Facebook’s popularity with Internet users has run into the millions since its acceptance of anyone with a valid email address in 2006. Most members play games, update their profiles and upload photos or videos for their friends to view. While planting crops on Farmville, drinking virtual coffee in the cafe or beating off snakes in FrontierVille is addicting, Facebook can also be a powerful marketing tool for Internet marketers.
Marketers, including those using the Internet to market their products, know that in order to attract potential customers, they need to announce the benefits of their products to a large audience and give their readers a reason to visit their site. Simply put, no Visitors = No Sales.
Facebook is about Engagement
Facebook members make connections with each other, called Friends, and you are only allowed to contact or message those friends. Member profiles are only available to other Facebook members, which creates a loose pool to specifically market to. Some of Facebook’s most popular applications, those you probably use every day are specifically for Internet marketers.
In fact, marketers who know how to market on Facebook start that huge marketing process with their Profile, adding games, puzzles or videos that are interesting to other users. Facebook’s underlying purpose is to make the site a fun place to be. An RSS feature allows users to syndicate their blogs, increasing their exposure dramatically.
Users can use Facebook to promote products from Clickbank and Amazon as an affiliate, whether they have their own website or not.
Here are some tips to get you started and to keep you out of trouble with this very powerful social networking site.
Each user has a profile page and part of that page is used for The Wall; effectively a place to post messages for each user to see. If your “friends” have access to your full profile, friend marketers can post messages on your Wall. Perhaps a more effective application might be posting attachments to your Wall promoting products.
Use The Marketplace. Free classified ads are allowed in a few categories. Marketers are jumping all over this free application in the four allowable categories, For Sale, Housing, Jobs and Other. Any Facebook user can take advantage of this treasure trove of opportunities.
Application developers have found a home with Facebook and are happy to design applications that rapidly become standard Facebook apps, taking advantage of the Web 2.0 graphic and audio options available to users.
One feature that’s used by those who scan posts instead of reading them is the Status feature. This feature is a quick update on what you are doing and, used carefully, can be a powerful marketing tool. For instance, using Facebook’s format, “John Thomas just finished his new software.” A convenient link to that sales page for that software would get a lot of traffic just from curious members.
A Facebook Event is used for keeping friends aware of upcoming events. Here is where a marketer can advertise seminars, podcasts and ecourses, to name a few. Facebook’s rules about announcing an event should be carefully read in order to avoid being branded a spammer.
Videos are everywhere and have rapidly become the most popular method to use to market many Internet products. Videos can be added to Facebook with a Facebook Mobile application, which has a webcam feature. The videos cannot be shared outside of Facebook, but with the huge membership ranging in the 60 to 70 million users and growing daily, that shouldn’t be too much of a setback to a smart marketer.
Facebook is the perfect versatile application for creative marketers to increase their traffic and, therefore, their customer base. Simple processes can be powerful marketing tools and Facebook is no exception.