The Nuts and Bolts
The internet and social media sites especially have led to the line between our social and professional lives blurring ever more with each passing day. Social media sites give people the opportunity to connect
with old friends, make new ones and expand their professional network with only a few clicks, from the comfort of their own home.
Social media sites have redefined the concept of globalization, which was the in word two decades ago for large corporations. Unfortunately for the latter, the current globalization concept has allowed businesses of
all sizes to tap the benefits of being present in a wide number of markets. This is because the internet has become a business channel that is practically free and companies are no longer required to make massive
investments in building an offline, local presence in whichever market
they choose to expand into. In fact, why expand into a single
geographical market, when one can access the world with a few clicks of
Of course, this doesn.t mean that it.s easy to compete against the giants,
but, after all, why take on a giant when you can still build a profitable
and sustainable business that will change your life and that of future
generations of your family without competing directly with the giants.
The one advantage you have, as a small business owner, over a large
corporation is relationships. Yes, you heard right! You are more likely to
spend time building relationships with your customers than any large
corporation as they are mostly focused on their bottom line and ROI,
overlooking strategies and tactics that may not convert into tangible
results immediately. However, even the „big boys. are beginning to
understand the value of social media sites and building relationships
with their customers, which is why you need to jump on this train of
opportunity before it passes you by.
What you need to understand is that the change that has and is taking
place is not in the core concepts of marketing, which are more applicable
than ever, but in consumer behavior. You see, social media sites have
given consumers a voice of their own and they are less likely to fall for
advertising campaigns that cost millions to put together. Instead of
rushing out to buy a brand new, shiny product, most consumers. first
stop is their favorite social media website to research the product in
For companies who simply „don.t get. the social media space, this can
be a killer. However, for those savvy entrepreneurs who understand the
new consumer, this is a resource that can be leveraged to create an
incredibly successful business.
Why You Need to Be Present
Facebook currently has over 400 million users, making it larger than
many of the world.s nations and it is growing every day. Additionally,
this social media platform.s demographics are so diverse that it makes
an ideal marketing vehicle. In fact, more than 50 percent of U.S. users
are 26 years old and above, meaning that your marketing efforts will
meet with even greater success as these are usually the people who make
direct purchase decisions.
Likewise, many businesses are also wising-up to the necessity of
integrating social media into their traditional marketing strategies, which
includes Facebook. Ergo, whether you are in the B2B or B2C sector, you
will still find Facebook highly effective.
However, you do need to remember that it is only a marketing tool as the
principles have remained the same. In other words, identify your target
market, understand their needs and wants, build a relationship with them
and only then attempt to sell to them.
The key to successful social media marketing is to understand your
audience and to build a relationship with them. Consumers aren.t
interested in doing business with faceless companies that hide behind a
logo. Especially when they have so many other choices. So, let.s get into
the nitty gritty of marketing on Facebook and creating a brand that will
have consumers running to you.
This work assumes that you know how to open a Facebook account and
have a vague understanding of how to navigate the site. We will be
covering how to build a Facebook page for your business but will be
looking at this issue from a marketing point of view rather than the
technical side of matters since the basics of Facebook usage is outside of
the scope of this ebook. However, a quick Google search will help you
with any problems you may encounter.
My Facebook Marketing Plan
As with any business endeavor you need a plan and especially for your
marketing strategy since you have so many options open to you that you
would be hard pressed to keep track of everything without a plan to
make sure you are heading in the right direction.
The Target Market
As already mentioned, the Facebook demographic is extremely diverse
and you have the added advantage of being able to use people.s profiles
to further narrow your target market down. For example, if you want to
target women aged 24 – 35 who live in the Midwest and love to crochet,
Facebook makes it extremely easy to do. The advantage? You can be
certain you aren.t wasting resources, whether money or time, on
reaching a wide audience of which only a small percentage is actually
your target market, as was often the case with traditional marketing
Remember that the key to building a successful business is to
excellent understanding of your target market. The more you know
about them, the easier it will be to build a relationship with them.
Consumer behavior, in simple terms, is driven mainly by two desires,
the first is to avoid pain and the second is to gain pleasure. However,
pain avoidance carries much more weight. Therefore, the more you
know of your audience and what pains them, the more you will be able
to meet their needs by providing a solution to their pain. In fact, if you
do your market research properly, you will be able to create a product
that sells itself. This is where the power of knowing your target market
What better way to build a relationship with your target market than
through a social media platform that allows for so much interaction, like
There are a few tools you can use to locate your target market. One of
these is the Facebook Insight tool which provides information on the
people visiting your page, including information such as their age and
Establishing Your Marketing Goals
Facebook is an essential marketing tool that you need to integrate into
your overall marketing strategy for the simple reason that you can glean
a lot of information from your market. From product creation to
feedback on your service, Facebook can be the ultimate market research
tool, and you can achieve all this without paying a penny.
In essence, the core goal of any marketing campaign is to increase sales.
However, there are other aspects to increasing your sales which,
initially, may not appear to be directly linked to increasing your
profitability. But they are, and can boost your sales more effectively than
even a Super Bowl advertising campaign.
These are building a brand, forming a community of prospects who are
raving fans, providing customer service and receiving feedback on your
business. These four aspects are vital to building a sustainable business
model that will generate an income for you for many years.
The Power of Branding
A brand is basically the image of your business. It.s what sets you apart
from your competition in the mind of your target market. Thus, the key
to branding is finding your USP (unique sales position/proposition),
which you can actually do with the help of existing customers. Simply
conduct a survey and ask why people are buying your product or using
your service and not the competition.s.
If you do not yet have a product and are just starting your business, then
you should analyze your competition and identify what their USP is.
This will give you some idea of what you can do to add extra value and
find your USP. Remember never to use price as a USP as this can
Driving Sales with Facebook
Facebook is an ideal tool to drive sales as it offers an excellent medium
to inform your audience about special offers, product launches,
discounts and more. You can easily provide a link so people can access
your website or you can even build a store right there inside Facebook.
Facebook is also a highly cost-efficient advertising medium as you can
run highly targeted campaigns that have a high ROI as it has been
proven that social media audiences have a higher conversion rate than
Additionally, you can also use Facebook Events to drive sales and
increase brand awareness.
Building Your Community
Building a community is vital to your online business success, especially
if you want that success to be long-lasting. Facebook Groups gives you
that option but remember that your group can.t be build around your
product or no one will be interested. You need to focus on building a
group centered around a cause or interest that ties in with your goals yet
has social importance to draw people to join.
Customer Service and Feedback
Providing excellent customer service and listening to feedback from
your customers is vital to the success of any product or business. The
more feedback you receive, the more you can improve and meet the
needs of your prospects. You can receive feedback directly through a
Facebook group or by running a manual search on the platform to find
any mentions of your brand.
The more responsive you are to your market.s needs, the more they will
appreciate your brand and the more they will advertise for you through
referrals and recommendations. There is nothing more valuable in a
social media setting than having your Facebook fans recommending
your business as this is the place people come to research before they
make their purchase decision.
Creating a Message
This is the moment when you need to forget all you learned in your
power-selling and advertising courses about hard selling. This simply
does not work in a social media setting. You need to be honest and open
with your market and above all you need to provide value first and ask
later. In other words, don.t try to push sales messages down the throat of
your Facebook followers because you may soon find yourself alone.
Facebook is primarily a social platform, which you need to remember
when implementing your marketing strategy. This means that you need
to engage your audience rather than merely trying to push offers at them
all the time. The more value you provide, the more your audience will
trust you and the higher your profits will climb.
Creating a Page
A Facebook Page is essentially the same as a Facebook profile except
that it is business centric. This is where members can become your fans
and stay up-to-date with everything that your business is doing. They
can also write on your Wall, learn about any special promotions you are
running, upload photos and talk to other members. It is where you can
provide your fans with updates and engage your audience.
The advantage to having a Facebook Page for your business is that you
are not limited to the number of fans your business can have, unlike
Facebook profiles which are limited to 5,000 friends. Additionally,
Facebook Pages can be easily found with a search engine as they are
visible to the public by default. You can also add a variety of
applications to further engage your audience.
Tips for Effective Page Design
While we won.t be going into the technicalities of creating a Facebook
Page, we will look at some critical tips that you should keep in mind
when designing it.
. Customers come first. You need to make sure that you are designing
your page with your customers in mind, which means that every
component of your page should offer them value.
. Don’t overdo it. While you may be tempted to add every application
under the sun to make a cutting edge Facebook page, a little restraint is
in order. Remember that you want your brand to stand out and
applications should only add to the experience, not take the spotlight off
. Staying on topic and updating. You need to make sure that whatever
you post on your Facebook Page is relevant to
your business. So, if you
are promoting an internet marketing product, you shouldn.t be posting
about your love for sushi. Likewise, if you continuously update the
content on your Page, you are giving fans a reason to come back. So,
make sure that you are always posting fresh content.
. Brand yourself as an authority with personality. First of all, your
Facebook Page advertises your business to the world, so you need to be
seen as an authority in your industry. Therefore, make sure that your
content showcases your expertise. At the same time, Facebook is a social
media site which means you need to let your personality come through a
little. While having a little fun is great, make sure that you still act
. Feedback is critical to your success. The biggest mistake you can
make is to overlook the feedback you receive through your Facebook
Page. In fact, you should be encouraging it by posting surveys, polls and
through discussions. It is highly valuable because it can be used to
improve your business and it.s all for free.
However, the most critical aspect of an effective Facebook Page, as with
any other presence you may have on the web is posting relevant and
interesting content. The more you update with interesting content, the
more reasons people will have to visit your page, become fans and then
return. Your job doesn.t end once you have built a following. It only
Promoting Your Page
People will not become instant fans of your brand, even if it.s a product
they adore and use regularly, if you don.t offer them a reason to. In other
words, you need to engage people and offer them an incentive to become
Some of the most common tactics include contests that require users to
sign up to take part with prizes ranging from products to gift certificates,
or offering discount coupons to those who join. The advantage to these
methods is that once a customer agrees to input their Facebook
information, a link to the contest will then be published on their wall as
well, which leads to the contest becoming viral.
If you cannot afford to offer discounts or giveaways, another option is to
simply ask your customers to become your Facebook fans. You can do
this by advertising your social media pages on all your outgoing emails,
existing websites and other advertising mediums you may already be
using. You might be surprised how effective this approach is.
Remember that having a large following on Facebook is not simply
about increasing sales but about increasing brand awareness as well. The
more people are talking about your brand, the more sales you will
eventually make because word of mouth advertising is one of the most
powerful sales tools in the world.
Another interesting strategy is to use social media sites in a loyalty
program. For example, you could offer customers two points for every
purchase they make from you and another point if they become a fan and
post about their purchase on their Facebook account. Once they reach a
certain number of points you can offer them a freebie of some sort. The
traffic and sales you generate will more than offset the costs of running
the campaign and you will have the added advantage of having built a
loyal following as well.
Tips to Help You Find and Connect to Your Target Market
The first step to building your fan-base on Facebook is to invite your
friends and existing clients to join up. Even if your friends aren.t what
you may consider prospects, you never know who in their networks
might be interested. Some other techniques you can use include:
. Leveraging thought leaders in your industry. By becoming a fan of
thought leaders with large fan bases in your industry you can begin to
engage with prospects on their pages. If you provide value through good
content, you will find that people will want to find out more about you
and your brand.
. Use other social media platforms and sites. Do you have a following
on Twitter? Then invite them to join you on Facebook for a more
interactive experience. Additionally, you can also pull content from sites
like Youtube and Flickr which will keep your page fresh with new
content while also promoting your page on these other sites.
. Leverage your email list. If you have an email list, offer your
subscribers an incentive to become a fan of your Facebook page.
Remember that your main goal is the viral effect Facebook provides and
even though these customers are already on your list, you never know
how many more new leads they will generate through their own
. Offer interesting content on a regular basis. You need to make sure
you keep your page updated with interesting content on a regular basis.
You want fans to visit your page and engage with your brand on a
regular basis and the only way to do that is to provide fresh, interesting
. Interact with your fans. Don.t simply post content and then forget to
visit your page. You need to interact with your fans as much as possible
which includes answering comments and even sending new fans a
welcome message can do wonders to turn them into lifelong, loyal
customers. This is because you are showing them that there is a human
behind the brand and that you care. You would be surprised how much
people want to help someone who is interested in them.
The Power of Facebook Groups
Facebook Groups can be started up by anyone, on any topic of interest to
them and they serve as a gathering place for members to discuss the
topic and share thoughts and opinions. Conversely, Facebook Pages can
only be created by the official representative of the business, artist or
public personality. Facebook Pages allow for more interaction though
due to the addition of applications, while Facebook Groups can.t have
You have a choice of either joining an existing Facebook Group on a
topic that is relevant to your business so you can promote your brand or
create your own group. If you decide to join an existing group,
remember that it is still a social media platform and so bombarding
members with commercial messages will only serve to alienate them.
Additionally, if you try to advertise yourself too much, you may end up
being reported as a spammer and have your profile or page shut down by
Facebook. They have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to
spammers so you need to be extremely careful.
What you should focus on, though, is building yourself up as an
authority and someone people want to follow. You can achieve this by
posting relevant content that they will find interesting. Likewise, don.t
post only content that is on your blog in an attempt to drive traffic
because people will still think you are spamming.
Remember to mix it up by posting content from your own blog or
website along with other interesting content from the web. Finding
content to post isn.t as difficult as it may seem as there are plenty of
content aggregators on the web, such as AllTop.com or Technorati,
which aggregate the most popular content on the net.
You can start your own group, but you should first be sure you have a
thorough understanding of how groups work which you can only do by
joining other groups and watching how people interact and participate.
You manage your group just like you would your Facebook page by
posting fresh content to make sure that people are joining all the time.
The more people you have joining your group, the more others will
come and join as well because this acts like a form of third-party
You may be asking yourself what the point of creating a group is if you
have to do the same things as you would on your Facebook Page. You
need to understand, though, that your group shouldn.t be based on your
brand, it should only support it. This means that you need to create a
group based on a topic that is of social interest but is also relevant to
your brand. So, for example, if you sell wedding gowns, you could start
up a group for brides trying to lose weight before the big day. While it
isn.t a direct promotion of your brand, it is a topic that will garner a lot
of interest and will increase brand awareness while drawing in your
However, just as with your Facebook Page, you need to post interesting
content and even sometimes controversial ideas to spark discussions,
while also engaging your members as much as possible. So, if someone
comments, then comment back. The more you engage members, the
more people will trust you and the more activity your group will have. A
highly active group on an interesting topic will always draw new
Facebook Events are an excellent way to increase brand awareness by
bringing together people virtually or in person. You can use Facebook
Events to promote a product launch or to market an existing product by
offering attendees a bonus in the form of a discount coupon.
The value of hosting a Facebook Event lies in the fact that you can invite
all your fans with a single click of the button. Additionally, if you can
host a live event your credibility increases a thousand-fold because
online interaction still cannot replace meeting someone in person.
However, if you feel your product is not suited for a live event, you can
still host an online event.
Many marketers feel that online events aren.t worth the hassle because
the return in sales is pretty low for the work required to maintain interest
in the event and then keep the event going. However, if you look at the
issue from the perspective of building relationships with your prospects,
then events can be invaluable. After all, while your ultimate goal is to
drive sales, building relationships with your customers should also be
high on your priority list because this, along with providing high value,
is what will turn simple prospects into customers who are raving fans.
The latter will generate a much better ROI over the long term since you
don.t have to expend as many resources on finding new customers. In
fact, a study showed that repeat customers cost a business 6 times less
than acquiring new customers and they also spend 33% more.
Another interesting aspect is that sites such as Meetup.com, which is
basically a social site for groups focused on varied interests, have an
application that allow Meetup groups to promote their events on
Facebook. This can be an invaluable source of new prospects because
there will be plenty of people on Meetup who might not have a
The best way to learn about hosting events is to attend a few yourself
and see how others are doing it. You can find events by running a search
in the Applications – Events tab.
Direct Advertising on Facebook
Facebook offers an advertising system similar to Google.s Adwords
platform. You can easily select who your target audience is, set a daily
budget and also measure your results. You also have the option of
choosing to pay based on the number of times your ad appears or to pay
However, unlike Google, Facebook ads are more interactive allowing
people to do everything from becoming a fan of a Page, watching a
video or respond to an event all from within the ad unit without having
to navigate to another page. This is extremely powerful because, if your
goal is to increase the number of fans for your Page, it is much easier to
get people to agree if they don.t have to leave the page they are currently
You have a choice of three types of advertisements, namely the regular
PPC text ad, a graphic display ad which also includes an image or their
unique interactive ads which are known as engagement ads. You will
have to order the latter through an advertising sales rep as they aren.t
available in the automatic system, though.
Good Advertising Practices on Facebook
Just as with any advertising campaign, make sure that users receive what
the ad promises them once they click through. Additionally, make sure
to keep it a social and interesting experience because that is why they are
on Facebook, after all.
Facebook gives you the option to link to another Facebook page, profile,
group or event in your ad or to an external website. You don.t have to
prove that you are the owner of the website, which means that you can
use affiliate links in your ads. This can be a powerful way of testing
conversion rates of various products you are considering promoting as
well as the effectiveness of landing pages.
However, it is considered good practice to link to an internal Facebook
page as users are on Facebook for the social experience. For this reason,
you should also consider crafting your message in a familiar and
conversational tone because you want to maintain the social aspect of
the experience. Remember that this helps to crumble the defenses of
your prospects as they are so used to being bombarded with ads, they
essentially ignore them. However, if you focus on the social aspect and
building a relationship you will be able to slowly break down those
automatic defenses and your prospects will be much more open to your
The Power of Facebook Ads
The biggest benefit of Facebook ads is the degree to which you can
narrow your target market. Facebook allows you to build a campaign
that targets users by location, age, relationship status, interests and even
language as the platform is available in over 40 languages. You can
essentially reach your exact audience and build a very powerful list of
highly qualified and targeted leads with a few ads. This is much more
cost-effective than using traditional PPC since you know that the people
you are targeting will be interested in what you have to say.
Common Ad Mistakes
Just as there are good advertising practices, so too there are mistakes that
you need to avoid. Facebook has very strict guidelines when it comes to
ads because they want to maintain a high quality standard, so make sure
to avoid making the following mistakes so your ads can pass the review
process and you can have your campaign up and running in no more
than 24 hours.
. Bad grammar, spelling, punctuation and slang. This is your business you
are promoting after all so what will your inability to write a short ad
show your prospects? While you want to maintain the social aspect of
the site that doesn.t mean you should be unprofessional.
. Bait and switch is a common practice that leads to disaster. Don.t tell
your prospects one thing to trick them into visiting your page or website
and then offer them something completely different. Not only will your
ads never pass the review but if they do slip through you will create a
bad name for yourself. While it may work in the short term, it isn.t a
strategy that you can use to build a long term, sustainable business.
. Inappropriate images. Again, everything you post will brand your
business so make sure that the images in your ad maintain the
professionalism you would expect from a business you would like to
Advertising ROI – Test, Measure, Optimize
Direct Facebook advertising should be treated like any PPC advertising
campaign, meaning that you need to test different variations of your ad
before you spend the majority of your advertising money on an approach
that may not be effective. Facebook offers a wide range of tools that
allow you to easily set up different campaigns, set individual budgets for
each and also track their effectiveness.
The reports the Facebook Ad system offers are quite comprehensive and
offer dates on everything from how many times your advertisement has
been shown, to number of clicks and the average cost per click. This
information is vital to testing and optimizing your ads for a higher return
Additionally, you need to test the effectiveness of your Facebook Page
as well, which you can do through Facebook Insights. The latter offers
information such as the degree to which fans interact with your page,
how loyal your fans are, which is measured according to the number of
fans who have unsubscribed over a certain period and other valuable
demographics on your fans. All this information can be used to test and
tweak different approaches to improve the performance of your
Facebook is a very powerful marketing tool if used properly. The most
important aspect to remember is that it is a social platform first and
needs to be treated as such. In other words, don.t expect people
respond to commercial messages but rather build a relationship with
them first. Then, they will generate sales for you without you even
having to ask.
As long as you focus on the needs of your prospects and customers and
provide them with value, your sales will increase exponentially and your
brand will spread like wildfire. Such is the power of of My Facebook
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