Daniel Levy, CEO of Popimedia
Few small business owners and entrepreneurs have the bandwidth or the budget to launch a full scale marketing campaign. Combine this with a lack of the critical mass in terms of audience so frequently associated with the medium to large organisations/ brands, and it almost seems hopeless to try and compete.
However, with the dawn of the digital age and the rise of social media platforms and opportunities, the sky has quite literally become the limit. It is no longer just about having the traditional above-the-line campaigns spanning across radio, TV and print, but about creating an online brand presence, about having a conversation, about listening and responding in real time to customers, potential customers and even potential detractors.
We believe that a truly successful social media strategy is one that is not based on talking to every man, but developing a specific and personal customer and audience experience.
There is no doubt that the current platform of choice for a two way, tailored communications experience online, is Facebook. And more specifically, the Facebook Fan Page as the first line of communication for an organisation.
Using Starbucks (http://www.facebook.com/Starbucks), as an example of a brand with one of the most successful Fan Pages, we have created a set of top tips and considerations, for maximising impact and delivering value, for a company of any size.
Know your brand personality – who are you, how do you engage, what is the ‘language’ and tone that you use when interacting and ensure that this resonates across all your audience interactions
Know your audience – who are you talking to, what makes them tick, what kind of information do they use and re-use, who do they talk to and about what
Don’t SPAM – instead of putting out marketing collateral, share content that is industry, topic and of audience interest and relevance
Make time – to post relevant information, to respond to comments and queries posted to your Fan Page and to really get under the skin of your audience
Listen – to the conversations not only on your Fan Page, but on other blogs, newsfeeds and Facebook Fan Pages and ensure that when you do respond, it isn’t mid-stream or out of context
Once you have these five elements buttoned down, Facebook has made it ridiculously easy to set up a Fan Page. Go to the Facebook login page, click on ‘Create a page for a celebrity, band or business’ and follow the step-by-step guide to setting up your page and gaining access to more than 500 million people around the world.
Your challenge – to sift through these more than 500 million people and make sure the right people become your ‘fans’.
And unlike traditional above-the-line advertising, which can sometimes feel like a bit of a hit and miss approach to reaching your target audience, Facebook advertising is audience customisable. By deploying a customised advertising campaign, you are able to eliminate what marketing and advertising folks call ‘wastage’, resulting in a more cost effective and tangible campaign.
Don’t forget – a social media strategy should be a dynamic and interactive audience and consumer interaction and conversation and is never truly ‘completed’.
Engage, interact and enjoy!