Gather round business owners, social media newbies and not-so-savvy computer nerds – this is something you’ll want to hear. Do you find yourself lost, frustrated or just plain overwhelmed by the concept of social media? Do you struggle to integrate such platforms into your online business? Well, prepare yourself a dose of good news.
According to a recent case study, the key to unlocking a successful Facebook page is as simple as believing in your cause and exhibiting that faith throughout your marketing plan.
The subject of the study was the Facebook page of the California State Parks Foundation and the results were jaw-dropping. In just 14 days (plus media coverage) the foundation’s fan base jumped from 517 to 33,000 people.
After examining the study, social media strategy consultant Amy Porterfield – a regular contributor to SocialMediaExaminer.com – expanded upon this notion, taking an even deeper look at the road to Facebook success, and was able to sum up the core components in a simple equation:
Vision + Branding + Inbound Marketing + Engagement =
A sound Facebook page that’s equally eye-catching
Porterfield explained that a Facebook page doesn’t need to be complex, however, it does need to be carefully planned out in advance. To help you prepare your own strategy and to give you a better understanding of each element in her equation, we’ve elaborated on the key ingredients, just below.
1. Create a Compelling Vision
Referring back to the case study, the California State Parks Foundation sought outside help to create a campaign in an attempt to save the 210 California state parks from closing. The “Friend Get a Friend” mission was designed to promote awareness and discussion about the potential expiration while encouraging people to become active in the cause.
Seeking professional help to strategize your Facebook mission certainly is not a must. The fundamental message that their success demonstrates is that you must develop the passion and excitement for your campaign. Keep in mind that your mission probably won’t change the world, but the key is to create an experience that makes the consumers happy.
2. Smart Branding
The key concept behind great branding is to establish a direct route from Facebook to your website. However, it’s important to maintain discretion and not to push potential customers away from Facebook before they’re ready.
Some of the most successful Facebook pages, like Chick-fil-A page with more than 1.5 million fans, appear as mini websites within the social media application. By utilizing a static FBML application (within Facebook), you can easily establish many of the same features that appear on your website. When designing a page for your business, remember that the more clicks it takes a user to reach the intended destination, the less likely you are to successfully get them there.
3. Strategic Inbound Marketing
A commonly overlooked aspect of the formula, this element encourages business owners to use many of the same marketing strategies they already use on their website for their social media platforms as well. The use of keywords, video clips, blogging, opt-in opportunities and cross-promoting among other social media networks are all fundamental factors in consumer discovery.
Above all, the most important thing to consider when applying these strategies to your business is that inbound marketing is fueled by content. Don’t worry about creating new text for your Facebook page; there are a few ways to recycle your blog to meet this need. One way is to utilize the Networked Blog application; the other is to directly link your blog to your Facebook wall – adding a sentence or two of commentary for extra emphasis – and encourage fans to share their thoughts.
4. Real-Time Engagement
This element is all about putting forth the time and effort to engage in your fans’ likes, interests and opinions; therefore, it’s key to make this endeavor about them and not you. People seem to enjoy talking about themselves, so be sure to construct your questions and posts in a way that allows them to share a personal story or idea.
Teavana (a renowned tea company) demonstrates these ideals in an outstanding manner; with more than 32,000 fans, their Facebook page attracts tea enthusiasts worldwide.
In summary, it’s best to avoid the often misguided clamor about social media strategies that appears on the web; keep your plan simple to make it most effective. The provided equation was designed to help refine the process.