Social MediaThe first thing you need to understand before you think of marketing on Facebook is the unique opportunities it offers and the basic difference between this and other media. Like you would never use a radio commercial for a TV ad, you cannot market on Facebook, the way you use other media for advertising.

Facebook is not a platform for ‘hard sell’

People perceive Facebook as a platform when they share their stories, jokes, videos and generally relax. Therefore to appeal to this group you too have to join in their conversations rather than act like an outsider who has come to sell something aggressively.

Which are the factors that carry the danger of people ‘un following’ you on Facebook? Consider these few: when you use advertising slogans; suddenly offering a catalogue of products and services without people asking for them and similar actions. It is highly likely that they react negatively about your company and post untoward comments.

Firm up your business goal and strategies

It is critical to create an achievable goal for marketing on Facebook and also use those strategies to achieve that goal. For instance your coffee shop business may decide to hike up sales by 10% over the next 6 months from Facebook users.

The strategies to achieve this goal could be:

Creating a ‘today’s special’ everyday and offer a coupon code which can be tracked to Facebook.
Posting a photograph of any customer who has been adjudged Coffee King or Coffee Queen for that day.
Allowing customers to take their own photos while sipping coffee at your shop.

When you set a goal and follow it up with the right strategies, it provides valuable direction to your business and also the means to measure your success.

A human voice can be important for marketing in Facebook

Facebook is a personalized platform for communication where people like to chat and share. It is not any impersonal business scene. Thus you need to sound real and informal by using a style of communication that suits your business. You also need to use personal language and not something that sounds ‘official’ or with jargons.

Regular posting is important

Unlike other advertising media like newspaper or TV or even web pages, Facebook marketing needs regular updates

Research says that 50% of all Facebook users check their page at least once a day. Therefore, they would also get to see that you are providing regular updates. While some experts recommend once-a-day posting, but the essence is that you should post whenever you have an interesting comment or content. It also gives you a chance to check, how frequently customers respond to those comments.

Regular and quick response from you motivate customers

Urge your customers to post their comments and views about your business that are beneficial to them and you. But when they post their comments, be sure to respond quickly, preferably within 24 hours. When you fail to do this, you are also failing your customers and gradually, they would lose interest in communicating with you and move away.

Using pictures and videos add exceptional value

There is nothing quite like adding pictures and videos to increase the attention-grabbing power in Facebook. For instance:

A clothing store could advertise photo of new arrivals
An architect/ home designer could daily updates about a house under renovation
An expert could post an educative video on how-to do a particular kind of exercise.

People love to participate in contests, surveys and games. They also like offers. Last but not the least, they get excited when someone offers them something which is not available anywhere else. Of course, this gives you a chance to interact with your would-be customers.

One of the most important reasons, according to research for people to follow a particular Facebook page is when the site offers them freebies and discounts. Likewise, games and contests add that zing to your page.

Facebook is a great choice for undertaking surveys. However, if you do this, make sure that your surveys are short and to-the-point. Ensure that there you customers can easily access the survey with a link, ignore or even share this.

Nourish your relationships with customers

It requires a lot of patience to befriend Facebook users. You need to express your sincerity in your communications, offer meaningful content and reward your repeat customers to keep the relationship healthy and cordial.

Promote your Facebook page actively.

Ideally you should promote your Facebook page along with your mainline marketing campaigns to retain continuity and encourage recall. The Facebook page should be promoted using tools like putting it on your letterhead, business card, website, in-store, and also in your e mail signature.

To know your customers better use Facebook Insights

This feature of Facebook allows you to know those people better, who have clicked the ‘Like’ button on your messages. This is hugely beneficial as knowing their preferences you can customize your posts to cater to their requirements and interests.

For insurance, you run a book business which caters to readers of all ages. However, you find out from the Insights that most of your customers are between 18 and 25. Now it is easier for you to fine-tune your messages which would be meaningful to this age group, though the in-store options could have a wide selection. In case you are online marketer who never gets to see the customers, you actually learn more about them, their likes and preferences, age and locations from Facebook.