After Tuesday’s inspiring keynote by Brian Solis, the Facebook Success Summit continued Wednesday, October 6th, with three fast-paced and information-packed sessions that are summarized here.
Session 1: How To Create a Compelling Facebook Presence That Generates Profits
Presenter: Mari Smith
If you know Mari Smith or have ever had the privilege of hearing her speak, you completely understand why FastCompany calls her the “Pied Piper of Facebook.” She is a gloriously entertaining and when it comes to Facebook, there aren’t many who possess the level of knowledge she’s only too happy to share.
This session was all about making the most of Facebook Fan pages (or as Brian Solis referred to them in his keynote, “Brand Pages”). If you visit Mari’s Facebook Fan page you can see immediately that she knows how to do it right.
- The design strategy for your Fan page needs to clearly address your objectives for having a Facebook Fan page in the first place. Such objectives might include building your email list; driving traffic to your blog; selling more products/services; increasing event registrations; getting media contacts and attention; connecting with joint venture partners; establishing yourself as a leading authority; improving customer service.
- When you create your Facebook Fan page, you need to be very careful about the category and name you select for your page as those cannot be changed.
- Add custom tabs to your Fan page, especially a custom Welcome tab. A recent study has shown that 47% of those who see your Welcome tab as a landing page will Like your page, whereas only 23% will Like your page if they first land on your Facebook wall.
- Currently, custom tab content is created mostly in FBML (Facebook Markup Language), which is similar to HTML but with its own proprietary tags and attributes, or through Facebook Apps. At some point in the near future, Facebook will only allow iframe coding, but they’ve promised they will continue to “grandfather in” any tabs you’ve already set up using FBML.
- Facebook users can Like a Fan page via SMS by texting like yourfanpagename to 32665. Therefore, choosing an easy-to-remember name (custom URL) for your Fan page is paramount. You can only specify a custom URL for your Fan page after you’ve reached 25 Likes for your Fan page.
- A well-designed landing page will accomplish these purposes: Increase conversions, help visitors know immediately they’re in the right place, be inviting and compelling and provide a positive, interactive user experience.
- There are a number of great Facebook Apps you can use to create tabs for your Facebook Fan page. Apps that push content onto your wall (in addition to updating the tab) are better for engagement because that content is more likely to get noticed by your fans because it’s placed in their feed.
- You shouldn’t just post content that’s about you or geared to making a sale on your Fan page. Content sources for your Fan page include blog posts, articles, podcasts, videos, photos, interviews (transcribe) along with other people’s content (OPC) available through email subscriptions, ezines, Friends lists, Twitter lists, etc. Fans appreciate content “curators” as it saves them time and allows them to find a variety of useful content in one place.
- Allow fans to post items. It’s easy enough to remove anything spammy, offensive or off-topic. Respond promptly to Fan comments with personalized comments of your own. Try to provide daily updates to keep your page fresh.
- Conversion strategies may include: regular calls to action, contests, fan-only content, special offers, coupons, etc. If you mix up your content to add sufficient value you’ll find better acceptance of your promotional content.
- Remember that Facebook is just ONE marketing channel. You can use a Fan page as a hub for your content or as an outpost. Use your Fan page to educate your marketplace about all that you do, but be sure to enhance the user experience for your fans in the process.
Session 2: How to Build and Manage a Loyal Facebook Fan Base
Presenters: Amy Porterfield and Cindy King
Amy and Cindy (along with Michael Stelzner) are the core team behind the highly successful Social Media Examiner Facebook Fan page. The session was all about sharing what they do that makes their Facebook presence (18,546 fans and counting) so successful, as well as tips for creating Facebook editorial guidelines and creating a strong Facebook team. They covered an awful lot of information in a very short period of time.
- You need to create fan engagement. Ways to do so include:
- Respond to every post using first names and greeting fans as friends.
- Ask questions regularly to get interactions both you and your fans want.
- Post third-party articles and encourage feedback from your fans, by leading into the post with a question.
- Strategically tag fans to give shout outs but use carefully: You don’t wan to come off as too pushy, too loud or too promotional.
- Decide how best to respond to negative comments but don’t ignore them – they only get worse. Be friendly, explain what’s going on and then move on.
- Decide how to respond to off-topic comments. If you don’t know the answer, try to point them in a direction to get the information they seek.
- Promoting your page. You can promote your page through tabs, sneak peeks, testimonials and reviews. Keep in mind:
- Facebook is a place to network and connect first; Always think of “value-add” before you promote.
- You want to get fans interacting with each other. Make these experiences unique to your brand and of great value to your fans to build community.
- Be consistent and do updates regularly. This will make your page “sticky” and fans will continue to come back.
- Outside of Facebook, use the Like button and other widgets on your site/blog. Link to your Facebook page from your other social media platforms. Use tools such as the Wibya toolbar. Promote your Facebook page offline too.
- Tips for establishing editorial guidelines:
- Keep posts short and to the point. Use headlines that grab attention fast.
- End most posts with questions or an engaging call to action.
- Using multiple admins for your Fan page is a good thing as it enables and enhances research development and collaboration, but if using multiple admins be sure they identify themselves in comment responses.
- Use common sense in moderating comments and wall posts. Fix the facts, correct wrong or misleading information and avoid potential legal issues.
- Encourage sharing and conversation. Remember to strive first for social success and not marketing success. Use your people skills and be empathetic. Create entertaining games and/or use entertaining apps to create multiple ways fans can interact with you on Facebook.
- Encourage others to Like your updates and Like and comment on updates yourself as they are posted.
- Network to build your community. Tag people, share other people’s links, reach out and acknowledge fans on other social media platforms.
- How to create a strong Facebook team:
- As your Fan page grows, you may need more than one person as an admin.
- Educate your team and distribute tasks. Write easy to follow guidelines. Be flexible in order to adapt to your audience
and adapt as Facebook and other forms of social media evolve.
- The ideal community manager is a natural communicator; problem solver; enjoys people; good listener; professional; has a positive attitude and is enthusiastic.
- The ideal community manager should have a solid understanding of social networking and be social media savvy; have the ability to multi-task and think quickly; understand online marketing and have the ability to grasp how social media activity aligns with business goals.
Session 3: Leveraging the Power of Facebook Advertising
Presenters: Chris Treadaway
Treadaway is the co-author of Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day and has extensive experience with helping brands with their Facebook advertising.
- Facebook ads give you access to hundreds of millions of people. You can push customers to a page, contest, your web site – more or less whatever you want, allowing you to create demand.
- Facebook advertising is available to all regardless of budget. You can start with an ad spend of as little as $1 per day.
- Facebook advertising is a fast and effective way to learn more about your customers and how they respond to your advertising.
- Google, LinkedIn and Twitter are alternative social media ad outlets, but: Google is a mature auction model that’s 9 years old and users have bid up costs for keywords. LinkedIn direct ads have a CPM that’s can be 10 times or more the CPM of Facebook ads, yet Treadaway has yet to see what he would call an effective LinkedIn ad campaign. Twitter advertising has just been made available, but by its nature will only be able to offer limited ad criteria.
- Facebook offers surgically precise ad targeting options based on geography, demographics, interests, language, education level, those who are not yet “Likers” of your or your competitors Fan page and more (not already connected to something). Facebook provides estimated reach and cost numbers based on your targeting.
- Because Facebook user information is provided by users themselves, targeting information may not be entirely accurate or may be missing. Therefore, it can sometimes be wise to include a wider target in your ad campaign.
- Facebook has finicky ad copy regulations and your ads may be rejected without a reason. Additionally, advertisers cannot yet target a user’s status updates and there is currently no mobile advertising or targeting available, although many of these features may be added in the not-too-distant future.
- There are two types of Facebook ads: Self-Serve and Sponsored. Main differences are cost and ad placement. Self-Serve ads can be based on cost per impression (CPM) or cost-per-click (CPC) and are ideal for small budgets. Sponsored ads have a +/- $5,000 minimum ad spend per month. Sponsored ad buys are negotiated directly with Facebook Ad Sales staff and are geared to large corporations. Targeting criteria is the same for both Self-Serve and Sponsored ads.
- Like other forms of advertising, Facebook advertising is an iterative process. You need to set up the ads, run ads on at least a seven-day cycle before judging their effectiveness, scrutinize your results and make adjustments.
- A/B and multi-variate ad testing are used with Facebook advertising the same way as they are used in search and other types of advertising. Both forms of testing are valuable for getting the most out of your Facebook ad campaigns.
Did you attend any of these sessions of the Facebook Success Summit 2010? If so, what were your takeaways? If not, what are your thoughts on the future of Facebook and your experiences with using Facebook and other forms of social media marketing as a marketing tool?