facebook to share? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.