Facebook is the new “in thing” for almost all marketing campaigns. You must have seen the TV advertisements where brands new prefer to go with a facebook.com/brand URL instead of their usual corporate ones. The 2010 Time Person award winner Mark Zukerberg has more to offer for corporates & individuals on Facebook.
Harvard Business Review published an analysis on Using Facebook to Capture Customers.
- Participatory Promotions on Facebook – The article talks of how retailers are using participatory promotions on Facebook, targeting Facebook fans who have expressed interest in either the brand or the items. Walmart’s Crowd Saver program, Lowes Black Friday Deals, Gap’s Free Jeans promotions are all great examples that small businesses can replicate on a much smaller scale on Facebook.
- Facebook Sponsored Stories – There are brand stories publishing brand related stories within a network of Fans. Sponsored stories are highlights of brand loyalty and companies like Starbucks are making the most use of.
- Social Shopping – people ask, look around, read comments, reviews products online before buying. In addition, they ask their friends! This is where social shopping is gaining momentum. Facebook provides you with over 500 million active users, almost all the who-is-who of business, corporates, brands, products, all in one place and also helps you to connect these dots together with “Likes” and “Friend Request”.
- Loyalty Programs & Rewards – several Facebook applications help people to track how many times someone is visiting a particular location, be it a coffee shop, an electronic store, a mall etc. Various businesses are now rewarding their customers everytime they check into their establishment & let others know that they have been there. Its a 3 way win for the businesses – one, you win when the customer walks in to purchase, you win when the customer “Likes” you on their profile and then, you win for the third time when they come back for more from your Loyalty Rewards.
While these corporates are spending well over USD 200,000 on any such tactics, many of these programs could be replicated on a much smaller scale by small businesses. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:
- Basic Facebook design for Small Business – make a simple Facebook page, dedicated for the type of loyalty you want to build with your Fans. The design should make such loyalty programs & calls to action quite visible & obvious
- Link Facebook Page from your website(s) – the most effective ways to do this is to provide the links or call outs to your Facebook page very close to the most interesting content on your website or pages
- Auto Updates on Facebook Page – if you find it hard to update your Facebook page with every new information on your website, you could use tools to do that automatically. Such tools can be set up when you are customizing your website or later on
- Sign Up to Updates from Facebook – you can set up a “Sign Up” page to your business website from your Facebook page
- Social Tools in Update Emails – email auto-responder services like AWeber lets you post your emails on your Facebook profile or Twitter. You can save your settings from the Admin panel for every email subscription list that run & every time you broadcast a message, your Facebook fans could also read the messages from your profile
Facebook is growing very rapidly and so are the tools that can be used by small businesses to leverage their loyal fans on social media to build a better stronger brand.