As marketers, it's often our job to generate as much traffic as possible to our websites so that it can generate more interest and more sales. And with billions of users worldwide, no marketable social media platform is better for driving traffic than Facebook.
So, it stands to reason that the best way to market your business is through a Facebook ad campaign, right? Well, sometimes. While an ad campaign can certainly be beneficial, it's a difficult avenue to pursue unless you can prove a fruitful return on investment financially. Only so much "branding" and "awareness" campaigning can happen without the checking account getting low. Luckily, there are other ways to gaining tremendous visibility (and traffic) from Facebook's platform.
Another powerful way a marketer can spread their message, test an audience's response to content, and push traffic toward their offers is by getting featured on the big Facebook fan pages in your industry or market niche. No matter what your target marker (from stay-at-home mothers, to lumberjacks, to CMOs, to small business owners), there's likely to be a number of Facebook pages specific to your industry.
While "getting featured" on larger fan pages sounds simple, it takes a little work. Start by finding the fan pages with the readership and visibility to make the work worth your time (tip: a Facebook fan page with 2,000 fans isn't worth your time). Find the fan page or pages with the audience that's both big enough to generate clicks for you and has enough of the same common interests as your target market to create more opt-ins, "likes," shares and more. Once you find that fan page or pages, you can use the progressive steps below to get yourself featured:
1 - Contribute to a Company's Own Associated Web Sites, Especially with Video, Text or Audio Content
As I mentioned above, getting featured on a prominent Facebook fan page isn't as easy as just dropping an email and asking to be featured. Instead, you need to get your foot in the door and show that company how hard you're going to promote their site.
You read that right. If you want to be featured on someone else's fan page, you've got to show them how you're going to promote them - usually by doing so well before asking them for any kind of favor. You may want to be featured on that Company A's Facebook fan page to promote your business but, what's in it for the Company A?
So, let's say you write about or interview one of Company A's experts. Once you've done that (not before) take it to the company and say you'd be happy to share this content you created about their company with their readers. Assuming it's good quality, most companies will take you up on that offer. Then, promote your post via every avenue available to you. After that, go back to work and show that company the time and effort you've put in on their behalf to promote that post and the amount of traffic you drove to their website.
Now that you've shown them the value you bring to the table, remind Company A of what else you can do. Point out that you have more to offer, whether it's another post, podcasts or videos and, in return, mention that you'd appreciate them promoting what you've written on their Facebook page. I've put together a short blog post about some templates I use for common 1-to-1 email outreach - you can find these email templates here, and feel free to use them yourself.
Again, if the company likes what you wrote the first time, then they're very likely to take you up on your offer to do more. Yes, you're basically writing for free but, while you're providing unique and valuable content for Company A, the payoff for you comes in the form of the promotion you get by your appearance on their Facebook fan page.
Your interactions with the company should convey your enthusiasm for working in this industry, rather desire for explicit promotion. Make sure Company A knows you're happy to continue contributing content you're passionate about.
2 - Develop Deeper Mutual Trades of Content and Exposure
Getting featured on a big Facebook fan page once is great and twice is even better. So, now that you have your foot in the door, push it in even further. You've shown Company A the value you bring to the table and now is the time to show them that, not only are you passionate about their company, but that you can be a long-term asset to their company as well.
For instance, say your friends at Company A are planning a webinar. Use that webinar as an opportunity to remind Company A of your passion for the topic, your previous contributions and to mention the fact that you've already highlighted their webinar via blog posts, your email list and social media outlets.
Doing that will demonstrate to Company A that you're congenial to their cause while also showing you understand Company A's goals and your desire to help achieve them. And this is the moment where you suggest to Company A that they're more than welcome to share you blog posts featuring their webinar and that you'd happily share your email list with them. The goal here is to leverage your previous contributions to Company A into ongoing cross promotions that create a win-win situation for both sides. A few examples might include:
- A monthly review of their white papers and online courses on your blog in exchange for promotion of your most white paper every month on their fan page
- Promotion of their monthly webinar to your email list (I've written in greater depth about Facebook list building strategies here) in exchange Company A referring their Facebook fans to your newsletter once a month
Once you've established a reciprocal promotional relationship with Company A, branch out. Offer other win-win opportunities such as trades of exposure or content that will offer Company A more value while earning you more visibility. That can include:
- You promote their monthly webinar to your email list and, in return, they send out three tweets about your latest expert interview blog
- You contribute one educational video to their YouTube channel every month, and they share it with their email subscribers
I've used similar messages in building the strategic partnerships for my first successful ecommerce business - using affiliate partners and social media channels to go from zero to over $40,000 in monthly revenues. This was done in a remarkably small niche where some might have said such a strategy was impossible - but it worked out just fine for us (I spoke about other profitable joint venture and affiliate strategies in this interview on Yaro Starak's blog).
So, now that you've been featured on Company A's Facebook fan page and you've worked out an mutually beneficial promotional exchange, come up with a plan to continue your contributions. Whether it's a weekly post, bi-weekly or even monthly, leverage the work you've done so far with Company A into continuous involvement so that you are regularly featured on the Facebook fan page. In return, just ask for Facebook and Twitter mentions. Assuming Company A likes you and respects your work, they're likely to jump at your offer.
Ultimately, ongoing involvement with Company A is your goal and that continuous exposure on their Facebook fan page and other media outlets is where you'll see the return on your investment of time. To insure you're getting a suitable ROI, keep track of your new leads or new subscribers, likes or even your site traffic sources. If you find that the return is worth your effort, then you've built a solid business relationship that's worth nourishing for the long-term.
Every marketer knows that building a business or a relationship can take time - and this strategy involves both. However, following these simple steps to get Featured on big Facebook fan pages can put any business on the fast track to more traffic, more leads and, ultimately, bigger sales. Finding even just one or two promotional partners in your space can help you magnify your message month after month - and I hope it's a strategy you can find a way to implement in your business.