Facebook Marketing

So ok this is a fair enough strategy, however the energy it takes to continually generate new fans is exhausting for a small business as they dont have the massive dollars the larger companies have. The other side to this is that recent studies have shown that only 1% of Facebook Fans actually engage (or communicate with) your brand. Great! Youve now used your marketing budget to attract as many fans as you can afford and only 1% will communicate! It just doesnt feel like a solid strategy.

Taking a backward step here and looking at social media, we need to remember why it is so popular. This is a way for people to connect with each other. Its massive because your voice as an individual can reach places you cant in your smaller circle of friends. It also ads credibility, status (being the first to discover something cool), its a way to stay in touch and retouch with old friends. See the pattern? Its all about ME ME ME and this is perfectly normal human behaviour.

If we wanted to take this into consideration and involve the MEs in our strategy, it would make sense that we would be engaging with our fans. If your thinking thats just common sense, then why do we still see so many companies with posts such as come and stay with us , pay 5 stay 7 nights because were the best or the one I hate the most, like our facebook page.

OK enough with the negative you get the message. So what does work?

1. Create a persona a personality for your business. Remember youre trying to get other humans to connect with your and these humans are interested in your brand be the personality you try and represent in your other media campaigns. If more than one person manages the accounts then agree on a style and voice that best conveys who you are. To demonstrate the difference in personality check out Globe Surf and Wall Street Journal both have content and a voice that engages with their fan/follower. Globe at times will use slang and language based around its own sub culture where the wall street journal would never write things like this Did my dog have asparagus for dinner, dude whizzed on my wetty, almost passed out in the surf This works for Globe find what works for you.

2. Reply to your fans If you successfully connect with your followers via a post AND receive comments back acknowledge that, as this is the perfect opportunity to converse. A way one post by you does not constitute engagement. The other thing to realise here is that Facebook has an algorithm (Edgerank) that puts your post in place of your competitors as a result of the engagement. More people talking about a subject means it is more popular right! makes sense.

3. Frequency and Content what you post and how often can have a big impact. Facebook offers insights which is one tool that can be helpful to determine what posts reach more people. In our experience we find 3 areas work the best. Videos, a photo and posts that talk about events, festivals and smaller intimate nights such as book launches or networking evenings. Mind you the content still has to be relevant.

As for how often this will really be determined by your audience, however to get a good start on things twice a day is safe. Experiment with times of post does the morning before work reach more people or is it later in the evening?Make sure you check out your analytics to see whats working for you.

Just in case youre wondering how you post twice a day at different times and measure the effectiveness get onto Sprout Social and organise an account. Its cheap and the tools you get around the ability to schedule your posts on any day and time are so worth while.

Note: The 1% of facebook fans article on Adage article points our that the engagement strategy is not the be all and end all. Of course the writer is referring the article to larger corporations and in any case there should always be focus on engagement that advocates your brand via word of mouth. It has never been different, even before the social media days. Word of mouth is part of the reason you strive so hard with your customer service, after sales support, quality and image engage away!

QR Codes

Similar to QR Codes is MVS. This is a technology that is currently being developed and stands for Mobile Visual Search. This also allows the user of a smart phone to download an app and take a picture of an article or newspaper (and apparently products) in which your phone will then take you to that page to read more.

What seems to be happening at the moment is that the makers of MVS are trying very hard to discredit the QR movement. This can be dangerous as the QR code lovers are obviously going to come out and have a stab back, then it becomes a pissing war and to be honest we have enough of these with our politicians year round. The unfortunate thing is that your competitor will dig long and hard to find faults and broadcast publicly. So in my reading I have come across a few things that are worth noting down.

The main issue I see with QR codes is not the technology but the use by marketers. Lazy ones will add the QR code to an ad campaign that will take the user to the company website no wonder this is coping flack. Its just plain stupid, boring and not using the technology for its intended purpose. A good example however is a QR code on a bottle of wine that takes me (at the indecisive point in my purchase decision) to a small video of the wine maker explaining the reason this wine works, the type of soil and temperature for the year it was grown and other factors that make it a good wine. (See link below for more good examples particularly the Hienz and Heineken ones )

The same can be said for MVS. Unfortunately I havent had the chance to use this technology apart from a test site (I live in a sleepy little regional area of Queensland that is not know for its IT savvy population), however it looks promising. Testing the Shortcut App by Kooaba, I can see that if I take a picture the app will take me to a pre determined web page in which I can read more or do something. Apparently they also state we will be able to take a photo of a product (such as the wine) and go to that information page.

As with any new technology there are bugs and questions. For example, what happens if I scan a wine and it mistakes it for a competitors? Will it cost to add the images to a database? Who takes the image in the first place and loads it to be recognised can a competitor take a picture of my product and tag it as theirs to re-route traffic? and so on.

So, hopefully what we see is less trashing of each other and more positive promotion around the technology so that it does end up main stream. If there are flaws then let the consumer be the one to voice it and allow the developers to engage and better their products.