Make the Most of Your Facebook Marketing

Tuesday, 03 May 2011

It’s estimated that Facebook users see only 10-20% of what their friends post. While the exact figure is hard to prove, it raises a valid point. You cannot assume that every fan will see every piece of content you post on Facebook.

Facebook is a powerful channel, but it’s not the solution to everything. If you’re running a major promotion, you need to support it with other marketing efforts.

There are best practices, of course. Most opportune times to post, preferred length of update, words to use (or not use.) And on top of that, you should always be testing what works for your specific audience. Even if every stat shows that Friday is the best day for engagement, if you get more wall posts on Monday, stick with what’s working for your specific page. No one knows your fans better than you do. But don’t be afraid to experiment with expert data, either.

Just be aware that you are not the only page that your fans have liked. This is especially true for more active users, who are your most powerful resource. Facebook claims that there are nearly 700 million active users on the site, half of whom log on to Facebook on any given day. The average user has 130 friends, and it’s estimated that people spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook.

That’s a lot of content to take in from friends, family and other brands. How do you make yours stand out? Cross-promote on multiple channels and utilize the many types of Facebook updates and tools.

Facebook Posts

A status update is a status update. Right? Not quite. You can attach photos, videos and links to a post. Or use a photo album to tell the story. Use the handy @ tagging feature to create text links to pages you mention and show up on their wall as well. And of course, there are lots of directions to take the content you are posting. Every update doesn’t have to be “check out our ______.” Spice it up with questions, contests and more engaging content. (Your Edge Rank will thank you.)

Blog or Website

While you can post pretty much whatever you want on your wall, Facebook’s got some tight restrictions when it comes to prizes and contests. Basically, you can’t hold a contest on your wall. So, you can ask people to submit answers, but not if they’re gonna win something. Driving to your blog to actually enter can help you stay within Facebook’s Terms. It also helps you drive more search traffic, and give you another shot for RSS subscribers to get in the game. Not to mention that your own site allows you total control, more space and a permanent place to drive back to.

Email

Tried and true, email is still a big way to alert people about what’s going on in any area of your business. I’m on Facebook practically all day long and there are still promotions I only heard about through email. Whether you miss-time an update, your page dropped out of the Newsfeed or just aren’t cool enough to be liked, email is a powerful way to remind fans (and potential fans) of what you’re doing. Plus, there’s the added bonus that if someone hasn’t liked you yet, they’ll take this opportunity to like the page and engage with your promotion. Win-win!

Twitter

They’re not exactly rivals, but I wouldn’t say Twitter is rushing to friend Facebook. Still, you should use Twitter to expand on your Facebook marketing plan. Twitter users aren’t nearly as opposed to being sent to Facebook as Facebook users are to being told to Tweet. Get followers involved in your Facebook efforts by running the same or similar promotion in tandem on Twitter. If it’s too complicated for 140 characters, drive them to Facebook, but think about how you can make the Tweets fun in their own right. Can you do a mini-promo just for followers, or create a #hashtag? The end result may be Facebook, but make the journey work on the Twitter platform.

Ad Campaign

Old-school? Perhaps. But it doesn’t have to be. Lots of big brands are driving to Facebook from commercials, magazine ads and billboards. Some even use Facebook as their exclusive campaign landing page. But if your budget’s a little lean for a Superbowl ad, don’t worry. You can still run online ads on Facebook or other sites. Figure out your budget and work backwards to determine your best placement. Segment your target group(s) and craft a few ads for testing. (Facebook’s platform makes this particularly painless, but it’ll work on any ad network.)

When it comes to Facebook marketing, think outside the box. Facebook is a powerful tool but it’s not the only answer. Create social media campaigns, not social network one-offs.

1 Comment

  • Thanks Alison for the reminders. There’s no one answer correct? Everything works in conjunction with each other to reach the objectives, help people and earn money…

    Comment by Jim Campbell — May 9, 2011 @ 5:58 pm

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