Content Discovery Smackdown: Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. KloutContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the Platform7 Website Tips to Attract More Shoppers to Your PagesHow eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
Jennifer Sheahan: Cracking the Facebook Code
Posted on May 7th 2012
In every generation, there are game-changing advancements that redefine business. From the automobile and television, to the VCR and Internet, the evolution of technology drives our consumptive habits. Today, there are arguably fewer more engrossing, time-consuming habits than that of the world’s current phenomenon, Facebook.
While more than 900 million people worldwide have active accounts, few businesses take full advantage of this enormous marketplace. For most, this is not due to a lack of desire—it stems from a lack of knowledge. When industry stalwarts such as Anthony Robbins and Frank Kern sought to leverage Facebook’s tremendous reach and recognized their limited ability for effectively making this happen, they turned to Jennifer Sheahan. Jennifer has cracked the Facebook code and created powerful strategies that are neither complex nor expensive. To affect a veritable Facebook frenzy and drive this powerful, captive audience towards your products and services, of her many strategies, Jennifer recommends beginning with these two.
1) Create both a personal and business page.
Do not make the mistake of having one Facebook presence that combines personal and business items. Taking this approach will result only in confusion. Business customers may be temporarily amused with funny pictures of your nephew, but in the long run they’ll view you and your company as being out of touch with their needs and wants. And while those close to you may find your new white paper intriguing, they’re not likely to be your ideal customer and may be annoyed by your business-related postings.
A personal page should be exactly that—personal—and reserved for friends and family. In other words, avoid letting everyone into your home. Doing so is not only potentially dangerous, but could also have harmful repercussions. A business page should be reserved for business—nothing more, nothing less. It should serve to enhance your brand, generate sales, and disseminate corporate information.
2) Determine if you have a ‘Direct’ or ‘Indirect’ sales/brand-building strategy.
Indirect sellers seek to expand their online presence but do not sell products online. These include companies such as Coca-Cola and Starbucks. Yes, they may offer t-shirts, mugs, coupons and special offers that can be redeemed locally, but you can’t put a cup to the monitor and grab yourself a Venti Vanilla Latte. Therefore these businesses are considered indirect sellers.
Successful Facebook indirect marketers understand that building and maintaining a successful company hinges on its ability to engage. Coca-Cola, for example, runs contests, encourages interaction, and offers customers the opportunity to send a “virtual pick-me-up” to friends and family. They currently have 36 million fans. Pepsi, on the other hand, introduces multiple products but fosters little interaction among customers. They currently have slightly more than 6 million fans. Considering Coca-Cola sells around twice as much product as Pepsi, that it garners six times as many fans is remarkable.
Coca-Cola clearly understands that, above all else, its Facebook presence is about the creation of an entertainment-driven experience, not the provision of a direct call-to-action. Loyalty is created when strong intangibles are delivered. In other words, what’s not said ultimately creates permanence and establishes position in the customer’s subconscious. When customers head to the marketplace, purchase decisions are directly tied to their brand connection. Indirect sellers view Facebook as an opportunity to strengthen such customer relationships.
Direct sellers seek to sell products and services directly to end-users online. These include companies such as TechSmith, Zynga, and University of Phoenix.
Effective direct sellers focus on benefits and encourage sampling. The harsh reality is no one cares about fancy logos or gimmicks. In the social media world, people have little patience and want to get right to the meat of the product.
Answering the customer’s question of, “Why do I care?” as quickly as possible is key. Today’s marketers leverage the power of video and show the product in action. This is often complimented with video testimonials. Once hooked, discounts and incentives to purchase should be provided immediately. The online customer loathes waiting for the “ask.” Once they’re ready, show them where to enter their credit card information.
Drama doesn’t cut it. Neither does fancy. Customers today are much too wise and have moved far beyond old methodologies. If they feel too much money was spent on building a site, they automatically equate this to increased costs. Attempts to over-impress lead to the worst sound in the world—wallets snapping shut.
There’s little doubt that Facebook offers immediate and powerful opportunities. That said, so did CompuServe and MySpace. The Internet is a vast, often volatile, landscape reminiscent of the Wild West, and can be just as unpredictable. Business longevity is the direct result of being proactive, maintaining awareness of the market’s evolution, getting while the getting’s good, and being adequately prepared for what’s next.
Facebook should absolutely be a component of your overall promotional strategy, but you shouldn’t depend on any one resource for your marketing. As with investing, always diversify, because there’s no telling what the future will bring.