By now, everyone who doesn’t live in a cave has heard about social media. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, we know the names. As for the numbers, there are 900 million users of Facebook alone. With a potential market that large, having a business page on Facebook is a no brainer, and many businesses have Facebook pages. But are they making money off their page? Are they attracting friends and visitors? How do you market on a social media platform?
Marketing on pages like Facebook is different than on Google or other media outlets such as the Yellow Pages. The difference can be shown as the difference between a hunter and a farmer. Businesses that advertise on b2c email list providers Google or other search media are appealing to people who are looking for a specific product, type of product, or a service. These businesses are hunters. They are pursuing a specific person to persuade them to buy a specific product or service.
Businesses that advertise on social media sites are farmers. Facebook and other social media require you to plant seeds, cultivate an audience, and grow a following through good content, interacting with your followers, and eventually reaping a harvest.
Although there are many social media sites out there, we will concentrate on Facebook for today. Although LinkedIn has its admirers, it is predominantly a B2B site, whereas Facebook does well for B2C businesses. Facebook has made it clear they want you to do business through their site, and they have made it easy for you to set up your page. Once your page is set up, just how do you go about attracting fans and followers?
Here are some steps you can take:
- It seems obvious, but inviting your friends is the first step. How many people have personal pages with 200+ friends and a business page with 20? No one is saying every friend needs to be a fan, but many friends can be fans, and should be. Don’t be shy about asking.
- Post outstanding content. Make your posts engaging, entertaining, and informative. Make deals and sales available only to your fans a regular occurrence. The deals could be a free gift, discounts on products and services, or an invitation to a special event.
- When a fan makes a comment on your page, respond to it. Thank them for kind words written, or answer a question if one is asked. You should email your frequent commenters, and answer their emails to you.
- Engage in their sites. It takes only a minute to look up a fan on Twitter. Hit the follow button and start to follow them. Connect with them on LinkedIn. This will make them feel special, and may give you important information about them.
- Post material from other sources, and credit them appropriately. This will build credibility with your fans and make a fan out of your credited source.
- Take a poll. Find out what’s on everybody’s mind.
Many business owners are under the false pretense that social marketing has made email marketing obsolete. This is not the case. In fact, integrated together they make a potent marketing tool. For example, social media gives companies another online option to get messages to their audiences. This reduces the need to send so many emails, reducing email exhaustion among recipients. It allows the business owner to get more personalized and targeted with their email campaigns. Further, people who are engaged in social media sites check their email more often than those who do not. According to a survey from Merkle, 42% of social media users said they check their email more than four times a day, compared with just 24% of non social media users. Adding social media share buttons increases the reach of the average email by 24.3% according to a survey from Silverpop, an email service provider.