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Facebook Strategy, Current Thinking?
Nick_W




msg:4503982
 12:05 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hello everyone,

I'd like to get your take on what "current thinking" is on facebook marketing. Hopefully this will be useful to others, but I will use my own very small business as an example of course...

I run a small company making a niche family of products for a niche audience. All good so far then.. My concern with FB is that I appear to only have 2 options:

  • Run a "fan page" so that customers can just Like my products, and by doing so tell their friends.
  • Go wider, and run an interest page - post picked out news, articles, events from the entire sector --essentially create a hub <---oooh, old skool stuff --showing my age!


I'm not really happy with either approach. A fan page seems to little, and a hub too much (I try to only work 3hrs a day max..)

Are there other options? What is the current thinking on such things? Do you have relevant experiences of your own to share?

Many thanks,

 

Brett_Tabke




msg:4504010
 1:23 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hey Nick - welcome back dude. Nice to see your 'nick' back around hehe.

I agree with you on both points. I think the only real answer is to create a fan page. Then use it and treat it just like a blog. Keep it well stocked with your latest offerings of interest. The real game is getting likes from people so that you continue to show up in their timeline and consequently in front of their friends. It's all about social proof in front of THEIR friends.

If you have the man power - an interest page can drive alot of traffic. Especially if you can post something that goes viral and gets reposted alot. I know of two people who swear that a story that was reposted on Facebook made them serious money.

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 4:37 pm (utc) on Oct 4, 2012]

Nick_W




msg:4504029
 2:14 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hy BT, good to see you too! and thanks,

Fan page is easy stuff, I could even integrate the Like bit into emails that I use to follow up with customers currently. I tried to hire someone to do the research/posting with an interest page but finding someone "really" qualified is very hard. Everyone and their dog is a "social media expert" these days but I need genuine industry knowledge too!

Sheesh, at this rate I may very well have to do it myself, which would be a very suboptimal use of my time.

Thanks for the advice!

lawman




msg:4504086
 4:00 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hello fellow old timer. :)

buckworks




msg:4504090
 4:10 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

I second Brett's welcome!

Plan carefully what the sales funnel would be once someone visits your fan page. Make sure that the path from your FB page to your money-making site is easy, obvious and attractive.

Consider testing Facebook ads, both to gain likes from well-targeted users, and to promote your ecommerce site directly.

Somewhere in there, be systematic and proactive about inviting users to sign up for your email lists. Getting FB likes is great but you also want to build connections with your users that are under your own control and don't depend on an outside party.

Brett_Tabke




msg:4504106
 4:39 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

>suboptimal use of my time.

That is what I am running into as well. Where does the ROI from all this really come from? Do we really have the time to get someone to followup on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Foursquare, and now Linkedin with it's endorsements?

I think Buckworks is spot on: you have to know where your sales are coming from and back track.

Digmen1




msg:4504131
 5:47 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

If you have a website with a niche that is doing quite well why do you need to Facebook Marketing ?

A Fan page is easy to set up, but you also have to maintain it.
And keep it fresh.

Nick_W




msg:4504132
 5:51 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

lawman and buckworks! Marvellous to see you :)

I certainly hear what you're saying about the sales funnel. Good advice for me, I'd likely do great at getting Likes and discussions going but forget all about the money hhh!

What I find most challenging is trying to figure out if the "posting news and events" i.e. aggregating niche content is a bit lame in the FB context. I mean, I don't use FB or twitter, I find myself in the unenviable position of knowing nothing bar what I can read on the "social media expert" blogs. Most of the resources i've found look pretty useless.

I imagine the best thing to do would be to start getting involved in the niche on FB and get a handle on this first hand, then at least I'd be able to tell someone how I wanted it done further down the line.

Oh and yes, I agree about not getting tied into a platform you don't control -- ideally I'll tie the site into it so it can be decoupled if necessary. Could use FB connect for example..

Brett, I think where you're concerned doing one thing brilliantly would be worth far more than doing several badly. Easy advice to give, hard to follow clearly!

bill




msg:4504308
 5:17 am on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Wow. There's an old nick I haven't seen for a while. ;)

The easiest way to handle things time-wise is to go with a Page and treat it somewhat like an RSS feed. Most people on FB use their Page Likes as a form of a newsreader anyway. You could get away with posting RSS updates to the Page when you add something new to your site if you didn't have time to craft different posts for all of the SNS you use.

Nick_W




msg:4504341
 6:54 am on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hey there Bill!

Yes, that's most likely what I'll do but feed it from the website so all the updates are also on the site (and this way I guess I can feed it into a twitter account also).

I think I'll try a 3 month trial after planning it out a bit

Nick_W




msg:4504343
 7:03 am on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

>Digmen1: "If you have a website with a niche that is doing quite well why do you need to Facebook Marketing?"

Well that's a very good question. Here are some reasons. In no particular order and not necessarily thought through to any degree:

  • No one else has this spot. I want it.
  • It might allow me to expand my product biz (where people rarely come back for more due to the nature of the product, but do tell their friends) into events, classes, subscriptions --other revenue streams.
  • I started this biz with a genuine desire to help people in the pursuit of this topic. It might be a really good way to promote the benefits of such an interest.
  • My products are a talking point when small groups of potential customers are together and one has one of them. I want to enhance the tendency of customers to recommend to friends.
  • I want to start selling wholesale globally, so extending the reputation of my products is important. This may help.


There are probably more reasons to do it :)

Thanks for making me think about it Digmen1

Rumbas




msg:4504470
 1:17 pm on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hej Nick! Long time, no see mate :) you still in my neck of the woods?

Personally I've never has much success on FB marketing and the rare occasions are when we've spent a huge amount of hours testing and tweaking.

Nick_W




msg:4504489
 2:01 pm on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Rumbas! Good to see you :)

No, I've been back in the UK for a few years now. Ivana is translating and I'm (ahem..) cooking, minding kids (partly) and staying as far away from the mental consumerism that grips this country as possible!

Hope all is well with you the family..

lorax




msg:4504495
 2:20 pm on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Welcome back old man!

I've found FB to be useful with eComm products that have a niche following. Low price point products don't do very well. Higher price point products that bring a sense of ownership or pride tend to do better - luxury goods, gourmet foods, service agencies that cater to a specific audience.

Nick_W




msg:4504502
 2:37 pm on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Lorax!

Good points, thanks. I guess my products are a bit odd as if you are new to the subject they are a luxury item, something to admire and want to show your friends. If you are more experienced, you will likely buy the cheap version (which i also sell) and treat it as the utilitarian object it is heh!

The question really is now about whether promoting the interest, and facilitating connections between those interested and being seen as the centre point of a topic is worth what one may gain in brand awareness.

For example. My products on Amazon go like the clappers, but my websites conversion rate is modest at best. (bloody dreadful is more like it..) --so if more people were familiar with the brand, when it came time to buy could I avoid paying Amazon's fees? --got to think of the long game...

Leosghost




msg:4504514
 2:58 pm on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

I should hesitate to say this to an "oldtimer"..but :)
For example. My products on Amazon go like the clappers, but my websites conversion rate is modest at best. (bloody dreadful is more like it..)

Sounds like you'd be better spending your time and effort identifying what is responsible on your site for the lack of conversions, compared with your conversion rate on Amazon..( they do make the getting your card out and clicking all the way through to "confirm" relatively "painless" for most people ;)..rather than spending the time and effort on FB, apart from the basics of "promote" and start them down the funnel or at least circling around the edges on there..

Nick_W




msg:4504516
 3:07 pm on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

It's certainly something that needs addressing Leosghost, but I fear much iof it has to do with Amazon just being a known entity, and my little business being totally unknown..

Having said that, age is no indication of competence.. I've been woefully neglectful in basic webmaster skills this past year as I have been concentrating on other things ;)

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