Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Facebook Challenge

February 2004 marked the launch of the official Facebook.com website and the start of a phenomenon. At that time, we could not imagine the endless opportunities this would create for marketing. If you are like most people, you were a skeptic at some point — and maybe you still are.

As marketers, it is our job to experiment and to find exactly how we can use this new method of communication to the benefit of our clients.

It didn’t take long to discover just how loyal users are in their daily “Facebooking”. Users love to interact with other users and businesses. They genuinely enjoy viewing status updates and interacting with your wall and friends. Many people genuinely feel good about being able to interact and weigh-in their opinions.

How can you use this to your benefit? Start to interact with your followers on a more personal level. If you see someone has clicked the “Like” button for your page or regarding a post, send them a message from your personal Facebook profile and introduce yourself as the owner of the business. Always be sure to thank them for visiting your page and also direct them to your website, where they can sign up on your e-mail list. It will surprise you how much people enjoy it. Most people will respond by adding you as a friend and thanking you for the message. You will find, in some cases, your customers will mention it when they come by for their next visit. It also gives those customers that don’t necessarily know who you are an opportunity to get to know you better. People like to feel that they have that special connection with the owner of a business.

If you still don’t think Facebook is a necessary form of business promotion, then I challenge you to this: Every day, post a newsfeed on the wall of your personal profile for two weeks. Monitor the activity on your post and take note of who is “liking” it and commenting on it. I can almost guarantee it is the same 5-10 people each day. These are usually dedicated “Facebookers” that access Facebook throughout the day. When they click “Like” or add a comment, you will then appear in their newsfeed, which extends your reach to their friends. If one of their friends comments or “Likes” the post on their wall, then it will display to a whole other group of people.

If every Facebook user has 5-10 friends that are dedicated Facebookers and they each have 5-10 friends doing the same, then you can then see how far your reach can actually go. People who have never heard about your business can just stumbled upon it through the positive Facebook interactions of your friends and theirs. If all of your friends are talking about something that you have never heard of, then you would be more inclined to give it a try and see what all of the buzz is about.

Now do you think Facebook is an effective tool for marketing?

I'd love to meet with you to discuss how social media can benefit your business. Please contact us if you have any questions about how Facebook can work for you.

June Bisel