Whether you’re trying to find new customers, build an online fan base, or find loads of demographic information, you need Facebook to help better market your business. If you’re like me and in the Marketing and Advertising field, it has been drilled over and over again in your head that you must be where you customers are and where prospective customers are. With well over 300 million people on Facebook, this is where your increasingly large audience is for many of your products and services.
Just like any entrepreneur wanting to start their business and grow in to a large corporation, you must start small. Facebook pages are great for this. Pages are away for you to “grow” your fan base the way celebrities, sports teams, musicians, schools, and politicians do. There are well over 1.4 million Facebook pages which collect over 10 Million fans every day.
Common Business Facebook Mistakes
The biggest mistake that companies make when managing their Facebook page is that everything they do is all about the company and how great it is. We call these PR posts. You see them all the time. “Look at our new trucks aren’t they shiny?!?!”, “Look at this cool new person we hired!”, or “We are so awesome we one an award!”
The second greatest Facebook marketing fail for businesses is too many special offers or what we call “Calls to Action” or CTA’s. Some examples of Facebook CTA’s are “Buy One Get One Free”, “Mention our Facebook page and get 20% off!”, or my personal favorite “Click here for an exclusive Facebook offer!”
People do NOT want to be marketed to on Facebook. It is their private time and place. They shun everything that looks or smells like advertising. For this reason it is important that you keep PR posts and CTAs to a minimum. Remember, social media is a selfish place, so if your fans are all about themselves and you are all about you, you are not communicating.
Facebook Marketing Done Right
So how do you do it right? Identify what social media is all about, which is “What do you care about?” The person who is on Facebook cares about themselves. Posting pictures of children, family, cars, etc.; it’s all about them. If a company is bragging about themselves are you making any form of connection? The people that like your page like it because they like your company, they’re acknowledging they are a fan of your company, and they like what you have to offer.
To do it right, your main mission should be to entertain your fans. Be a cool kid and make them laugh. Make them think or feel emotions like trust or well-being. By entertaining them or informing them, you create an emotional reaction which drives viral exposure. Viral exposure is created when a fan Likes, Comments, or Shares your post. This should be your goal and your early success metric. If you are helpful, informative, funny, entertaining, or thought provoking, you will get your fans to engage in droves. Each engagement furthers your cause because it exposes your brand and how damn funny you are to their friends whom then have the ability to become a fan.
“Most importantly, it’s not about how many fans your page has,” said C.E.O. of Anchor Communications, TJ Kirgin. “It’s about how many people are talking about you and what percentage of your fans are talking about you. You want to get as many people talking about you as possible, liking, commenting , or sharing a post you originated.”
Before you start posting random stuff, the first thing you need to do as a company, is identify the “voice” of your business. To identify your “voice” you have to ask yourself and your staff “If our company was a person, what would that person be like? Male? Female? Would it be three years old? Sixty years old? If our business was a person what would our hobbies, interests, and behavior be like? “It’s an abstract thought,” continued Kirgin. “Would it be a stay at home mom with two kids and one is a teenager? Does she drive a minivan and have a coach purse? Is it a 45 year old single white male with a Corvette and a Harley? Once you’ve identified your ‘voice’ it’s time to take the next step.”
Make Them Laugh, Be the Cool Kid in the Classroom
Once you’ve identified your voice, have that person interact with prospects and fans. Interact by entertaining. For example, how do you become the coolest kid in the class? The cool kids start trends, and spread trends. You want to appeal to cool kids and let them know that you want to be a cool kid too. To become a “cool kid” the answer is simple, make people laugh, entertain them. Before you begin entertaining though, you have to do step two, which is identifying the theme of the content that you’re going to create and sharing with you prospects and your fans.
Create a Theme
“If your business sells gifts to women for events, then maybe holiday gifts should be your theme,” said Kirgin. “A clothing company that sells beach apparel should use the ocean, beaches, and tropical sun as their theme. Everything you share and post should be spoken in the voice of the company and shared in that theme,” stated Kirgin.
Schedule Ahead, Create a Publication Calendar
Now that you have a voice and a theme, the next step is to create a publication calendar. your Facebook fan page should be looked at like a magazine, newspaper, or radio show, you’ve got your personality, audience and theme. When will post happen? You create a publication calendar to plan out what you’re going to post well in advance, you can use Facebook’s scheduler to pre-schedule posts or third party programs to program and schedule posts all in there. HootSuite and SproutSocial are two of the major third party programs used for this.
The Secret Sauce Formula
What kind of content should you post? What is your strategy? Your strategy should be to post at least once per day at least five days a week. “Do not worry about upsetting your friends with too many posts,” commented Kirgin. “Edge rank algorithm allows 10% of fans to see your post anyways. The more people that like, comment, or post the more people edge rank will allow to see it.” The more people that like, share, and comment the more friends of friends will see the post. This is called viral reach. Viral reach is crucial to get more fans. Our recommended ratio is as follows:”
- Post 5 days per week at least 2 times per day.
- No more than 1 PR Post per week.
- No more than 1 CTA Post per week.
- The rest of your posts should be Created and Curated content that fits your theme and is considered helpful, informative, or funny.
- Measure and repeat monthly, making adjustments to your strategy based on the real time results of your efforts.
Kinds of Content to Post or Share
What kinds of content should you be posting? Sometimes you just have to create it, whether it be with Photoshop or Pixlr. First, create good themed funny content, secondly, create curated content. “Curated content is the most common method, stated Kirgin. “Content curation is extremely popular today. If you’re the curator of museum, your museum has a theme and you must fill your museum with art. You use your theme to fill your museum.”. Using image searches such as Google images, Pinterest, and Bing, you can go out and search on a regular basis for things that fit your theme and your voice and then share those things.
In summation, Kirgin said, “The majority of posts should be unique content and/or curated content. You should still do PR posts, but it should be limited to two to four posts a month. You should do call to actions and special offers, but limit them to two per month. When you do a call to action, I highly recommend the promoting Facebook sponsored story option. This guarantees fans and friends will see the offer. You can also pin the offer to top of your Facebook timeline where everyone will see it.”
Certified Inbound Marketing Strategist | Content Marketing Specialist | Social Media Strategist | SEO
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