I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately from clients and prospective clients about how to properly integrate Facebook into their marketing strategy. Many people seem to believe that because Facebook is “all the rage”, they should be funneling all of their marketing effort into Facebook. I even talked to one potential client who went so far as to shut down his existing PR3 ranked site and redirect the URL to his Facebook fan page. This is crazy!
This week I received another question from a client asking if he should forget about doing a mailing list and just focus on his Facebook fan page instead. (See #3)
There is a lot of confusion out there, so let me clear some of it up. I’ve pulled the top 3 questions that have been asked to me in the past couple of months and answered them below…
Question #1 Should my business be on Facebook?
A: YES! (Probably) There are very few instances I’ve seen that cause me to believe a business should not be on facebook. Certainly all retail businesses and any business that provides a product or service to consumers. Industrial and business to business entities might have an excuse not to be there. If you are in the former category then the interaction, viral capability, and the sheer traffic and stickyness of Facebook demand that you should seriously consider Facebook.
Question #2 How should I use Facebook to market my business?
A: First and foremost, Facebook should be used as a tool drive traffic “TO” your main website, not “from” your website. Facebook is a lead generation tool that allows you find and interact with potential customers that might never have seen you before. Your strategy should be to engage people with information, useful advice, conversation or just plain fun. The better quality your interaction, the more likely they are to pay attention to your (subtle) calls-to-action to join your mailing list, register for your free webinar, etc. Do NOT try to get a new fan then sell them something right away. That WILL backfire.
Question #3 Which should I focus on….building my Facebook fans OR my email list?
A: Both! Never put all of your marketing eggs in one basket. What would happen if Facebook suddenly locks you out of your account? (It happens more often than you would expect) Or what about the many potential customers you have that don’t spend time on Facebook. They have money too you know! So yes, spend time developing your Facebook fan base. But don’t neglect your own in-house mailing list while you do. Yes, I said “mailing” list not just “email” list. Different people like to be contacted in different ways. Some will be more responsive to email, others to Facebook posts, and others to a direct mail letter or postcard. And don’t forget that old standby that many people don’t even consider…the telephone! Cultivate (and use) every potential touch-point to reach your prospective customers.
The bottom line: Facebook is a powerful and important marketing tool for most businesses today. However, it’s just ONE tool of many you should be using to grow your business in 2011. Don’t throw out other tried, tested, and true marketing methods just to jump on the Facebook bandwagon.
What is YOUR top question about marketing on Facebook? Post your question in the comments below, and I’ll do my best answer it. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find you an expert who does!