Since its launch in 2004, Facebook has more than proven itself to be an effective way to embarrass yourself, friends, and family online. But as the popular social network has grown, so have the opportunities for businesses hoping to capitalize on the millions of members logging in each day. No longer is social media only for college kids and online voyeurs, creative brands, businesses, and major corporations have found marketing success using social media, and no network is bigger than Facebook’s.
Below we offer a few helpful hints and tips to building and benefiting from your Facebook fan page …
Online/Offline: The anonymity of the Internet offers people an excuse to do things they wouldn’t in everyday life. Scroll through the comment section of an average news story online and you’ll see how eager people are to engage their most obnoxious instincts. But having a successful social-media marketing campaign means treating people with the same respect you would if you ran into them at an industry or community function. In other words, slow down your sales pitch and develop a relationship with your Facebook fans before pushing your services.
Use Apps: Though you may think your job is done once you’ve got your contact and business info up, you’re not. Facebook offers a multitude of resources and applications that can make your page, not only more dynamic, but more functional and interesting to visitors. Have a glance through the available applications and choose those that seem to fit your business and audience. For example, there are many options to link your fan page to your other social-media sites and blog. If you’re keeping a business blog, kill two birds with one update and have your blog post automatically sent to your Facebook page.
Encourage Participation: Try to view your fan page the way a potential client or curious web browser would. Having a page that is interactive, updated regularly, and offers interesting info and ideas, will keep people visiting and, once they are, more accepting of any directly sales-oriented materials you post. If you set up a fan page and only update it with messages urging visitors to buy, buy, buy, you’ll likely have, not only bored them, but assured that they won’t return. As always, communication and relationships are the key to a successful social-media campaign. Restrain your urge to advertise and, in time, you’ll reap the benefits your efforts.
The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com