No one could of imagined, just a few short years ago, how social media sites like Facebook would become big players in the online marketing scene. Especially for those small businesses who are on tight marketing budgets.
Facebook marketing can be effective, if you have a large enough fan base. It goes without saying you may have the best fan page on Facebook, but if no one is looking-you will not get very far. Here are a few common sense rules to help increase your fan base (and exposure) on Facebook.
Create a Sense of Community
Facebook is about community. To be successful in attracting new fans, you must create an environment that current fans love and appreciate. Create a sense of community by actively participating in the conversations of your fans. Write on their wall, comment on their pictures, links, and video, and get into lively discussions.
Facebook has a built in marketing powerhouse, the ability to state your geographic location. Many users become fans of local businesses, and are interested in the day-to-day offerings. Use this location capability to your advantage. Be sure to complete the geographic location on the profile page. Facebook also allows users to change their region twice every 60 days. So if you have multiple locations, or want to appeal to users nationwide this benefit could come in handy.
Make it Exclusive
Make joining your Facebook page an exclusive affair, as if people are missing out if they are not fans of your page. Send out Facebook specific coupons. Post special offers that are only available to fans of your page. Victoria Secret held a special promotion for their Facebook fans-free undies. It was a major hit, and resulted in thousands of new fans. Other exclusive offers may include free downloads, applications, photos, or advance notice of special events.
The joy of Facebook is that every time someone becomes a fan of your page, all of their friends see that they have become a fan. Talk about great exposure. If you are providing an exclusivity to your page, all the better. Take this one step further by seeking out those fans who live on Facebook-the big posters. Once you have found who is active on Facebook, ask for their assistance. Ask fans to spread the word about your company using tags. Tags are inserted into pictures and posts by members, and provide the best opportunity for your brand to be seen.
Give Give Give
Did I say Give? Facebook is all about giving in order to receive. If you want to create a large following of fans, it is going to take some time and energy. This goes back to community. Every time you post a promotion, broadcast, or ask for reader involvement, reciprocate by looking through your feed. Genuinely comment on your fans posts, and do this on a regular basis. The last thing you want to do is come off as spammy, stuffy, or self-centered on Facebook.
Facebook is different than other social media sites out there, it is about community and sharing. Fans are your fans for a reason. They enjoy the mutual relationship. Increase your fan base by providing a sense of community, and give back-then you shall receive.