A lot has changed in the digital technology space in the 10 years since Facebook’s launch. A plethora of other social networks have come and gone, while smartphones and tablets have changed the way we interact — and, most importantly to our blog readers, the way we do marketing. To celebrate Facebook’s 10th birthday, here are 10 tips for making the world’s largest social network an integral part of your digital marketing strategy:
1) Leverage social media to grow your database.
You can’t sell to new people unless you have new contacts in your database. It seems simple enough, but for some marketing teams, database growth can be a challenge. Whether it’s a newsletter opt-in on your company’s page, a coupon in a user’s timeline or a link to a new white paper shared via an ad, there are many ways to not only gain new “likes” on Facebook, but new customers as well.
2) Use video to drive engagement.
Embedding helpful or compelling videos on your wall can be a powerful tool for increasing brand awareness and driving engagement. Videos automatically play in a user’s newsfeed, so they are hard to miss! If the content is compelling enough, the user will likely view and share the video to their own networks – potentially exposing it to peers who may not have previously connected with your brand.
3) Run sweepstakes or contests.
Facebook contests can be a powerful way to get new fans in the door. Enticing prizes, whether it’s a weekend getaway to Napa or something as simple as a gift card, make people notice your brand. Once these new fans are intrigued, they’re more likely to see what else you have to offer. Contests aren’t just a way to gain new followers, however. They are also a great way to encourage existing customers to stay loyal to your brand. Facebook’s sweepstakes policy is much simpler than it used to be, so the barriers to running a successful contest are now much lower.
4) Share “exclusive” announcements.
Whether it’s teasing a new product update or announcing a flash sale, sharing an announcement on Facebook before it’s available on any other channel is an easy way to encourage engagement on and loyalty to your page. Be sure to keep the exclusivity up, though. Consider offering regular coupon codes that are unique to Facebook, or an ebook that’s only available on the social network.
5) Drive traffic to your company website.
Your company website is a huge value to your brand – you spend a lot of time and resources ensuring it’s perfect, so you want people to see it! Consider posting regular updates to your Facebook page that link to blog posts, flash sale sites or new product lines. Don’t forget to include tracking code – you want to make sure you’re capturing the source and recognizing social’s value in your marketing budget.
6) Keep an eye on Facebook Graph Search.
Graph Search is similar to Google’s page rank and leverages a user’s Facebook profile data to display the most relevant content in his or her newsfeed. While the jury is still out on how this affects marketers specifically, it’s important to keep your content fresh and relevant to ensure your most interested and loyal fans will continue to see your page updates.
7) Get more personal with your customers.
Facebook’s advertising options are more robust than ever. You can run retargeting ads just as you would with typical display ads, or even customize ad targets based on information in your marketing database. Facebook is also a way to interact with users who may not be as active on other channels – it’s always a convenient avenue to promote an informal survey or a forum for Q&A.
8) Promote other key channels.
Whether it’s your email program, SMS notifications or a new mobile app, Facebook can play a key role in encouraging followers to interact with your brand in other ways. Be sure to clearly state the value of these other channels and what users can expect when they do opt in to something new. The more ways your users are interacting with your brand, the more likely they are to buy from you – and stay on as a long-term customer.
9) Incorporate buyers’ social behaviors into other channels.
It’s no secret that today’s buyer is interacting with your brand across channels, and it’s imperative for today’s marketers to provide a consistent brand experience at all of these touch points. With the advances made in digital marketing technology, it’s now possible to incorporate select Facebook behaviors into other channels like email, Web or mobile. Someone redeems a coupon or offer on Facebook? Send them relevant follow-up offers or product recommendation requests via email.
10) Build brand loyalty.
Before you get too fancy or technical with Facebook, it’s important to remember that one of the key roles of social media is to generate positive buzz – and general good feelings – for your brand. Your goal should always be to provide compelling content that your fans will find useful. This could be as simple as wishing your followers a Happy Valentine’s Day, or something a little more tactical like a weeklong promotion or giveaway.
Happy birthday, Facebook, from all of us at Silverpop. Here’s to 10 more years!
1) Blog: “Using Social Coupons for Custom Acquisition and Remarketing”
2) White Paper: “Creating Real-Time Individualized Campaigns Around Every Imaginable Buyer Behavior”
3) Blog: “Personalizing Content on Every Channel”