#1 Start with a clear Mission
Your business success should start with your clear mission. Why are you on Facebook, what do you offer and who do you want to attract? Your mission is a powerful driving force for your business. It makes clear to everyone -prospects, customers and employees- what your company is all about. So start by asking yourself: why does your company exist?
A lot of well known brands have proven to be very successful with a clear mission. Think about Apple. When Steve Jobs started his company, he had a clear goal: “to challenge the status quo”. We have all witnessed his dream come true. Unfortunately, he’s no longer with us to enjoy his success, but his legacy still is.
1-800-Flowers.com is another great example. This retail florist shop -founded by Jim McCann in 1976- has a great mission that proofs to be very successful: “to help you express yourself with the important people in your life”.
So, before you even think about Facebook, you should know what you offer and how it will help to solve people’s problems or fulfill their desires. You might want to read “3 things you need to stand out on Facebook” (via Facebook and Business) to work on your own goals first.
#2 Take Mari Smith’s 6 social vitamin C’s
Mari Smith -a social media leader and someone I admire as a top professional- talked about 6 C’s in her Facebook Success Summit presentation this year. My advice, take your 6 social vitamin C’s daily and make sure everyone else in your team does too. Read on to discover Mari’s 6 C’s and how you can use them for your Facebook success:
#3 Get your content shared
“Share is to Facebook as Retweet is to Twitter!”, a famous quote by Mari Smith.
What makes your content go viral? That’s the million dollar question, every internet marketer should be working on. There are no guarantees as to the virality of your content.
Good news however is, there are some basic rules: keep it short (80 characters get more shares), vary your content (audio, photos, video, links), respond to people that share your content with a like, ask questions, make it fun or learn what people like by visiting other fan pages related to your niche. This great article by Mari Smith will certainly help you with increasing your number of shares “7 Ways to craft your Facebook posts for maximum shares“.
#4 Experiment, test and track your results
When it comes to a successful Facebook marketing strategy, one size does not fit all. The golden rule is: experiment, test and track your results. Think about experimenting with the frequency of your posts. Some say you should limit your updates to 3-5 times per day. Others say, it depends on your audience and your brand. I’d say, start with 3-5 times per day and see what happens if you increase the number to 4, 5 or 6 per day.
Experiment with different time zones. Use all kinds of content (photo, video, links) and don’t forget a call to action: “Click Like if you agree” or “”Add your thoughts in the comments below”. To learn more about Facebook insights, read “Why Facebook still beats Google+ with insights“.
#5 Monitor other successful fan pages
A lot of big consumer brands -like Coca Cola, Disney, Starbucks or Skittles- are doing extremely well on Facebook. In fact they are in the top 50 of branded Facebook pages.
Monitor these fan pages and visit a lot of other pages and see what type of content gets a lot of shares. Study their branding: their welcome tab, wall picture, tagline, calls to action, photos in the header, the about section, the featured pages they like and the applications they use. Go to Facebook pages to learn from other brand pages.
Your goal should never be to be good at Facebook -unless you teach Facebook to others- but to be good at business because of Facebook. It all starts with working on a well thought out marketing strategy. Follow these 5 steps, experiment, test and track your results. And remember, social platforms like Facebook offer a lot of new opportunities for everybody, but it takes time to get results. So, be patient and work with people who understand this. Here’s to your best 2012 ever.
Bonus: here’s another great article 10 Ways to Grow Your Facebook Page Following.
Are you looking forward to 2012? What would make 2012 your best year ever? Please, share your thoughts in the comment box below.
Juan is also the senior editor and contributing author of Nieuwe Media Gids. An online magazine to support Dutch entrepreneurs and marketers with new media marketing.
Juan writes for one of the 4 major magazines in the US, fb&business, where he shares his latest insights on Facebook for business.
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