Tag Archives: social media training

Building your business with Facebook pages

With a user base of over 600 million, 10 million of whom are Australians, Facebook is definitely mainstream and is becoming harder for marketers to ignore.

You may have a Facebook Profile for your personal life; Facebook Pages are for brands and businesses. In April, Facebook Studio published a guide outlining the best tools and principles for marketers to build a presence and run campaigns on Facebook, called, “Building your business with Facebook Pages.”

I’m not saying that you can build a Facebook Page and then tick the box that you’ve got social media covered. Your social strategy should include more than Facebook, and your Facebook strategy should include more than simply putting up a page. You’ll need to continually manage your presence and give people reasons for “Liking” your brand, interacting, sharing, and coming back for more.

Facebook’s guide will give you some tips on what that entails. It outlines the three core phases of a marketing program on Facebook: Build, Engage, Amplify. Build is the first step, including Facebook Pages and apps enabling you to reach an audience on Facebook; as well as social plugins allowing you to extend connections and conversations to your website.

Engage is about using the touchpoints established in the Build phase to engage and grow your audience – for example, publishing relevant content on a regular basis, and engaging in conversations with your fans.

Amplify is about extending your reach through social networks via both earned (via the news feed), and paid (via Facebook ads) audiences.

The Guide covers best practice in terms of tailoring campaigns to your specific business objectives such as innovation and product development, generating awareness, increasing sales, loyalty/relationship building, word of mouth, feedback, generating awareness, etc. There are examples of where these strategies have worked using specific tools and applications.

For more on Facebook, see Digital Chameleon’s Social Media Platforms course.

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Engaging with beauty brands online

Along with the rapid increase in time spent online, there has also been a significant rise in the amount of time Australians are spending on social media sites. In fact, according to Nielsen, Australians spend more time each month on social sites than any other nationality! And it’s not only the quantity of time that’s important, but the level of influence that social media has on consumers’ purchasing decisions. “The Social Network” recently won four Golden Globe awards (including Best Picture – Drama), demonstrating that social networking has indeed become mainstream.

A Garner Group report (July 2010) found that a majority of American consumers rely on social networks to guide their purchase decisions. This is significant for the beauty industry as women are even more likely to spend their time using social media, and they refer to it when making decisions on products to buy. Many beauty brands have included digital in their marketing strategy by now, but most could still be doing more in terms of keeping up with consumers’ use of digital channels, especially in the social space.

Of those beauty brands who have established a presence online, they would have a website, include email marketing in CRM programs, perhaps offer ecommerce on their sites. Of those who have ventured into social media, they most likely have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, the logical first step for most companies. What’s the next phase of social marketing? It’s social engagement.

Posting on Facebook and Twitter are great, but tend to be one-way broadcasts, not unlike traditional media activities. Rather than simply counting number of posts or fans, marketers should be looking for ways to start a dialogue with, and among, current and potential customers.
Anitra Marsh, Global External Relations Manager at P&G gave an informative talk at the BlogWell conference in 2010 where she shared P&G’s approaches to social media. She shared that one of their focuses has been improving their listening and “choiceful engagement” with their community. They choose 4-5 topics on which they engage with consumers in order to retain focus. For example, they’ve appointed a “Beauty Maven” for Pantene, who manages their online community programs. They found that the kind of information that women want most about healthy hair is “tips & tricks.” So, the Pantene Beauty Maven got involved in conversations where she could add value in terms of providing participants with useful tips and tricks. Anitra cautioned that tone and authenticity are vital when a brand engages with consumers in these environments.

Anitra Marsh also said that P&G has evolved from a holistic communications model to an interdependent communications model. Where a holistic model involves re-hashing the same advertising message across all channels, with an interdependent model the message can change depending on the medium. They are finding that digital often drives the message (via consumer surveys/stats, consumer generated content, etc. via social channels) and that that content then migrates into traditional media.

Have a look at the video of Anitra Marsh’s presentation for an interesting viewpoint from the largest beauty brand in the world.

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How to be successful on Facebook

Facebook has over 600 million users worldwide, and shows no signs of slowing in terms of popularity among consumers, as well as marketers. But the issue for marketers is how to effectively use Facebook (and really any social site), and not make the mistake of using their own customers as guinea pigs in their quest for social media prominence. Altimeter Group conducted research this year leading to a report called The study included input from 34 vendors, agencies, and experts to determine how to successfully make use of Facebook as a marketer, and how to develop a roadmap for best practice. I highly recommend you download the report.

First, let’s look at how consumers are adopting Facebook – according to third party research referenced by Altimeter Group – 50% of active Facebook users log into the service every day, and connect to an average of 130 friends. Amazingly, the average internet user is spending more time on Facebook each day than on Google, Yahoo, YouTube, Microsoft, Wikipedia and Amazon – combined! Consumers increasingly trust their friends and family more than other information sources about products and services; and 60% of Facebook users are more likely to recommend a brand after becoming a Facebook fan.

My caveat to all this is that Facebook may or may not be the leader in three years, but I think the concepts discussed in the Altimeter Group report are equally true for any social media marketing activity. The report suggests that, “As consumers make decisions directly with each other on Facebook, brands are left out of the mix.”

So how do brands get in on the action? According to an eConsultancy study (referenced in Altimeter report), 70% of brands indicated they were planning to increase spending on social media in 2010. But the issue is that many brands are confused about how to approach social media strategy, and need a roadmap. The days of simply using a one-way website approach are over and marketers need to apply new strategies to social media, including Facebook.
Following their industry research, Altimeter Group saw some key issues continually coming up. From these, they developed a core list of 8 Success Criteria for Facebook Page Marketing:

1) Set community expectations
2) Provide cohesive branding
3) Be up to date
4) Live authenticity
5) Participate in dialog
6) Enable peer-to-peer interactions
7) Foster advocacy
8) Solicit a call to action

Facebook’s latest move is to make it easy for consumers to set Facebook as the default homepage on their browser. Have you noticed the bar at the top of your Facebook page with pictures of your friends, asking you to drag it to your “home” bar so you can see what’s happening with your friends every time you open your browser? This is a significant move because if Facebook can manage to convert even a fraction of their users, they will be giving Google and other homepage search engines a run for their money, not to mention significantly increasing Facebook’s page impressions and time spent on site. Imagine potentially hundreds of millions of people mining their social graph for information before (or instead of) going to a search engine?

For more information on Facebook, see Digital Chameleon’s Social Media Platforms course.

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