Entrepreneur and blogger Clara Shih says, “Last decade was about the World Wide Web of information and the power of linking web pages. Today, it’s about the World Wide Web of people, and the power of trusted online identity and a ubiquitous social graph. The transformation currently underway in people’s engagement, behavior, and interactions – both with one another and with businesses – is profound, similar to where we were ten years ago with the Internet.”
Ultimately, businesses need to be where their customers are, and increasingly (3 billion minutes a day, to be exact), this is on Facebook. Here are three tips from her new book The Facebook Era, on how to effectively use Facebook for your business:
1. Reuse, repurpose, and republish. Your Facebook Page is a powerful portal for customers, prospective customers, and their friends to learn about and engage with your brand. Instead of reinventing the wheel, repurpose content such as videos, contests, and blogs from your main website or other channels for your Page. It takes 30 seconds, for example, to link an existing blog to your Page and have new posts automatically appear as notes on your Facebook Page.
2. Test and reach new markets using microtargeting. Many of us have already been using microtargeted ad campaigns on Facebook to hit small audience segments with precise messaging. But microtargeting can also be used to expand your traditional audience base. Before, reaching new markets with advertising was risky and often cost-prohibitive. Now, marketers can cost-effectively reach new audiences by testing different microtargeting criteria. One helpful tip is to start initially with a larger audience (rather than with your hypothesis of your ideal audience) and use Facebook ad analytics to see what kinds of people are actually clicking on your ads – you may be surprised! Once you have this information, you can go after microsegment with custom ad copy.
More details including case studies on these methods and many others are available in my book. I look forward to hearing your thoughts – and invite you to participate via Facebook Connect on the book’s website and Facebook Page!
3. Put a face to the name. Did you know you can link Facebook to Salesforce CRM? Check out Faceforce (now called Faceconnector), an app I built which lets you integrate Facebook profile and friend information into Salesforce account, lead, and contact records.
The Facebook Era: Tapping Online Social Networks to Build Better Products, Reach New Audiences, and Sell More Stuff is a required textbook for the Global Entrepreneurial Marketing course at Stanford and social media course at Harvard Business School.