Using Social Media to Optimize Your Email Marketing, Part II: 5 Steps to Facebook Success

Last month we gave you tips on how to use Twitter to optimize your email-marketing program. In Part II of this two-part series, we switch the focus to Facebook. With more than 400 million active users — half of whom log on during any given day — Facebook is another great social networking tool that can be used to help boost the results of your email-marketing efforts. Here we share 5 steps to Facebook success.

Facebook Isn’t Just for College Kids Anymore

Facebook is a social networking Web site that lets users create profiles — including photographs, videos, personal interests, and contact information — that they can share with their Facebook “friends.” Founded by Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg and his college roommates in 2004, Facebook originally limited its membership to Harvard students. It was soon expanded to include students at other Ivy League universities and Stanford, then to all other college students, and eventually anyone over 13 years of age with a valid email address.

Although it started out as a college social network, Facebook has become truly intergenerational with currently 60% of users 26 years and older and almost 20% of users 45 and older. According to a recent study by Pingdom — an uptime server and Web site performance monitoring service — the average Facebook user is now 38 years old.

So how can you tap this huge market and effectively use it to improve your email-marketing results? We suggest a 5-step strategy to get you started.

Step 1: Create a Facebook Page.
The first step involves setting up a Facebook Page for your company at http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. Simply fill in the Facebook Page information form online to tell people about your business, products, and services. Until April 2010, these pages were called “Fan Pages.” To become a “Fan” of your page, users would click on the “Fan” link. Then any information and updates you put on your Facebook Page would show up in the newsfeed of your fans’ Facebook home pages. In addition, their personal profiles included a list of the companies they were fans of. Last month, however, Facebook changed the terminology from “Fan” to “Like.” So now when you check out a Facebook friend’s profile, you’ll see they “Like” certain companies.

Step 2: Use Your Facebook Page to Help Build Your Email List.
A Facebook Page is a great way to get the word out about your company to a whole new audience, drive people to your Web site, as well as collect names and email addresses of potential customers. Keep in mind that once people “like” your Facebook Page, all of their Facebook friends can see that in their profile. This can often attract even more traffic to your page. That’s why you should be sure your Facebook Page communicates everything that’s important about your company including:

  • Overview of the company and its products and services
  • Contact information
  • Link to your company’s Web site
  • Press releases
  • Company news
  • Customer feedback
  • Email list and/or email newsletter sign up.

Step 3: Promote Your Facebook Page in Email Communications.
In addition to letting everyone know about your company and email newsletter through your Facebook Page, letting them know that you have a Facebook Page also is important. So include a Facebook link in all your company’s correspondence including:

  • promotional emails
  • email newsletters
  • event announcements
  • email signatures.

Step 4: Run Special Facebook Promotions as Incentives.
Getting people to like your Facebook Pages isn’t the same as “friending” people from your personal Facebook profile. People must choose to “like” your page. So besides simply telling people about your Facebook Page, give them an incentive to visit and hit the “like” link. Using other marketing channels — including email campaigns and other social networks like Twitter — you can promote specials available exclusively through Facebook, such as:

  • contests
  • coupons
  • white papers
  • discounts
  • free shipping.

Step 5: Keep Your Facebook Content Fresh and Relevant.
Make sure people have a reason to continue to pay attention to your Facebook Page by adding fresh and relevant content regularly. As in any marketing effort, you have to provide something of interest and value to your audience. Some ways to engage your Facebook following include:

  • Individually interact with people who “like” your business.
  • Use photos and videos to grab people’s attention in your Facebook Page updates.
  • Run surveys to encourage people to interact with your page.
  • Be careful not to bombard people with too many “spammy” marketing messages.
  • Provide company news updates, information about new promotions, and links to your latest email newsletter articles.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how to use Facebook to help improve your email marketing efforts, we can help. Click here or give us a call today at 215-489-1931. Plus, check out the FulcrumTech Facebook Page. And if you’re a Facebook user, click on the “Like” link to keep up with latest at FulcrumTech.

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