I have written several pieces around social media, its rising influence, and the importance of developing a social strategy for ecommerce companies, as well as local businesses. However, signing up for a facebook site and engaging buyers with an effective social media campaign are two very different accomplishments.
For many people, Facebook and Twitter are pretty straight forward: you can communicate with friends online and see what they are doing and saying; however, coming up with creative ways to market on Facebook may be an overwhelming assignment.
When it comes to social marketing, one effective principle is to keep it interesting, engaging, appealing, and worthy of discussion, since people’s desire to interact, discuss, and share is the foundation that social platforms succeed upon. With that principle in mind here’s 5 creative ideas marketing ideas for Facebook.
1. Offer a Free Giveaway for your Business – People love free stuff and in the stupor of its temptation will do almost anything. My wife and I rarely if ever go out to eat – partly because we live a frugal existence and partly because it’s a logistical nightmare with 5 kids under 6 – but in the last week we heard about two “kids eat free” deals and went out to lunch and dinner to claim the sweetly dangled morsel. Sure, the kid were free, but we still spent more money than we otherwise would have to get what cost less. Think of all the “buy one get one free” deals you see at department stores and retailers….car dealerships that guarantee you a free prize to drive down and tempt yourself at their big tent sale. Everybody does it because it works, and it works especially well on Facebook because people will “like” it and spread the word for you.
A note of caution though, when your giving stuff away, it’s better to freely give it away. Don’t hold onto it bitterly as its being taken. What I mean is, don’t attach any strings or fine print or require a purchase to win or anything of that greedy nature. I always end up walking away from an advertised free deal that really wasn’t truly free with a bad taste in my mouth and a sour resentment towards the business, but when the deal turns out to be as good as advertised, I leave pleasantly surprised and call a brother or friend to tell them about it.
2. Hold a Crazy Contest – A restaurant in the city we used to live in held an bi-annual contest where participants could unlimited free food for a month if they completed a list of ten tasks and took pictures as proof. The beauty of this contest was that while the idea of free food was great for college kids, the fun of completing the contest was as good as the food. The tasks included random requirements like “Take a picture on the top of bridger mountain in your underwear” or “go to a movie in a toga”, etc. You get the point, and that point really is that the contest was a success because it was fun. People talked about this free contest and how cool it was and good the food was there and the restaurant gave free food to one winner.
With social media, fun, comedic, and entertaining are big winners because people like to talk about them. A good deal or 15% sale might be mentioned to a friend, but funny spreads like wildfire. So think of a contest with the prize as a product or service your willing to give away and use Facebook as your voice to tell people. If you don’t have enough followers or friends, use a Facebook cost-per-click campaign – which allows extremely specific targeting - to introduce the contest and spread the news.
3. Offer Discounted Gift Certificates
You can offer gift certificates through a Facebook link to your site that can attract new clients willing to try your service just to redeem the certificate and get a discount. I’ve gone to new business numerous times to get my oil changed for $24.00 instead of $36.00 or to get ½ off a brake replacement service, when – if it weren’t for the coupon – I would have just gone to the same business I used before, unknowingly paying higher prices. Sure, when the certificate was up, I started paying regular price at the new location, but that’s all part of the game and only lasted until I was won over for life by their perfectionist service or charismatic salesmanship or found another certificate.
Create a printable PDF document with a certificate visitors can download on your site and then post it all over your Facebook, Twitter, Digg and StumbleUpon accounts. You may be amazed at how much local business can be generated from a twitter or status update!
4. Offer Something Wacky
Right now, you want me to define wacky, but that is really unlimited and utilizing the wacky will depend somewhat on your business. One restaurant in California offered a “Bald Tuesday” promotion in which anyone who was going bald could eat for free on Tuesdays. Bald people don’t always eat alone though and when Tuesday rolled around, paying customers with hair came with them. Yes, this example could fall under “Offer a Free Giveaway for Your Business” also, but the wacky reward doesn’t have to be free.
5. Encourage Checking In
Building your Facebook page can increase interest in your business and traffic to your site, and is just generally a good thing. Several successful Facebook campaigns requiring fans to check in have been implemented with great results. One promotion by VisitBritian, uses a leader board to promote UK landmarks. The program encourages visitors to check in every time they reach a notable British location and write a status update and review of what they find. The project is cleverly dubbed as a “a global guest book” , but more than that, it’s just fun. In case, you haven’t noticed, you don’t have to twist peoples arm to get them to spend time on Facebook. People like being online, sharing their lives, and doing fun things, like posting reviews while sight seeing.
For a business, think of a something people can do in relation to an industry event that will encourage them to get on your site. If you own a bike shop, host a “Race Rants” or “Race Reels” page that has fans check in at each race they attend.
When it comes to social media, just have fun and think of it as another avenue for implementing creative marketing strategies.