Have a Strong Presence
A Facebook presence, like a website, is a fundamental tactic and should be on everyone's list of must haves for social network marketing. Similar to the .com land grab that happened in the late 90's, you should secure your company name on as many social sites as you can.
Once you have your presence you will need a strategy for posting updates as frequently as you can with interesting content. Be sure to get your employees involved. Encourage them to become fans and drive the conversations to create a thriving community. The reason being, you will want Facebook users to be able to discover your Facebook Page through their friends' profiles and with Facebook searches. This is the key to growing your fan base "virally". Also keep in mind Facebook Pages are indexable so be sure to write your content with good SEO in mind.
Do some Advertising
You will find that advertising on Facebook is unlike any other advertising experience you have ever had. Mainly do to the unique ways in which you can precisely target a specific ad down to the person's profile. For example if you want to target MBA graduates that are 3-5 years out of school and working in Southern Connecticut that like Classic Rock music whose favorite food is Sushi - you can do that!
There are 2 basic types of ads: Display ads and Social ads. And they can be purchased like banner ads with Cost per Click (CPC) and Cost per Thousand (CPM). And they work similar to online banner ads but try not to use them in the same way. Most Facebook users feel more comfortable staying within the Facebook environment. So try to direct them to someplace on your Facebook Fan page. With the new Facebook Fan page design, you can send them directly to a tab of your Fan page since each tab has a unique URL.
Create an Application
If you are going to send your ads to a specific tab why not send them to an application you built to engage them with your brand. Facebook Applications are similar to widgets or snippets of code that can be embedded in any Facebook Fan page to make it more distinguished. You can think of them like interactive spaces that can allow the user to take a poll, play a short game, or anything you can dream up.
Creating a Facebook Application has become widely popular because custom applications are not that hard or expensive to build. Some Facebook Applications have seen tremendous growth because they were built to take advantage of the viral nature of Facebook.
Syndicate your Content
Another tactic to consider if you already have a steady stream of rich content is using Facebook as an outpost for your content. If you already have a blog, podcast series or video series you can effectively use Facebook to attract another audience to interact with those assets.
There are a variety of ways to syndicate content on your Fan page. You can use the Notes page to import blog posts to your Fan page, you can use the My Del.icio.us application to import any bookmarks you may have made in your Del.icio.us account, you can use the Simply RSS application to bring in all the RSS feed you may have on your company website, you can edit your links section of have a variety of blogs or websites you may want to highlight perhaps by employees or partners of your company, and don't forget to edit your Feed settings to include the complete versions of all your blog posts so they appear not only on your Fan page but on the Feeds of all your fans.
Throw an Event
Facebook Events are a great way of getting people together virtually or in person in support of your local business, brand or product. They are also a very economical way of getting the word out beyond your normal in-house marketing list by inviting the Fans of your Page. Fans can also help you promote your Facebook Event to their friends by sharing the event if it seems of value to a group of their friends.
Also don't forget to follow-up after your event, it's just good protocol to do so. If you had a very healthy debate with lots of questions - why not send a transcript out to everyone who attended or even those that didn't attend. If some questions didn't get answered because of time constraints - why not write up the answers and send them to the all attendees too.
The key point is try not to take a "set it and forget it" mentality to any social presence you have. While the costs of social marketing are low don't let that fool you. The true cost is found in the creation of content. And your key to success will be the consistent participation and willingness to engage your customers you can create by using great content.
This article contains excerpts from Facebook Marketing For Dummies (September 2009, Wiley - available for pre-order on Amazon)
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