In 2004, when Mark Zuckerberg gave birth to Facebook in his dorm room in Harvard, he envisioned connecting students and faculty of the university
with one another to interactively socialize. Since then Facebook has expanded far beyond colleges, connecting more than a billion people globally.
What Zuckerberg did not count on was how fast Facebook would cross over the 1 billion mark – and that so many businesses would use the social media platform to expand their reach and target audience. Today most businesses have a Facebook page and use their other marketing material to link their target audience back to that page.
If you’re still on the fence about putting your business on this social platform, we suggest you make the leap. Facebook isn’t going away anytime soon, and you too, can leverage the power of the social network to connect to your target audience efficiently and effectively. There are many ways to use Facebook for marketing to your target audience. The following 3 tips will get you on track:
You’ve heard of the popular saying ‘content is king’ and that is most evident when it comes to marketing on the Internet. To expand your reach using Facebook, it is pertinent that you continue to add value to your page, and that is done with content—more unique, more engaging and exclusively yours content on a consistent basis. What should you write about? Your content should appeal to, or address, your target audience. Anticipate and answer their questions as they relate to your product or service. Give them information they need. Even if this information is elsewhere on the web, make yours different. Add your personality, your opinion, your tone. Speak to your audience. When they like what you write and how you write it, they’re more likely to share your content. Then their Facebook friends, who also like what you write, will LIKE your page. Every time you post something, your followers see it, so the more of a following you have, the larger your reach.
Growing your audience like this is referred to as ‘organic.’ Building an organic audience takes time. It’s a matter of building trust and letting your audience get to know you. When they are ready to buy, they’re more likely to buy from you.
Giving discounts or offers is another effective strategy to promote your business on the popular social networking platform. In a statistical report posted by Exact Target, approximately 40% of potential customers will like a Facebook page to get awesome discounts on their favorite products. Here are a couple of examples on how you can articulate a discount or offer without ‘giving away the store.’
- Like Our Page and Get a Discount
This is a rather straightforward way to attract a new customer. Ask someone to LIKE your page. In exchange, you give them a discount code they can use toward a purchase from your physical or online store. (Research shows that a discount of at least 20% is more effective.) This would be geared toward NEW customers so the discount is a one-time offer.
- Like and Share Our Product for a Chance to Win
Leverage your current, loyal clients by offering something in exchange for ‘Liking’ and sharing a specific post about a product. This encourages them to ‘tell their friends.’ In exchange, offer a small discount or freebie, or enter these folks in a drawing. A random drawing allows you to give just one of something more substantial no matter how many people ‘Like and Share.’ The reward could be related to your business or something entirely different.
Contests and competitions on Facebook are another way to effectively grow your audience. These are interactive—you’re asking your followers to participate for a chance to win. We’ve seen contests around coloring an image, submitting an original recipe, essay or poem, or completing a puzzle. The idea is to both attract new followers, ideally of your target audience, and to let your current customers know you appreciate them. Be creative. Offer something of considerable value; for example, a dinner for two at a classy restaurant. Now, that can be a game changer for your business. Don’t forget to track the results.
The Bottom Line
Facebook is the largest social platform in the world with over 1.09 BILLION active users daily. It’s the perfect platform to market your business. And it’s free to use. Depending on who your audience is and how often they hang out there, you should be posting one to three times daily. Connect with people by sharing your personal side, your interests and opinions, as well as what you do. As mentioned earlier, use your other marketing–your website, email signature, print material, etc.—to promote your site and entice people to have a look. As they get to know, like and trust you, they’re more likely to buy from you.