Posted by Micheline Sabatté, Product Marketing Manager, Paid Search & Performance Media
So far in our special three-part series on Creating a Content Strategy for Your Facebook Page, we have discussed how to Define Your Audience (Part 1) and how to Select Content Producers to Keep Information Current (Part 2) so that your Facebook page provides relevant and engaging content to encourage people to become your fans. In today’s final post in the series, we will focus on how the Facebook Page tools and features allow marketers to take advantage of the social factor and power of social influencers, allowing them to become your brand ambassadors.
The Wall: Like, Comment and Share
The new Facebook Page features a wall that is similar to the wall that appears on individual profile pages or the news feed on a user’s home page. Anytime someone posts a link, video or status update/message, users have the ability to “like,” “comment,” or “share.” These small interactions can help draw attention to messages or can help encourage users to spread these messages and updates with others. Therefore, it is important to produce content that encourages people to comment or share with their friends.
The Value of a Facebook Fan
When people become fans of your Facebook Page, they have raised their hand to say that they endorse your brand and, in doing so, automatically serve as your brand ambassador. To leverage that fan endorsement, Performics runs social media campaigns on Facebook for our clients. We optimize social media ads to perform just like we do in paid search by applying our core skill set and expertise in bidded, pay-per-click media and micro-targeting to manage social ad campaigns on Facebook.
If your Facebook Page has fans, we can turn on the option to enable social actions on your social ads campaign. This means that we’re leveraging the social factor and influence by turning on social actions. When ads appear to a user and that user’s friend is a fan of the brand’s Page, then the friend’s name appears at the top of the social ad. For example, let’s say Peter Smith is a fan of Performics. If I am Peter’s friend and I am being targeted to receive an ad for Performics, I will see “Peter Smith is a fan of Performics” and his profile picture above the Performics social ad. If I do not have any friends that are fans of Performics (which will never be the case!) then I would just see the Performics ad without the fan endorsement.
When ads show my friend’s profile picture and name above the ad, I tend to look more closely at them. When one of my friends is connected to the brand producing an ad, it appears as if my friend is recommending that brand. But do these ads perform better because friends are portrayed as endorsing them? Here at Performics, we wanted to find that out.
When Performics enabled social actions for a Facebook campaign for Chicago-based T-shirt retailer Threadless, conversion rates performed 11.25 times higher than ads without social actions enabled. At the time of the campaign, Threadless had 30,416 fans on their Facebook Page. These results indicate that fan endorsements can help Facebook social ads perform better, suggesting that there is value in growing your Facebook fan base. According to Facebook’s published statistics, the average user has 120 friends on Facebook and more than 4 million users become fans of Pages on Facebook each day. Therefore, there is an opportunity to better penetrate a fan’s social graph by enabling social actions on social ads by using brand ambassadors to promote your message.
In addition to your Page and social action-enabled Facebook ads, any status updates that you push out can appear on your fan’s home page news feed. This area is called the Stream. Users have the ability to customize their Stream and organize the updates they want to see. Brands can push out their messages, adding another touchpoint in the marketing mix.
However, like all marketing messages, it is important to not abuse this feature. According to research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau in the U.K., “marketers will need to work harder and keep innovating if they want to harness the consumer power of social networks and persuade people to join their sponsored sites or pages.” Emma Hall’s article in Advertising Age “How to Get the Most Out of Social Networks and Not Annoy Users (April 27, 2009), reminds marketers that these social networking messages should be strategic so that they are not perceived as SPAM. All in all, this refers back to our original point about the importance of understanding the needs of your audience and creating content that is relevant to them.
Having a Facebook Fan Page can require a significant investment of time, coordination and resources. If you have just launched a Page and are not seeing the traction that you were expecting, then take a good look at the type of content you are posting to your Page. Does it meet the needs of your key audiences? Is it meaningful and relevant to them? Does it provide fun and engaging content that would encourage them to “like” it or “comment” on it? Does it have a specific call-to-action (CTA) that drives people to your Web site for more information or to buy your product? Does it offer a benefit or “sweetener” to encourage your customers to keep coming back and visit your Page on a regular basis?
By understanding the content that your customers are seeking, and keeping information fresh and current, you will begin to see traction on your Facebook Page. Having a steady stream of participation from your fans relies on your ability to execute on a comprehensive content strategy and to take advantage of the tools that enable your Page to leverage the social factor.