Friday, August 12, 2011

Facebook Pages - Tips to make it an Effective Marketing platform

Facebook pages offers an effective tool for brands to connect with their consumers on a medium they use the most. But are they using it properly ?
Facebook as a media offers marketers a medium to reach their audience where they spend most of their time. It is a useful way for information dissemination and a source for customer intelligence gathering. After reviewing Facebook and research on virtual communities, I have come up with 5 tips that make Facebook pages successful.
1. Engaging users on Facebook page: Marketers did a lot of hard work to increase the fanbase of Facebook pages. Now that they've reached a landmark and are striving hard to add more fans, its time to engage the users. The bottom line of this tip is to keep your facebook page user committed to the page.Engaging your page through contests and games can make your page stand out among other pages. After all going away from your page to a competitor's Facebook page is just a click away.
2. Adding value to the brand: A shampoo brand should not try to be an MTV. The page should reflect the identity of the brand. The activities and updates should not be tangent to the core concept of the brand.
3. Give a reason to recommend the page: Recommending your brand's Facebook page is similar to e-Word of Mouth. Why should the user share your updates on his or her profile. Each update has to be crafted so that it matches the identity of your user base.
4. Give personal attention: People are social actors. For a media like Facebook, which has a user base larger than a couple of countries, it is important to give the personal touch. If personal touch is impossible, try to give a WOW factor to the communities or localities within your page. You can start an update such as "To all late risers..." or "To all high school students...". The importance of targeting these smaller subsections of your larger fan base is that the moment anyone reads this and is a high-school student or a late riser, he/she will have a greater propensity to read it and subsequently share it.
5. Getting Customer intelligence: Customer intelligence is different from customer data. Facebook gives you a platform to creatively design updates, quizzes and games to get feedback about your product. For instance, "what do people think about your latest change in design...?"

Facebook is about creative usage of the space given. Despite the apparent "cost-effectiveness" of the medium, brands are believing in spending more dollars than more creativity. Dollars will get you more social actors, but will not make them committed to your Facebook page.