If there is one statistic that should get you off the fence when considering whether or not to promote your business on Facebook, here it is:
800 MILLION ACTIVE USERS
That means that more than 1 in 10 humans on Earth have Facebook accounts. You will be hard pressed to name anything else, which that many people have in common, aside from say…feet. Every day, small businesses are finding ways to use this to their advantage. You should too.
So, how do you acquire business benefit from a glorified chat site?
Here are some ideas from companies that have gained measurably from employing some predictable as well as unconventional means to use the phenomenal power of this medium. While they are sizable national entities, there is nothing to prevent you from adapting these methods to your business model irrespective of size. It just makes good sense to emulate success.
The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board is using a successful strategy known as “Fan Gating.” Under this scenario, site visitors who become fans of the page are entered into a giveaway or sweepstakes. They offer new ones from time to time, often enough to grow their traffic. They also encourage people to post photographs, which will help them get a better EdgeRank on Facebook.
American Express developed a promotion by offering a $20,000 (not a typo) prize for small business owners who simply agreed to write a post. Their fan base grew considerably, as you might imagine. One of the things they learned from this exercise was that shorter posts (80 or fewer characters) received substantially more engagement than longer ones. Obviously, few small businesses are equipped to offer that kind of incentive, but you would be amazed how easy it is to get great results with a couple fewer zeros in the prize offer.
Lastly, Threadless is an eCommerce site marketing t-shirts online. Much of their appeal is to artists who create the designs, which are then chosen by fans. As you would guess, this process completely engages both the artists and the fans. Additionally, they have been able to build communities offline with meetups in cities all over the world. Could you use this concept on a smaller scale in your hometown? Absolutely.
Why do these companies provide these offers? Quite simply, with the incredible reach that only Facebook provides (for now, but keep an eye on Google Plus, the topic of our next post) and the fact that its appeal cuts across every age, gender, racial and socio-economic stratum, there is a very high likelihood that visitors will