Facebook Marketing: Build It and They Will Come (NOT!)
Justin Levy is author of Facebook Marketing, and Director of Marketing, Business Development and Corporate Strategy at New Marketing Labs in Boston. Justin is also the co-producer of the Inbound Marketing Summit. I caught up with Justin in this podcast to discuss his book and how brands are using Facebook just in time for my next Facebook for Marketers workshop in New York later this month.
Facebook Marketing Book Summary
Justin wrote this book from a marketer’s perspective, not from a user’s perspective. He helps marketers understand how to harness the marketing potential of the large population on Facebook, with 500 million and counting. The book offers both high level strategy guidance and fifteen tactical steps to execute a Facebook marketing plan.
Build It and They Will Come (NOT)
One of the first things Facebook Marketing does is reset expectations for marketers. Brands who just build a Facebook page and expect results will be disappointed. It requires a strategy. Justin suggests asking yourself “what equals success for your marketing plan? What are your goals?” Then, develop a strategy and the tactical approach that will support your goals. The same is true of using all social media tools such as blogging and Twitter.
Developing a Facebook Strategy
I suggested to Justin that it’s difficult to generalize a Facebook strategy because there are so many different types and sizes of businesses. Justin points out that there are some common Facebook strategies that can apply to all businesses. They include community building and advertising. Building community on Facebook is about interacting with prospects, customers and fans with a purpose. Advertising is about creating a desired action. Facebook’s advertising platform is very robust, offering the advertiser granular targeting opportunities. Justin calls these common “buckets” which can be used by most businesses in Facebook marketing.
The Walled Garden
A Facebook page is like a standalone website inside of Facebook. Each tab in a Facebook page is a standalone URL which can be shared. Some marketers are leveraging this effectively, but many don’t yet understand this aspect of Facebook marketing. Many companies don’t yet know that FBML (Facebook Markup Language) is available to create custom tabs in a Facebook business (fan) page. For example, you can set up landing pages for non fans that are designed to convert visitors to a fan (“like”). Additionally, all businesses using Facebook pages should customize their page URL to a name which meets their marketing goal. In our case that’s Facebook.com/FindandConvert.
Creative use of Facebook Applications by Marketers
Facebook applications offer brands a creative and very engaging way to interact with your community. So far, the brands creating custom applications have mostly been the bigger brands. It requires resources to build a custom app (budget or in-house expertise). For example, Volkswagon has a dedicated page to video apps which engage visitors and invite them to test drive VW products. They had a Facebook application that connects with people and uses their profile data to recommend a car to test drive. An application which can create a personalized experience can be very effective at building loyalty and word of mouth.
Terrific B2B Examples on Facebook
We often hear about B2C companies in Facebook marketing. But, Facebook is also very effective in B2B. The reason B2B Facebook marketing is effective is that B2B marketing is not two logos talking to each other. Humans are working with each other in B2B just like in B2C. For example, HubSpot is a B2B company with 200 employees and 3000 customers. HubSpot uses Facebook to build connections and community. They also use Facebook advertising to target people interested in marketing. Their execs and employees are very accessible online through Facebook as well as LinkedIn and Twitter. Cisco is another good example. Cisco has created many pages including games to engage people.
Justin and I both stress the importance of marketers adding Facebook to their overall marketing mix to engage and share content. And, marketers must establish success metrics up front to measure results through relevant metrics.
Inbound Marketing Summit
Justin is also the co-producer of the Inbound Marketing Summit, October 6/7 in Boston. It will be held at Gillette Stadium again, which is the home of the New England Patriots. This year’s content representation will include international speakers, SMB case studies, SEO best practices, location based services (LBS) social networking with an array of speakers across email marketing, stats, search and social media. This will be my third IMS, since the first one in 2008. If you’re going, drop me a note so we can meet up.
You know the drill, these blog post summaries of my podcast interviews don’t capture every word from the podcast. You really should listen to the 20 minute conversation between me and Justin Levy to get it all. Just click the play button above or subscribe to my podcasts in iTunes.