More than once, I have been asked by companies why they need a Facebook page. Citing their already functioning website, they usually don't understand why they need both a website, and a Facebook page.
I definitely understand the question. If an online presence is all you are after, then a website is surely enough, but there are a lot more reasons than that to have a Facebook page. For one, your customers want you to be there. Why, you ask? Because, that's where they are.
So, what motivates a customer to follow an online brand? A recent survey conducted by CoTweet and ExactTarget gave us a look at ten reasons why customers are motivated to follow brands on Twitter.
Here is a glimpse into the average Facebook customer.
- 40% want to receive discounts and promotions
- 37% want to show support for a brand/company
- 36% hope (want) to get free samples, a coupon (a.k.a. freebies)
- 34% want to stay informed about the activities of the company
- 33% want to get updates on future products
- 30% want to get updates and information on future sales
- 27% like to get fun and entertainment out of it
- 25% want to get access to exclusive content
- 22% mentioned they were referred by someone to follow this brand/company
- 21% want just to learn more about the company
Coming Vs. Going
One of the most famous movie lines ever written comes from a Kevin Costner movie called Field of Dreams. The line goes, "if you build it, they will come." I quote this line often, because many times it is the way we approach websites. We plan, we design, we develop and then we launch and hope they will come.
Unfortunately though, they don't always come.
The problem, of course, with any website is getting visitors. There are many strategies and tricks that we use to improve traffic, but we are still relying on them coming to us. No matter what, we launch, and wait for them to come to us.
The thing of it is, we need to be going to them just as badly as we need them to be coming to us. Marketing isn't a passive sport. We have to insert ourselves into the mix to make things work.
This is exactly what makes Facebook such a powerful marketing medium. It is a way for us to go directly to the source. It is a way to insert ourselves into the conversation that is already happening. Websites, usually, aren't about conversation and back and forth dialogue. Facebook provides something uniquely different in that way.
Simply put, your customers use Facebook. 55% of them log in every single day. Instead of waiting for them to come to you, you need to be willing to go to them. Your website is still an important part of the equation, but it alone isn't the total of your online presence.
We know that there are at least ten different things that your customers want out of a Facebook page. Now, it is just up to you to provide them. And, the good news is - you don't need to wait for them to come. They are already there.