There’s no doubt about it, Facebook is a tour de force in online marketing. Just ask the investors who bought shares when the social networking company made its first public offer, or the host of small retailers who made Facebook their primary home.
Here, I'm sharing my four favorite Facebook marketing techniques and how you can replicate them for your own business.
Follow and win
One of the most basic marketing activities on social networking sites, Follow and Win is aimed at getting as many people into your company's network. The mechanics are simple: Everyone who likes a Facebook page will get a chance to win a prize.
This activity is deceptively simple, asking the target audience to go on a one-step process to win. However, I have found that this is very effective in increasing the reach of any person or company because each new follower that I get also allows me to reach his or her friends, making them a captive audience to all my social marketing activities.
I recommend running these marketing activity regularly on various social media platforms to ensure the continued growth of your networks.
This is a very simple, but very effective marketing activity on Facebook. This entails uploading a photo, then asking all your followers to share the photo and tag a couple of their friends—the exact number depending on your discretion—for a chance to win a prize. When I use this activity on my company's social media accounts, the contest photo usually consists of a montage of prizes, usually consisting of the products that my company sells. I ask my followers to tag their friends on the item that they want.
Aside from the obvious exposure of the products, the Share-and-tag method also triggers my followers’ and their friends' desire for the prizes. A frenzy of activity on the Facebook account then ensues, ensuring that the original photo stays popular on the timelines and individual pages of my followers, their friends, and their friends' friends. The best part: this method makes for very engaged followers, which fosters a more amiable relationship between them and my company.
Quiz on social
This one takes a little bit more planning than the first two, and requires constant monitoring and engagement on the side of your company's Facebook page administrators. This is exactly what it says, a contest that takes the form of a quiz. This can be a single question or a series of questions (sometimes spread over a few days) that participants must answer correctly to win a prize.
Because it takes a bit more planning, I tend to use this marketing method sparingly. I recommend running quizzes on social only when you need to highlight a new product feature or a special technical service that you want your customers to fully understand or use.
Choose your cause
This social networking activity is a great one to run if you have a budget for supporting a cause or an advocacy—maybe as part of your corporate social responsibility—and you want to create goodwill for your company.
To do this, you have to choose two or three particular causes that you want your company to be aligned with. Post on your Facebook separate photos and/or status for each cause and what your company can do to help each one. To make this process simpler, you can also have an application designed for this. Ask your followers to “vote” for their favorite cause, then share and ask their friends to vote for that cause as well. The cause with the most “votes” will get your support. Offline, run the advocacy project, then document it on Facebook to show your followers that you indeed followed through on your initial promise to do something good.
I understand that this is complicated and costly, but I still like this kind of Facebook marketing activity because it allows your company to mix doing business with doing good.