Brands everywhere seem to be in search of what is today’s holy grail – Facebook likes. Want to know how to get them? It’s really pretty simple. Give people something they want. And if you do that, that’s the first step toward using Facebook to make money.
Yes. It really can be that simple.
You’ve likely seen the same ubiquitous signs everywhere that I have — “Like Us on Facebook” — or an even more compelling call to action, simply displaying the Facebook logo. I don’t know about you, but when I’m visiting my local sub shop and see those lame invitations, it elicits nothing more than a head shake.
Do brands really think that that’s all it takes (rhetorical question – I already know the answer). That because I see a sign in their store (or on their enewsletter or in a newspaper or TV ad) that I’m going to stop what I’m doing, pull out my phone and navigate over and “like” their page? Or even more ridiculous, that there’s even the most remote chance in you-know-what that I’ll remember to do it later, when I’m parked in front of my laptop? Dudes.
Seriously. It’s so not gonna happen.
But you know what does work? Asking for a like and giving something in return. Like this example from women’s clothing boutique Francesca’s. In exchange for a like, they’ll give me a promo code for a 50% discount on a piece of merchandise. That? That’s value. Oh, and combine that with the fact that they’ve let me know that this offer is good today only, well that … it’s a pretty compelling call to action. This kind of request — it gets my attention. What does it take to get your attention? Think about it as you think about asking for Facebook likes.
What do you think? Are you more likely to like a brand that doesn’t offer you any value, any compelling reason or even any reason at all to like them? In my world, the answer is a resounding no.
As my friend Brian Carter in his new book The Like Economy: How Businesses Make Money With Facebook so aptly says, Facebook is the new email opt-in and cultivating likes (ergo fans), is a concrete way that brands and online marketers can make money using Facebook.
“Facebook allows you to capture ideal prospects regardless of how soon they’re going to buy, make an impression on them, and build a relationship with them. Getting potential customers more cheaply and reaching those new fans over and over with your Facebook page means you have a big advantage over companies that are only marketing on Google” says Carter. And he’s right.
It’s important to know – and a step that’s often omitted by companies large and small — that creatively marketing your Facebook page, making offers to potential fans that make sense and amassing initial likes is only one part of the process. Now the onus is on you to take that a step further. And the first step in that process is understanding that Facebook is about relationships.
And if you’ve managed to acquire fans, you need to think about what you’re doing on Facebook – from a marketing standpoint – that adds value to that relationship. A Facebook “Like” is like a first date. Now the challenge is to interest your fans in more dates. More dates mean giving them a reason to come back to your page time and time again, getting them to participate in discussions, share stories, or take advantage of a special promotion or offer and, equally as important, getting them to share the content you create on your Facebook page. And that, my friends, is marketing.
Makes sense, doesn’t it? You know we don’t recommend stuff that we don’t really believe in and, trust me, Brian’s book is sitting here on my desk as I write this. If you want to know more about how to effectively use Facebook as part of your online marketing strategy, buy the book. Today.