Accessible Marketing

Top Tips for using Facebook as a Marketing Tool

by Judith Hutchinson

The following tips will help you to use facebook strategically, legally and in line with your other marketing efforts. It is by no means an exhaustive list but will hopefully get you thinking….

–       Your business/brand is not a person – don’t create a personal account for your brand or business.  Aside from being against the Facebook rules with a personal profile you limit yourself to 5000 friends.  In addition, you will miss out on the ability to gain valuable insights about your followers.  A business page will enable you to see the age, location, time of day they comment and so much more (see tip 4).

–       Promote the fact that you are on Facebook – yes Facebook has ads that you can use to gain followers but you should also promote the fact you’re your business has a Facebook page via your other marketing materials.  Advertise your Facebook page on your business cards, email signatures, e-newsletters, website, brochure and any other relevant marketing collateral that you use. Use the Facebook share buttons on your website.

–       Build relationships – it’s not about selling, it’s about making friends with your fans (customers and potential customers).  Build a relationship so they remember you so the next time they need/want to buy your product or service your brand is first in mind. Similarly you can show them what they may like to buy next and encourage purchase.

–       Use the Insights – As a Facebook page admin you will have access to a load of insights on your fans.  Whilst Facebook draws the line at inside leg measurement you can see (generally) how old your fans are, what they enjoy commenting on, where in the World they live and such like.  Look at which of your posts work and which don’t.  What posts do your fans like and comment on/share most– those with pictures? those with questions? Polls? Competitions?  etc.  Utilise this information so you are growing your fan base appropriately and interacting with your audience as much as possible. In other words if something isn’t working do something different.

–       Competitions on Facebook – Competitions are a great way of gaining new followers.   However, in the last few months Facebook has produced some new guidelines on how to run competitions.  These are quite strict and basically mean you need to use a third party app.  If you are running competitions and not using a third party app you run the risk of Facebook closing down your page. The fb guidelines can be accessed here: http://www.facebook.com/promotions_guidelines.php (see section E on promotions)

–       Integrate Facebook with your other marketing activities – You need to be giving the same messages out on Facebook as you are in your other marketing efforts.  You wouldn’t advertise one product range and then try and push something totally different on Facebook.  All of your marketing efforts should be working towards the same goals.   Boden ran a campaign last year where they advertised on London taxis and asked their Facebook fans who saw the taxis to take a pic and post on the Boden Facebook page, this was another way of creating a buzz about the brand and gaining more mileage (excuse the pun) from their ads on taxis.

There is debate at the moment as to whether or not Facebook is apt for B2B as well as B2C.  Whilst it definitely works, in my opinion, for B2C brands I think it really depends on what you are selling and who you are selling it to when it comes to B2B.

For this reason I haven’t developed my own facebook page.  However, if I get enough likes (say 20 to start with).  Then I will happily start using it as part of my wider marketing efforts.  Like Accessible Marketing here. www.facebook.com/AccessibleMarketing

 

Another useful page is the Facebook marketing page where Facebook shares useful information for people marketing their business. http://www.facebook.com/FacebookMarketingUK and don’t forget your best practice guide (available under page tips in your admin panel).

 

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