Facebook! (And A Few Thoughts About Wolverine...)
You realize this post is gonna be epic because we mentioned Wolverine in the title, right?
We don't mess around over here, obviously.
We like to go big.
Anyway, what about Facebook? It’s all anyone ever talks about these days, isn’t it? People all over the place are connecting with long lost loves and high school bffs (that means “Best Friends Forever” for those of us over thirty). Facebook is on the news and in your face all the time.
But what is it, really, and why, oh why, are WE talking about it too?
We’re talking about it because it’s incredibly relevant to you as a business owner. It’s not just for connecting with friends and playing games and posting goofy pictures of yourself. Even though it IS great for all that stuff (especially the goofy pictures of you. We can’t get enough of those), it’s about way more than that these days. Facebook offers some incredibly strong and effective marketing options for your business.
Just imagine that you have access to an entire network of people all at once, and your message can spread virally to all the corners of the globe in seconds. Wouldn’t that be full of awesomeness?
Yes, yes it would be, and guess what?
Facebook can do this for you.
Think of it like that game you used to play in Kindergarten where you’d all sit in a circle, criss-cross-applesauce (you know it’s totally uncool to sit “Indian style” these days, right?), and the teacher would whisper a message in your ear, and you’d share it with your neighbor, and the message would travel around the circle until everyone heard it.
Facebook is exactly like that, only most of its users are potty-trained (one hopes) and nobody is going to screw up the message on you (Probably. It depends on who has the keys to your account.).
Facebook’s social ads platform allows you to have so much more control than you do with many other ad outlets as it offers a huge variety of demographic variables. In this way, you can post relevant targeted ads and reach exactly who you want. You can even access demographic/profile information like age, gender, geographic location, activities and interests, marital status, and network affiliations like what school someone went to, or where they work.
Heck, you can even target people based on words they put in their profiles!
So, let’s say for example, that you own a costume shop and you just got a bunch of super cool X-Men costumes in, and you want to attract customers into your store to buy them. You especially want to get rid of the Wolverine costumes because those crazy claws totally freak you out.
With Facebook’s social ads platform, you can target people who belong to the “X-Men Fan Club,” or, more specifically, you can target folks who say “I’d love to dress up like Wolverine and freak people out with my awesome claws, if only I could find a costume…” in their profiles.
You can do that!
And that’s not all!
There are so many other things Facebook is good for.
- Post business updates on your Facebook wall
- Create Facebook events for promotions and special occasions
- Post useful links on your wall that will interest and/or educate customers and prospects, making you their “go-to” page for great information.
- Add contests and voting apps to your Facebook page to give your customers a voice. People love voting on stuff and experessing their opinions!
- Sponsor popular applications with advertisements.
- “Spy” on your competitors to see what they’re up to. Some people might call this “research” or “checking in” but it’s really spying. It’s okay. Everyone does it. They’re totally spying on you, too.
- Integrate Facebook Connect on your website.
- Link your Facebook and Twitter accounts to one another so that your Tweets can show up on your Facebook wall. Pretty slick, right?
- Use network, group and fan pages.
- Join network, industry and alumni groups relevant to your business.
- Reinforce your brand by posting fresh photos and updates on your Facebook page. (Note: this is not a place for a picture of your cat. Make sure it’s relevant to your business, but still make it as fun and interesting as possible. So, maybe a picture of your cat in a Wolverine costume would be okay…)
- And most importantly, Facebook is a social place, so be social and talk to your customers!
Like any other marketing tool, it may take you some time to figure out what’s appropriate for your business and how to get the biggest ROI (Return on Investment) out of your Facebook presence. With some time, creativity, and experimentation, you’ll get it all sorted out.
You may even decide that instead of setting up a page, you’d like to create a Group, or simply become a Fan or Friend of someone else’s Page or Group. That’s cool. Everything you do helps, and starting off simply and working your way up to bigger things on Facebook is a great plan of attack. Or, you can just jump right in. It depends on how brave you’re feeling.
The important thing is not to be intimidated. Also, remember that your Facebook marketing plan should be part of a larger strategy that incorporates other elements. It’s not THE answer to all your needs, but it can be pretty great if you use it as part of a solid strategy.
PS: You realize that if you don’t “Like” us on Facebook now we’re gonna tell Wolverine you called him a "wimp," right?
PPS: Next week we’ll hook you up with the 411 on LinkedIn. Get it? Linked in? Hook up? Aw, never mind. See you next week!
I'm using Facebook right now for many of these things. Promoting my podcast to lots of people for free. This is a really good primer for people looking to do the same and I don't even like the X-Men. I'm a man.
Facebook allows me to display new products in my line as well as market to friends of friends! It's an amazing way to connect...even if you're needs are for more Adamantium (that's geek speak for Wolverine's claws). Love it!
I've worked with small businesses for years (and have a small business of my own) and so I'm always on the lookout for the best way to get out a message with the best ROI.
Facebook is a great way to generate and maintain interest in your business. You DO have to put some time and thought into it, but it can be a great tool. I know that where I live, a number of the cupcakeries use Facebook to advertise promotions...delicious, delicious promotions... *ahem
You've given me a couple of ideas, I'll have to put them to work for me on Facebook!
Kristen uses the media and knows how to work it. In fact, she has taught me a lot about using Facebook. It's hard for me to imagine a world without Facebook? What could be better? It's free, it's universal, and people who don't use Facebook are regarded as pitiful Luddites. Sad.
many of my friends are into photography, and they use FB fan pages for sweepstakes, giveaways, and other types of promotions. get 100 likes for a page, they give one of the new fans a free print--stuff like that. it seems to be worth the energy.
FB represents a lot of close-knit networking where testimonials carry a LOT more weight than say just a random person's review on a product found on amazon.
I often order from a specific restaurant, just because they posted their daily special on FB and it sounded yummy. I had no clue businesses had all these other options though; now I need to pass this info on to the few I know who have their businesses on FB!