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May 2011
Does Your Marketing Plan Need a ‘Face’ Lift?
By Kip Cozart

     With a worldwide audience of over 650 million, and more than 150 million users in the United States alone, businesses cannot afford to minimize their involvement in Facebook. But after you have posted your first “fan page,” now what? How can you truly reach, influence and sell to this growing, active and enthusiastic, potential customer base? Here are a few ideas to help you maximize your Facebook marketing performance. Think “Facebook Facelift.”

 

Emphasize “referrals” over “friends”… Many businesses devote most of their Facebook effort to acquiring as many “Friends” and “Likes” as possible. While it is certainly desirable to connect with as many customers on your fan page as possible, it is far more important to actively engage those customers on a regular basis.

     Use your “Question” tool to poll your visitors regarding how they feel about your products or services. Announce a short term special offer or “secret” discount within your “Status” posting and encourage customers to spread the word to their family members and associates. Energize your Facebook referrals by adding an extra incentive, such as “Pass this coupon link to three friends and get an extra [percentage] off on your next purchase.”

 

Actually “talk” with your customers… Instead of simply posting “read-only” content, some of the most successful fan pages pursue an ongoing two-way dialogue with their customers online. Engaging in daily Facebook conversations can seem like a massive challenge to sustain for most marketers, but the process can be manageable as long as you take the initiative and lead the conversation. Start by selecting one or two primary lines of conversation (choose which themes best support your overall marketing strategy) and create discussions that are specifically dedicated to those topics. And, sometimes your visitors need a little prodding. Try ending each of your comments with a question in order to keep the dialogue going.

 

Present a clear “call to action”… Give your Facebook fans something to do. Reorder your tabs. Instead of initially landing visitors on your “Wall,” choose another default first screen that is less cluttered, more focused and encourages a specific customer response. Be clear. If you want customers to take a specific action, ask them directly. Whether you present a tab displaying a printable coupon, an integrated onpage email subscription form, or a link leading to an external e-commerce website, make sure to guide the visitor to your most valued outcome.

 

Give your fans a reason to return… It’s still about providing your customers with timely, relevant content. Add and update your fan page information very frequently. Utilize photos to reveal new products, showcase your skillful employees, display a successfully completed project, and show individual satisfied customers. Make visits to your fan page worthwhile. Treat your Facebook customers as V.I.P.s. Provide advance notice of upcoming sales events, present meaningful customer polls and surveys, and offer exclusive discounts that are available only to fan page visitors.

 

Take advantage of the new Facebook layout… Just recently, Facebook introduced a modified page layout and content structure for its fan pages. New image and profile layout features give businesses a wider range of creative expression when positioning their brand and announcing new service initiatives. Now, you can create and place more dramatic and impactful visual “Headers” that are designed to better reflect your unique personality. Other new features include the ability to post an interactive QR code and to add greater emphasis to the page’s “Like” registration button.

     Content contributed by CC Communications, a Web design, programming and Internet media company providing a full array of services to businesses and organizations to enhance and produce effective Web, email, multimedia marketing initiatives and business process improvements. For more information, contact Kip Cozart at 704-543-1171 or visit www.cccommunications.com/resources_articles.cfm.

 

Kip Cozart is CEO of CC Communications, a Web design, programming and Internet media company.
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