About the Author: Jason Small is a digital marketer with 10+ years of digital experience working with 20+ brands via various agency roles. Small's expertise includes broad digital strategy, social media strategy, SEO, website design and development and he has led teams to produce results for brands online such as Peoples Choice Awards, ChapStick, Centrum, Dial, Honeywell, Renuzit, Castrol, Sears, Hertz, CoverGirl, John Deere, Advil, ThermaCare and more. As Director of Strategic Partnerships and Business Development for a fifty-person startup, Small led initiatives uniting value propositions and technology across 10+ companies while generating press in trades like TechCrunch and the Wall Street Journal.
That said, I was surprised to see some other things – not shocked, just pleasantly surprised. Like the fact that the local statue of the Jolly Green Giant (a main attraction of this small town – population of under 10K) was already tagged several times in Foursquare by some travelers stopping to visit. I put this in my presentation to demonstrate how things are already happening ‘around’ them and it’s important to make sure they know where to start listening. Foursquare has a long way to go, if and when it becomes a full-fledged marketing option for businesses in the mid-west (but it continues to grow quite nicely), but it’s exciting to see just how fast some of these things are rippling across people and places.
Back to my main point – starting growing and planning your fan page. So, I laid out a structured plan in order to break down the effort into tangible ‘thought-starters’ for the group. I placed our focus on Facebook (Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn on hold) since obviously Facebook is the clear leader and holds the most potential for the industries that were present at my seminar.
The building blocks of your fan page are laid out below – plan wisely and you will find yourself with a clear method and schedule to translate into actionable steps.
1. Set a fan goal for your fan page. How may fans do you want, and by when? How can you hit a target if you don’t know what it is? To gauge your expectations, ask yourself these additional questions: How are my competitors doing? How realistic is my goal?
2. Make sure you clearly understand the ‘purpose’ of your fan page from two perspectives: your fans perspectives (what are they getting of value, that makes fanning your page worthwhile?) and your perspective (what is the ultimate goal of having these fans? Conversions into sales? Word of mouth and traffic to your website? You have to know why someone would fan it, and why you would want them to be a fan before you begin.
3. Create a Conversational Calendar: What wall post are you going to publish and when? Are you going to cycle creative and content on your fan page tabs? What is the overall tone and what is the theme of the page throughout the cycle of a year?
Plan your entire year in wall posts, themed around any seasonality in your business cycle and around any other activity you are planning for your fan page. Literally, write every wall post out and the dates you will publish them.
Facebook Tip: You can post your status updates using geographical targeting and even language targeting. Just go to your wall and put your cursor in the status update field. Then click on the ‘Everyone’ drop down box next to the ‘Share’ button, and choose ‘customize.’ Type in the location or language and Facebook will only post your status update to users who have selected that location or language in their personal profiles.
4. Plan Promotions: People love free stuff. Coupons, giveaways, instant wins – this is what gets the ball rolling. Not a huge brand? Use something like wildfire.com or fanappz.com – these are about as user-friendly as is possible in Facebook and for a very low cost of entry, they give small businesses some easy ways to leverage the viral nature of Facebook. Perhaps you are a horse magazine – leverage your advertisers and combine your efforts by offering a ‘free weekend package’ that your demographic would find highly valuable. It’s a win/win – you get more fans, your advertiser gets some promotion and one lucky fan gets a package. Highly targeted, and a very low cost of execution.
Plan your promotions on a calendar – when they will start, and end. Maximize the value of the package and promotion by announcing the winner on your fan page (get permission from the individual first, of course) to prove to your fans that there was a winner and the promotion was valid. Measure the success of your promotion based on the fans acquired, and revise your promotional strategy accordingly. Be sure to adhere to Facebook’s promotional guidelines.
5. Create a Landing Tab: This may be cost-prohibitive to small businesses, but it is a must for brands. A Landing Tab is a custom tab that should be seen by non-fans, encouraging them to ‘like’ your fan page. You can go into your admin settings to alter the default landing tab for non-fans from the wall to any tab you like. Build a landing tab that offers an incentive for fanning, such as “Fan us now to stay up to date on the latest social media news and then register to win a free subscription to Website Magazine!”
Make sure you also create a ‘landing tab’ for fans, so that when they come to your page you can cycle through specific offers (coupons, etc) instead of dumping them straight to the wall.
6. Create and run Facebook Ads: If you have the budget (any budget – even $40 a month can help) Facebook gives you the ability to micro-target in so many great ways that your money is well-spent if you take the time to filter your target audience. In other words, since Facebook collects so much data you can specify criteria that will filter those who see your ad by geography, sex, occupation, education level and much more. That means that you are going to get highly-relevant ‘clicks’ on your ads – which should channel the ‘clickee’ to your fan page. This is similar to Google Adwords, but the criteria available to filter your target audience in Facebook is much more robust than Google Adwords.
Try different ads, see what works. If you are worried about ‘blowing you budget’ too quickly – make sure you get more specific in your ads. It will tell exactly how many people will see your add (a great feature Google doesn’t have).
Social Media and the Big W
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