You’ve probably heard that social media sites like Facebook are revolutionizing marketing. Well some things changed, and some didn’t, but here’s some ways to take advantage of it….
I’ll focus on Facebook, but some things I say can be applied to MySpace, Twitter, or YouTube, and I’ll talk about those in the future…
As a casual user of facebook and a marketer trying to occasionally promote my ideas and my services on facebook, here’s some of my observations about using facebook to advance your business, and a little advice to get you started on the right track…
First off, what exactly is facebook?
In a nutshell, it’s an online social network where you can make a page about yourself and post up pictures/links/videos/music and lots of other stuff that your “facebook friends” can access anytime they want by going to your page. You add friends, or people you know who also have facebook pages (and see their stuff too). You can also post status updates about anything you’re up to and even include any links or media you want to post up too.
(note: you don’t have let everybody see EVERYTHING you post up. You can change your privacy settings to control what people see on your page. I suggest you do that)
I know, the way I described, it doesn’t seem like its a big deal, but…
It can actually get pretty addicting, and there’s lots of people out there on facebook (it’s bigger than any porn site online, and that says ALOT)
And there’s lots of people out there promoting themselves, their ideas, and also their business. Lots and LOTS of people. It’s a great networking tool…
If you know how to use it right, that is…
And the competition is truly intense, and that’s a big understatement. Just take a look at facebook’s statistics.
Yeah, 400 million users, with over 1 million developers and entrepreneurs in 180 countries. Crazy right?
What does this mean for marketing?
Well I predict that the not-so-great marketing ideas and strategies will get crushed on facebook. Their success rates will fall lower and lower very quickly and obviously, and the truly great and genuine marketing ideas will become the common (implicitly required) standard to marketing successfully online.
The internet is already changing things like never before. There aren’t a limited number of networks like on TV. People have more freedom than ever to see what they what when they want it, and their attention spans are rapidly getting shorter…
Here’s some trends I expect to dwindle as facebook and online usages gets larger:
- Shallow slogans and “hype”
- Ads that show few benefits or vague offers (for example: greatest party of the year!)
- Graphics and “show” over substance
Here’s some trends I expect to flourish online:
- Headlines that grab attention with needed information
- Specific benefits that target markets will find appealing, along with more entertaining stories
- Content writing with more sympathy towards target customer’s problems
In short, pointless, lame, boring and, in most cases, useless marketing that tries to “trick” its customers is going to bust, while genuine, honest marketing that addresses the customer’s real needs will boom. Attention spans are getting much shorter and there’s so much stuff on facebook that people won’t have the time to go through even a fraction of it. They’ll weed out the lame stuff FAST. That’s what changed.
But people will still be willing to find out more about something that they honestly feel benefits them, and even pay for it too if you really convince them. That’s not going to change.
I think this is a good thing. I hope you do too.
So with the above in mind, here’s some tips to getting leverage on facebook:
- First off, you still need a website where you post content and valuable information about your product and service, and where people can order your stuff online. This should be linked to your business’s facebook page (yes that means your business should have its own site and its own facebook page)
- Second, when you create your business’s facebook page, write in content with the above trends in mind. Avoid slogans. Address your customers problems and how your product/service will help solve these problems and benefit them. Don’t rely heavily on flash, focus on content instead. Find your Unique Selling Proposition and promote it on your page. Learn to write casually like you’re talking to a buddy. A lot of my other blog posts will be a gold mine here.
- Third, don’t annoy your “friends” with pokes and useless application invites, or by sending too many messages to their in-box asking them to check out your stuff. That’s a big turn off (especially for me) and they’ll stop taking you seriously.
- Fourth, your status is one of your most powerful marketing tools on you have facebook. Your status updates appear right on your friend’s home screen when you post it. Friends online will see it and if interested, will click on posted links or videos to learn more. You can post links to your site’s content and get more users hooked. I’ll dedicate an entire post to using your facebook status in more detail, but for now, check out Victor O Schwab’s “How To Write A Good Advertisement” to learn how to write attention-grabbing headlines in your facebook status that’ll get people to click on your links (and also learn to get people to read your alluring content)
- Fifth, set up a personal account on facebook to keep in touch with friends and learn from being on the “consumer” side of facebook. You’ll see what your competition is doing and what marketing works on you and what repulses you. It’ll change your perspective quickly.
With these just these five tips, you’ll have a great start to getting more website traffic and online sales through your facebook. The competition is fierce but you can compete (and possibly out-compete) if you accept the trends and raise your own marketing standards.
But I’ve only scratched the surface