If you’re a small business (or any size really) and want a couple of ideas how you can use Facebook to build links, this might help.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading on Facebook marketing lately, there’s a ton of good information out there but I keep coming back to a couple sites:
All Facebook – if it’s about Facebook, you’ll find it here. This article on getting 40,000 FB Fans is a good one http://www.allfacebook.com/how-we-got-to-40310-facebook-fans-in-4-days-2010-06 There’s a lot of golden nuggets showing how they got the fans in four days, worth a read.
Inside Facebook – Another “all about FB” type site, this one publishes a lot of good statistical info like this report on how brands increased their FB ad spends by 1900% over the last year. Here’s an excerpt I thought was interesting:
The report shows that Facebook Pages have become so important to brand presence on Facebook that brands are aggressively increasing spend on fan acquisitions. It also demonstrates building a fan base produces clear return on investment by lowering the cost of attaining sales and additional fans.
If you’re a small business owner, don’t shy away from using Facebook (or other social sites) because you think it’s too much time and money to get involved. It really isn’t, you just have to rescale and rethink how to use the information being published! Consider this:
1. Big brands have the resource (money and people) to invest in many different types of marketing programs, watching what they do can save you time and money with your marketing programs.
2. Big brands can pay for studies and reports, they’ll reprint what they find as media bait and for chest thumping.
3. Industry associations and watch-dog groups fight for airtime and eyeballs, by publishing studies and running blogs like the two above, they attract attention and new members.
I’m not sure it’s wise to use any one advertising or marketing strategy exclusively but right now, even with the hoopla around G+1, Facebook isn’t going anywhere, it’s huge and has been embraced by people of all ages. That alone makes it a marketing goldmine and one you want to get involved with. How? What can a small business owner do to increase their fan base?
For starters, use the “take advantage of big business” idea and apply it to your industry. Even if you’re not a franchise, there’s a franchise for almost everything now-a-days, the companies selling them and supporting the franchise industry are very aggressive. Here’s a perfect example of an outlet you can use: FranchiseHelp.com . They recently published an article on Facebook rankings per franchise that was a goldmine, here’s an excerpt of what the (free) report contained: Franchise Facebook Rankings for April 2011
Franchise Facebook Rankings, we dive in much deeper, drilling into a rich social media data set that reveals a fuller picture of franchises’ Facebook activity and effectiveness. Going beyond basic Fan / Like counts (still an important measure of a franchise’s social media audience / reach), we assess franchises’ ability to grow their social media audience, their activity on the Facebook platform, and their track record of generating engagement with their audience through that activity.
Sounds like they’re done a lot of work for you. No one is going to hold your hand and give you all the answers, you’ll have to think and pull information out of the report to use, but it’s in there.
A second, no-cost thing you can do is remind your customers you have a Facebook page and ask them to visit. Rocket science eh?
When I was out last week with the kids, I noticed this sign at Peterson’s Ice Cream Shop in Clifton.
This is a tiny store in the even smaller town of Clifton, Virginia, population: 216.
Facebook likes: 453.
Cost them anything to do this? Just chalk.
If this helping their bottom line? Looks like it, check out the latest promotion they’re running and the response:
Small business advertising. Cost nothing. Will result in sales. Win win win for Peterson’s!
Now, do you think the ice cream enthusiatists would support Peterson’s website with a link if they were asked? If they have sites and blogs, I’m thinking yes based on the positive comments I see on their Facebook page. Again, no cost involved, will result in sales, win win Peterson’s!
Here’s another idea, it’s more low-key but can impact your Google Places and Facebook pages tremendously:
This is from my son’s orthodontist, he’s a great guy and has fully embraced social media since his biggest clientele (tweens/teens) lives on social media. Smart man. He sends the letter home to appeal to the parents (who still like paper) and includes his social media buttons and prints everything he gives the kids (toothbrushes, retainer kits, etc) with his Facebook and You Tube URL’s. Now he’s a smart and cool dude.
Once you have an active Facebook page, it’s pretty easy to develop contests, promotions, and call-to-action programs all designed to attract links. Take note of how the brands also push press releases to advertise their Facebook promotions, they’re treating them just like they would any other promotion. Create, promote and engage, the links will come.
Until next time, good linking!