It doesn’t matter what kind of business you have, work for or are planning to start, having a presence on Facebook should be a primary piece of your social media strategy.
Facebook gives you a chance to connect with your customers over the long term. It provides you with a chance to draw them closer to your brand because they can learn about your day to day activities through their newsfeed. Facebook gives you a chance to build customer loyalty while also allowing you to develop an authentic personal relationship with your customer.
But how do you get them?
Some people will suggest that you run a contest. Others will suggest that you spend your entire budget on advertising. While both of these suggestions are good ones when implemented properly, you have to be careful about how much you pour into paid tactics without any idea of the returns.
The point here is simple. Before you start diving into things that cost money you need to dive into things that cost time. If time is money, here is an easy and very effective approach to better connecting with consumers. They call it Facebook Open Graph. It’s without question one of the best opportunities for brands and consumers and often times one key piece in the Facebook mix that is often overlooked. Enjoy:
The like button has become an extremely popular button around the globe. Whether I’m in Canada or Belgium, I come across the iconic like button in the storefronts of businesses everywhere. Today, when you visit a website not only can you expect to see the like button but also the share button. A feature that allows you to share content with users via your timeline, a page you manage, in a message or in a group.
TechCrunch is a great example of a website that understands the importance of integrating open graph with their content. TechCrunch is a news site with a strong focus on maximizing content shares and on optimizing their value once shared. They currently provide the option to Like, Share, Tweet, Email and Comment. They also allow users to submit the story to bookmarking services and to get email alerts.
If a user is not logged in when they attempt to “share” or “like” a post they will be met with a Facebook lightbox that will ask them to sign in before using the share features. From there, TechCrunch takes it a step further by adding the Facebook commenting plugin to provide users with ongoing conversation that will generate notifications via Facebook if their comment receives a response or that article generates an additional comment. This keeps the user engaged with the article even once they have gone on to do other things.
If a user is already connected to the site using Facebook – Facebook will recognize their authentication and show the user a key call to action depending on whether the button integrated on the site is a like or a share. If it is a like the owner of the site has the option of showing a Like button that displays the names of friends who have already liked the content and possible their photos if that is the option they selected. Below is an example of the standard usage of Open Graph on IMBD.
Once a user presses this button it is automatically shared on their Timeline and on their friends newsfeeds. It presents brands and organizations a chance to not only spread their story into new audiences but also empower consumers who are true brand advocates. To utilize these tools you will need to visit the Facebook Plugins section and follow the easy steps to add the HTML into your website.
When you do this you’re going to have to keep in mind that you’re not limited to the verbs “Share”, “Like” and “Recommend”. Facebook has recently announced even more customization that will allow your brand to take your consumer interaction and integration to the next level. Users will soon be able to click “Watched” this movie or show that they “want” this pair of sunglasses.
Facebook is still the most dominant social network online. It’s important more than ever for marketers, business owners and students to stay up to date with this network. Whether you’re learning about Facebook marketing tactics that can help take your business to the next level or a simply a Guide on SEO for Facebook – Self education is key. Check out some of these links and be sure to keep up to date with All Things Facebook.
This is a guest post from Ross Simmonds, Digital Marketer and Speaker. He spends his days working in advertising and his nights working on a start-up that designs and delivers things to do for young professionals. Ross has been in digital marketing for close to five years and you can follow more of his content on his blog: www.RossSimmonds.com.