With the growing popularity of social networking websites like Facebook, and the steady issues with the economy over the past few years, it makes sense that most businesses around the globe are taking advantage of this new online marketing technique. Promoting yourself and your business through sites like this can save money and manpower if you know your way around a computer. Of course, even if you need to hire a professional to run your profile and set up your advertising, it can still be cheaper than other methods of this nature. The key is to knowing how to go about getting the attention of your target audience, and drawing them in as naturally as possible.
Calling clients and fans to action with the promise of a contest entry or shout out on your profile by pressing a like button can promote your page in a big way. The thing about the “like” feature on these websites is that when a customer utilizes it they are also advertising to friends and family, as this decision is announced on the main feed of everybody they’re connected with. Therefore, the more likes you receive, the more coverage your brand or name will receive on this particular site. For even more attention, you may want to try for fan comments rather than just a like, as this will start conversation and reflect more positive information for your company. A comment from a real person using real words is much more tangible than some script on the bottom of the screen that says your friend likes something; Andrew Gough of inboundmarketing.com agrees and states:
Likes on posts are great, but comments are thought to have a greater influence on EdgeRank – the algorithm Facebook uses to determine where items appear in a user’s news feed.
This may be more difficult than it seems, because it’s much easier for a user to click a button than express their opinion on your post in words; this is why getting and keeping the attention of clients online is so important.
It’s one thing to know that you need comments to raise popularity of your page, and another thing entirely, to actually receive that necessary attention. One way to attract an audience is by posting pictures; they’re more aesthetically appealing than words, and easier to look at, because your viewer doesn’t have to actually read anything to become interested. Cindy King of socialmediaexaminer.com explains:
You need fan engagement if you want to continually be seen in the news feed (which is where all the action is on Facebook!). One simple way to boost your engagement is to use images to amplify your status update.
Of course, you’ll want to have some sort of font either on the photo or below it to express your point, but the user will be more likely to take this information in once their interest has been peaked by the visual aid. Remember that social network sites will often crop these pictures down, so the person looking at it may only get a glimpse and have to click it to see the entire thing; this can discourage a closer look, so try to keep your photos small enough that the entirety is displayed in the post.
Buy Some Space
If you’ve ever been on a networking site like this and seen those flashy adverts in the sidelines, chances are you were tempted to click them, especially if they were offering something you are personally interested in. One of the neat things about advertisements that pop up on user profiles is that they can be tailor suited to that viewers likes and dislikes based on things they prove to be interested on when using that website. Lee Odden of toprankblog.com writes:
Though organic marketing can certainly yield measurable results over time, ads can really augment your marketing efforts.
This is certainly true, especially if your company is offering a product of some kind that you need to get off the ground. Tools like this can help you find your niche market and target audience without having to use expensive resources like focus groups and canvasing for your research.
Prepare Your Site for Action
Using this kind of advertising often leads to consumers seeking out the website of the small business or large company who is hosting that particular profile page to learn more about products or services. This is why Danielle Cormier of constantcontact.com advises:
Ready or not, people are searching for small businesses like yours on Facebook. Make sure your Facebook Business Page is ready by always keeping it complete and up-to-date.
There’s no point in being prepared on your social network page if your personal website isn’t available to the public. This means having up to date contact information, a list of places where business takes place so that people can find you and physically call or visit the shop of corporate headquarters. It’s also a good idea to make sure your site meets the standards for viewing it on a mobile device or tablet, especially since many people do most of their web browsing and business on the move these days. Having information that is portable, easy to find, user friendly, and obtainable from all user devices is exactly the kind of move that can put you at the top of your industry.
Finally, don’t forget to interact with your viewers on some level, so that they understand that there is a real person behind the page that can empathize with them on some level. The best way to sell to a customer is to relate to them in a way that shows them that you know what they need. This provides a reason to purchase a product or try a service being offered, and eases any doubts they may have had in their minds that the only thing you’re out for is money. Interactions also provide more comments and “likes”, which, as was mentioned above, can guarantee you a larger fan following, and more business at least at the networking level.