Data on the percentage of small businesses that are using Social Media varies by source. But one thing is for sure – it’s becoming an essential marketing tool for businesses of all sizes. 51% of consumers state that they are more likely to buy a product from a company they have Liked on Facebook. Small businesses are taking to Social Media to attract new business and connect with customers – but recent surveys suggest they might be missing the mark when it comes to the best tactics.
The biggest mistake most small businesses make is they focus too much on the social stats (i.e. numbers of Fans) and not enough on getting the customer into your store. Last month I explained that there were three basic approaches for local small business to benefit from using Facebook as a marketing tool. We then looked at the first method, Word of Mouth Advertising. In this month’s article we will take a look at the next two Branding and Lead Generation.
This is the most talked about aspect of Facebook marketing, and one that I believe that most jewelers do not utilize properly. A company’s Facebook page is more about preaching to the converted than getting new converts. Research finds that 84% of Facebook page Fans are existing customers. This leaves brands primarily marketing to their own fans. It’s more like a customer relationship management program or loyalty program rather than a customer-acquisition tool for most companies.
It is always easier and cheaper to get current customers back into your store than to reach out to new customers who have not heard of you before. And what surveys show Facebook Fans want from brands are the sorts of things loyalty programs typically deliver – special offers, access to members-only events or programs and advance word on new products.
First you need to get as many of your current customers as possible to become Fans of your Facebook page. Next you need to post at least daily on Facebook with relevant, related content that your customers would be interested in. Content only stays in your Fans’ Needs Feed for a limited amount of time. If you post on Tuesday and your customer doesn’t log onto Facebook until Wednesday, they will not see your post from Tuesday. You need to be posting on Facebook every time your customers may be on Facebook especially in the evening and weekends when most people are on Facebook.
And then you need to give them a reason to come back into your store with some type of Loyalty Program or Facebook Only Specials. Setting up a monthly In-Store Only coupon is a great way to do this. It doesn’t have to be expensive. A coupon for 5% or $10 off repairs this month, or 10% off that month’s birthstone. They need to be a Fan of your page to see the coupon and need to either print out the coupon or show you the coupon on their phone to receive it.
A recent study of over 1,000 small business showed that businesses believe the most important aspect of Facebook Marketing was Brand awareness, however when they surveyed consumers of those businesses the number one thing they were looking for was a coupon, discount, or special offer.
Results According to Small
- Wall Posts 51%
- Special Offers and Discounts 10%
- Likes 6%
Results According to
- Special Offers and Discounts 37%
- Wall Posts 18%
- Likes 9%
The Lesson: Special Offers trump Wall Posts in winning customers.
For small businesses on Facebook, marketing to new customers is a popular goal. However, they may have it wrong when it comes to the best ways to target new customers. Many business owners confuse Leads with Fans. Fans are not a Lead unless you gather their information, and not all Leads should become Fans.
Forcing Leads to become Fans can have a detrimental effect on your Facebook Page. Creating a “Status Update” and getting it into your Fan’s Newsfeed is critical to ‘Word of Mouth’ and ‘Branding’ on Facebook. Facebook uses an algorithm call “EdgeRank” to place status updates in the newsfeed. One of the most important items in EdgeRank is the percentage of Fans that interact with your posts.
FanGating is a popular process used on Facebook pages. This forces a person to become a fan before they can see your content. Some leads will become great fans, but the majority of them just want to see your special offer and may never respond to anything you post. Having too many of these “fans” will ultimately block any of your status updates from getting into the news feeds of your real fans.
To use your Facebook Business Page to generate leads you must create a special landing tab. A common misconception is circulating that you can no longer have landing tabs on your Facebook Business Page after the March 2012 updates. The truth is you can still create landing tabs just like before. The only difference is that now you cannot make these landing tabs the default tabs new people automatically go to. Now your default landing tab is always your Timeline. However, you can create a new landing tab and link to it, send people directly to it. You can do this through Facebook Ads, e-mails, or any other advertising you do.
On this landing tab you need to create a form to gather information about the prospect. At a minimum I would suggest:
- City, State, Zip
- E-mail Address
You can gather other information or ask questions such as: How often do you buy jewelry? Do you buy jewelry for yourself or for a gift for others? etc. The form can have blanks for them to fill out or multiple choice answers for them to check off. Just remember the more things they have to fill out the less people will enter.
Facebook Advertising, Contests, and Sweepstakes are all great ways to reach new prospects in your community and are the primary methods used to generate leads on Facebook.
Because Facebook has in their database all the personal profile information of all their users, it is a great platform for directing your advertising message to a targeted group of potential buyers. Facebook will not give you the information they have (you cannot buy a ‘mailing list’ from them) but they will use it to target your message.
For example, at Christmas time you can create an ad specific for buying one’s wife a Christmas present and target it to only be seen by men who are married and live within 50 miles of your store. You could also run a similar ad for gifts for girlfriends targeting men who are in a relationship. You could also run different ads for different age groups with pictures of jewelry to fit that age group’s fashion preference.
With the advanced demographics that Facebook offers, you can create specific campaigns with a unique landing page for each demographic you target. Then create ads designed to draw your target audience in linking to the landing page you created for them.
A Facebook Contest is where people enter and others vote on their entry, such as a Cutest Couple, or a Best Mom contest. After entering, the person promotes their entry (and your Facebook Page) to all their friends asking them to vote for them, and the person with the most votes wins your prize.
You set-up your contest with an entry form asking for their contact information which you gather and is not shared to the public. Also on the form is a place for them to upload a picture and description which is shared and becomes the basis for voting.
One of the biggest mistakes I see businesses make when holding a Facebook Contest is that they FanGate the voting process. People who come to your Facebook page are interested in voting for their friend and do not necessarily care about your business. Your page’s Like button is always displayed at the top of your page. Anyone who is interested can Like your page and become a Fan. However, forcing them to like your page in order to vote will get you a lot of fans, but those fans, as already stated, can do your page more harm than good.
Use your Facebook Contest to gather prospect information from those who enter and build a lot of activity and interaction on your page. But leave it to those who truly want to become fans to go the extra step to like your page and don’t force everyone to do so.
Facebook Sweepstakes are like a drawing and one of the best opportunities to generate leads on Facebook. With the Sweepstakes you offer some type of prize and people enter providing you their contact information and then at the time specified you randomly select a winner.
For example, one of the most popular Sweepstakes for jewelers is for Engagement Rings. You offer a grand prize such as $1,000 off a custom engagement ring or wedding rings to be drawn at a future date. Everyone who enters the Sweepstakes receives a smaller prize such as $100 off a custom engagement ring design. To enter the Sweepstakes the person has to enter data such as name, address, phone number, e-mail, etc. and you can also add items such as planned wedding date, or other information.
You can set the Sweepstakes so that X number of people must enter before the grand prize winner is selected. This will protect you from having to present a large prize after only generating a couple of leads. Then you set-up Facebook Ads reaching out to your geographical area to men who are “In a Relationship”.
You then receive the information on all those who enter to follow-up with to make an appointment to come into your store to have their engagement ring designed. If they finish their engagement ring before the drawing they can always apply the grand prize to their wedding rings if they win.
To learn more about Facebook and how to use it to market your jewelry store, Brad and Debbie Simon have developed a new website “Facebook for Jewelers” at http://FBforJewelers.com. This website contains Step-By-Step video tutorials, a library of training articles, a quarterly newsletter, webinars, and more. It’s everything you want to know about Facebook but did not know who to ask!