Ryan Lim of Blugrapes speaks about getting the most out of Facebook for your business.
Contrary to what many may think, effective Facebook marketing does not entail slick advertisements or cheap gimmicks but rather, the three “C”s—Community, Conversation and Content, said Ryan Lim, business director of Blugrapes, a performance driven marketing company which has provided Facebook marketing solutions to brands such as Puma, Microsoft and L’Oreal.
Lim was speaking during a Facebook Marketing 101 workshop organized on Sep. 20 by Mums@Work (Singapore), an online career portal and social enterprise set up to help mothers source for flexible work solutions, among others.
Commencing the half-day workshop with a few key figures, Lim shared that the global Facebook community currently stands at 500 million active users—putting things into perspective, if Facebook were a country, it would have the world’s fourth largest population. And where attention is, there is money to be made.
After covering the basics such as the Facebook anatomy and the functional differences between “groups” and “pages” (the former acts as a platform for a by-invitation-only community of people with similar interests to hold discussions and share content, while the latter is a public entity deployed for broadcasting purposes with no access control), Lim branched into the various aspects of creating and maintaining a strong Facebook presence.
In order to attract fans, a page has to firstly be relevant and credible. A page that is created to attract the right type of audience and not merely to attract a high number of fans will be rewarded at the end of the day as the audience forms a community and generates content on its own.
One of the ways to increase a page’s number of fans is to determine user experience—by creating “fans only” content and thus controlling what a non-fan sees upon first landing on the wall of page, there is an added incentive for viewers to be converted into fans.
Beyond establishing a presence and promoting brand awareness, Facebook allows one to leverage on its analytics to conduct market research and competitive studies, leading to more effective marketing strategies. The availability of analytics offers businesses a detailed insight into how people are engaging with its Facebook presence.
Touching on an area misused by many, Lim also shed light on Facebook’s guidelines and restrictions regarding promotions—defined as sweepstakes, contests or competitions. Unknown to many, conducting contests (usually popularity or looks-based) which require users to vote by clicking on the “like” button are not allowed. In fact, using Facebook to run any contests, including the soliciting of votes, are forbidden. The restrictions are precautionary steps to protect Facebook, a US-entity, from class action lawsuits.
In order to work around the restrictions, users can submit their promotion mechanics to Facebook for approval (which normally takes nothing less than 10 working days), after which the promotion can be run through a third party application housed within the page. Alternatively, users can make use of the Google contest entry form to customize and run their contests. Yet another alternative is to create a microsite to inform fans about a contest, leading them to an external site off Facebook to take part.
However, contests are meant to arrest, not sustain attention. “Your fans should be there for your content, not contest. You don’t want to train your customers wrongly and have them come to you only when you’re having a sale or contest,” says Lim.
Lim also highlighted four key factors in creating search engine friendly pages—the density of keywords, inbound links (the number of “likes” a page garners), the Facebook page name itself, and the “Info” tab, which functions as a descriptor for the services or products provided. The final sections of the workshop covered creating and optimizing Facebook advertisements.
The workshop, the first in a series, was attended by members and affiliate members of Mums@Work who either hold marketing roles in their respective companies or run their own businesses.
To find out more about Mums@Work (Singapore) and its upcoming events, log on to mumsatwork.net.