There are 400 million reasons so many businesses are flocking to Facebook these days. But before you jump onboard, or even if you already have, you should take into account the role you are hoping Facebook plays in your marketing mix.
It's key to know the five types of people out there and how they affect your business, and ultimately determine how to market to them overall. The five — in order of importance — are those who Know and Trust You, Know You, Know Someone who Knows You, May Want to Know You, and Have No Interest In Knowing You. (To learn more about all five types, check out my previous post, "Know Your 5 or Social Media Might Eat You Alive.")
What do these five types of people have to do with making a Facebook presence work for your business? You need the most important group — those who Know and Trust You, also referred to as your "Raving Fans" — to become fans of your page. Get them interested and interacting with you on Facebook, and they will draw in the other three groups of people who have some kind of relationship to you. (The last group doesn't want anything to do with you, so don't waste time marketing to them.)
There are millions of corporate Facebook pages, all looking relatively alike. Your page needs to be different and stand out from the crowd. People are attracted to a big shiny ball like bugs to a bug zapper or like how at Comdex (am I dating myself?) attendees flocked to companies with the coolest schwag. In fact, as a Comdex attendee, I would be on the lookout, particularly on the last day of the show, for people with the cool schwag. I'd ask them where they got it, and then I'd go on a search and recovery mission across miles of tradeshow floor to find it. If it was a cool tchotchke, I had to have it.
Think about your Facebook page like trade show attendees think about booths and schwag. What makes a Facebook page "cool" and gets it noticed? It's not as simple as handing out mini-flashlights plastered with your logo to those who stop by. Instead, you have to create a vibrant community of passionate customers (i.e., Raving Fans) by sharing information, photos, videos, and other content on your Facebook page. You want those passionate customers to comment on your page, post on your wall, and interact with other members of the group. By doing so, they will attract the other types of people to your page, particularly from the group that Know You or Knows Someone who Knows You.
Sound familiar? It's the Facebook equivalent of word-of-mouth marketing.
So how do you get those Raving Fans to your Facebook page in the first place? You can't just pop the page up there and hope these people stumble upon it. Many, if not all, of your Raving Fans are already on your email mailing list. Use your email newsletter and other communications to let you customers and members know that you have a Facebook page and ask them to become a fan. In addition, put links to your Facebook page on your website, in your blog, or even in the signature of your regular email.
Putting a page up and letting it stagnate is a waste of your valuable time and resources. Build that vibrant community on Facebook, tell your Raving Fans about it, then let them spread the word to the masses for you.
Next time: A look at how to create a great Facebook page for your business.