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Facebook was launched as a messaging platform on February 4, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg and his roommates for fellow Harvard students. According to Wikipedia, it expanded to include Boston area schools, Ivy League schools, and those at Stanford University. Gradually other college and high school students were supported. Facebook’s IPO in February 2012 was soon followed by record-setting sales when its stock began to trade. Currently, most of its $40B revenue comes from ads.
What began as a social media platform (personal use) quickly grew into a content delivery system (business capability). Facebook considers itself a “social networking service,” and is now seen as its own marketing channel.
USA Today published the following statistics:
58% of Americans are on Facebook (over half of all Americans)
81% of adults are on Facebook
56% of those over 65 are on Facebook
70% of users log on daily
2.2 BILLION monthly active users
The public expects businesses to have a Facebook page; in fact, some customers will choose your competitors over you because your competitor has a Facebook page.
Facebook matters because it puts you in front of your demographic INSTANTLY. The potential is that Facebook can be the most profitable marketing channel you have.
Facebook business pages are FREE. And if you have a budget for advertising, you can target YOUR demographic. One entrepreneur that we’ll call the “t-shirt guy” makes $40K/mo from an investment of $10K/mo in Facebook ads.
The success of using Facebook for business heavily relies on having a plan, a goal, and a strategy. We have seen a trend among most successful businesses. The trend begins with clarity and ends with strategy. We use the following questions to help bring clarity to the brands we serve.
1. Who are you? What is your product?
2. What does it really do?
Next, market research will help answer some of these questions:
3. Who is on the other end?
4. What do they want?
5. What do they need?
Put it together:
6. What are they talking about? Can I tap into it?
7. What are they asking? Can I answer it?
8. Can my product deliver what they need? Is the need even physical?
Market research will help you discover your demographic:
9. Who will be responsive?
10. Who will use my product?
11. Who bites?
And then you:
12. Target your demographic.
13. Place ads.
14. Engage in conversation.
How does Facebook tie all of this together? Rather than treating Facebook as a traditional marketing channel (billboards, radio, pamphlets), we treat it as truly SOCIAL. That is the pivotal point. But what does it mean to treat Facebook content as SOCIAL? That is an important question. The social quality is that the conversation is INSTANT. Someone can like it right away, someone can comment on it right away, and someone can share it right away.
A Facebook page should be used consistently and genuinely to communicate. Treat Facebook as the evolution of marketing. It’s not just one-way. Now people can respond. And they do! Make use of that feature. Post something that YOUR demographic will want to (1) emote, (2) share, and (3) offer comment. “If you don’t, they won’t,” and it defeats the purpose of using SOCIAL media.
Here are some useful bits of information to facilitate that process:
1. Facebook business pages CAN create events. Lots of people can be reached in your area, and might love to attend something you are hosting. Events get the word out quickly and Facebook’s organic nature allows people to share these events FOR you!
2. Facebook business pages CAN receive messages. This is a great tool. Facebook has changed the way people react online singlehandedly. Messenger is huge. People like instantaneous connection.
3. The button “send message” encourages people to message your page. Utilize it. There will always be people that won’t fill out forms but will be happy to send you a live chat.
Facebook was initially created to bring friends together. Friends created profile pages. This grew and grew and grew…. Profiles featuring businesses or people to follow began to have limits. One day, Facebook saw the opportunity for business and the opportunity to make money by monetizing ads. So Facebook created business pages.
Some are still using a personal profile for their business. This is not cool. People do not want to befriended by a business. A real business is rarely run out of the back of a truck or from the table at Starbucks, and its Facebook presence should not be mixed with pictures of your personal life. If your personal-page-that’s-being-used-for-business gets big, Facebook can shut it down. Don’t do that. If you did do it, stop. Delete it. We will wait………………. Very good.
Another common mistake is not posting regularly. Did you know that Red Bull blogs eleven times a day? Eleven! Red Bull has become a publishing company that happens to sell energy drinks. What in the world are they blogging about? How about music, festivals, dance, film, nightlife, fashion, mc battles, urban culture, kayaking, kites, diving, moto, f1, euro, raid rally, technology, innovation, and that is JUST the tip of the iceberg. Their homepage doesn’t even have a can of Red Bull on it.
In other words, Red Bull wants to be where you are. They are being SOCIAL. They are hanging out with you wherever you are so that when you are wherever you are and you get thirsty, you might think of Red Bull.
Here’s a smattering of other common mistakes:
1. Don’t overpost. If you become annoying they will leave. Red Bull can get away with eleven blogs per day because their audience is huge.
2. Don’t post at bad times. Know when your demographic is engaged. Typically early morning or early evening is best.
3. Don’t be pushy. Selling too much is the most common mistake. How fast do you leave a group you were invited to that is trying to sell stuff constantly?
4. Don’t stop selling altogether. People love talking about things they find interesting and they also love a good deal.
5. Don’t post a novel! Eighty (80) characters or less typically perform better than more.
6. Don’t ignore your tribe’s comments. If they spent the effort to comment, they are expecting a response. If you respond, they know you are listening.