Reduce, reuse, recycle: Facebook Marketing Part II

Try to visualise Facebook and Twitter as part of a much broader ‘loop’ or ‘cycle’. The cycle should start with your shop, your pub, your restaurant, your website and then broaden out to the wider Social Network.

The real skill (and the real challenge) is in making the loop extend further and deeper across the web. Ideally you want traffic flowing freely between them; no disruptions, no hiccups and no outright blockages. This often means producing great content; whether that is coming up with a brilliant offer, providing a heads-up on some must-see event or simply re-distributing some fascinating pic or video. If you are successful this will draw people in and help generate further shares. Just make sure that it reflects your core business interests in some way.

This ‘tie-in’ approach will help create a touch of synchrony between what might seem like a random share and the product or service you offer. It should have a hidden payload.

Reduce, reuse, recycle. To enjoy the maximum number of shares, keep your posts punchy , concise and adaptable.

Facebook is to all intents and purposes a vertical portal and its primary focus is the social industry. This is a precious commercial niche and to operate successfully within it, companies have to abide by the rules set by the social industry. And this is where the objectives of Facebook and those of the merchant often collide: Facebook wants to keep its users glued to Facebook (which it is very good at) and the merchant wants them to jump off elsewhere – preferably onto their own website or into their shop or off buying a ticket at some third-party website or other. As long as you realise you’ll be sharing offices and resources with an indomitable social beastie like Facebook, the partnership can be a successful one.

Content should be socially-driven, it should be bold and charismatic, inspiring or fun. Engagement is a two way thing so respond to comments, generate some invites and promote and endorse others. It’s a social exchange mechanism and its currency is charm. This is when Facebook and Twitter really come into their own. You should approach it as content first, promotion second. The contributions you make should be relevant and appealing and ideally they should be entertaining, even in isolation.

And whatever you do, don’t get hung up on ‘Likes’.

Likes are a funny thing. There was a company who rigged up an alarm in their office so that every time they got a like on their Facebook page a bell would ring and they’d all cheer. They had a big Facebook push going on at the time. When they scrutinized their sales some months later they found that in spite of all those bells ringing their sales had not increased.

The simple truth of the matter is that people get click happy; they’ll click a ‘like’ for umpteen reasons: a gesture of support, a bit of an endorsement, or just because they don’t want to let down the friend who shared something with them. We all do it; I’ll ‘like’ something I’ve barely even glanced at if I think it pleases someone I know.

And here’s another thing; advertisers are finding that the vast majority of people fail to act on what see as unrelated items in their Facebook news feed. I don’t know about you, but I don’t even really read the majority of the posts I’ve even personally subscribed to, never mind some dry and often irrelevant ‘share’ or ad.

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