Social media is different from all other popular communication platforms in the web because of the one quality which clues us in that there's a human behind it: personality. Just like a party, its success depends on whether everybody attending it are really enjoying themselves or merely going through the motions. This, in a virtual nutshell, is what social media is like.
Facebook marketing works in the same way. Some do it so well, while others do it—ahem—really crappily. There's a thin line between these two, which makes it understandable why so many fail where others succeed at the same online marketing platform.
We're social media entrepreneurs and we also want everyone else on the same boat as us to thrive. Buying Facebook fans can only get you so far without a real understanding of how marketing in Facebook works for your online brand.
To achieve your social marketing goals, you need to apply clear-cut Facebook marketing principles to your efforts. Follow these must-dos' to clear up the fog of shoot and miss that is often the path of lazy social marketers.
1. Ask. Let your "fans" speak up.
Back in 2006, Jeff Howe of Wired predicted the rise of "crowd sourcing", a manner of polling the suggestions of your loyal customers and gathering that huge mass into one awesome product. The gist? You don't have to pay anyone for their ideas. That's the true value of social media.
Customer contribution is at an all-time high that it's just impossible for them to accept whatever it is you've got in your "lab" unless they don't pipe up. If you have an idea for a product but you're "not quite there" yet in terms of implementation, a simple question posted on your Facebook Wall asking "fans" for their opinions should do the trick. Because, let's face it, everyone on the Internet would like to let the whole world know how cool they are…and that includes even you and me.
2. Introduce. Show your fans who your real assets are and earn their respect effortlessly.
If your online business presents itself as "corporate chic", ditch that look right away. You know what's "hip" nowadays? Being one of the "99-percenters". Try shifting your focus instead to the one member of your company whom almost everyone with a 9-to-5 job can relate to right away: your employee.
Your employees are the backbone of your company. All their hopes and dreams are reflected on the products you're trying to launch, even if they themselves don't realize it (yes, seriously). It will give a much-needed pep boost to your staff if you shine the spotlight on them every once in a while (but PLEASE, ask for their permissions first!). Plus, it serves to reassure your fans that there's still a soft spot beneath that tough-nosed business exterior of yours. Awww… isn't that sweet?
3. Anticipate and set expectations to entice your fans' active participation.
The trickiest aspect in marketing a new product is knowing how and when to whet consumer appetites for it.
One of the best examples of highly-successful Facebook campaigns of all time comes from the oldest vanguard of product promotions: Hollywood. Ironically, advertising for the movie debut of Hunger Games only cost a fraction of a billion-dollar budget usually reserved for blockbusters. And all they did was publish "teasers" targeted to fans that were the most active on their Facebook walls.
Clearly, creativity is the global currency which "funds" Facebook campaigns these days.
Here are a few ideas: publish a "countdown" gimmick on your fan page to build anticipation for a product launch. Or encourage your fans to solve a puzzle to reveal your latest product. Of course, your fans can even be happier if you give out coupons to the lucky ones who responded the quickest to your post.