We sometimes forget people were social before social media came along; thinking of relationships as independent of technology can strengthen your business strategy.
With that in mind, here’s how to achieve three key marketing objectives.
Driving awareness requires you to reach as many relevant users as possible. People usually have strong ties to only a handful of their connections, but social media has considerably increased reach — the average user has 140 connections, up from about 100 a year ago.
Users may not always value purchasing advice from every single one of their connections, but if friends share content, people are most likely to see it.
And if the content is appealing, users are most likely to click it. This applies especially to videos.
A great way to drive awareness is to create videos that people want to share. Sharing content on Facebook does not always feel as instinctive as liking or commenting, so the video must be compelling.
Generating sales requires that you tap into a much different social network structure.
As Paul Adams, a product development manager at Facebook, points out, people talk to the same five to ten people 80 percent of the time. People are tightly connected to five small groups, on average, with which they share a common interest or affinity.
Influence can be so strong between these few connections that it can actually generate sales. To generate sales via social media, create very exclusive offers rather than pitching the same stuff to everyone at once.
This way, users are incentivized to share them with their most relevant and trusted connections. Doing so will maximize your sales.
Increasing loyalty is another very valuable way to leverage social media.
Promote your Facebook page wherever you have access to your customers, so that they like it (of course, this can be offline). Then, provide these customers with engaging content that will start a conversation between your customers, their friends and your brand.
Since the objective here is to start a conversation, this content should be more about your customers than about you.
Getting your customers to engage with your content is crucial. It will deepen your relationship with them and increase their loyalty. It will also turn your customers into your best advocates and your most valuable assets in social media.
In short, Facebook can help you achieve key marketing objectives with unprecedented results. But you should not try to apply old media strategies to social media.
Instead, brands on Facebook should see themselves as regular users, and provide valuable input to start conversations around their content. Ultimately, this will help you boost sales.