9 Killer Facebook Tools to Generate Brand Awareness
About The Author:Noran is an Internet Marketing Manager at Acquisio and an Associate Instructor of the Master Certification Conversion Optimization course at MarketMotive. She specializes in analyzing the PPC customer Journey, creating buyer momentum and optimizing their experience from click to conversion. Her passion for understanding today's customer is a key driver to her analysis of industry trends and keeping up with the latest in PPC, voice of customer, analytics and conversion optimization. Noran is a frequent speaker at the Search Engine Strategies conferences, the Internet Marketing Conference and the Online Marketing Summit. You can follow her on Twitter @noranshinnawy.
With Facebook constantly releasing new apps, features and ad formats, it gets hard to keep track of not only what tools are available, but what actually works for you as well. As Internet Marketers (you know, because we don’t like to be called geeks), we’re always prowling to get our hands on the latest features to stay ahead of our competitors. But we also know that trying to advertise everywhere all the time using all available tools is never a god idea. What is, in fact, a good idea is picking and choosing tools based on our business objectives. Remember those things we tend to set and forget?
Exploring the best combination of tools based on each different type of objective can take up all the pages in this magazine. Permutations, anyone? So let’s focus on the most common objective for marketing on Facebook; generating awareness.
With more than 500 million active users on Facebook, you have the opportunity to make a lot of people very aware of your brand. And because of the wealth of information available about those people and their interests, you’ve got incredibly powerful reach and targeting capabilities at your fingertips. Which tools you decide to use is highly dependent on your level of experience, so I’ve split them up for you by basic and advanced.
Basic tools to generate awareness:
● FAN PAGE. This is where you want to be posting interesting, relevant and engaging content for your fans. And because Facebook likes to “keep it in the family”, this is what you’ll most likely be using as your landing page and call to action for your Facebook Ads.
● EVENTS. This is probably the most underused tool by marketers on Facebook, mostly because they rely heavily on regular wall posts. Make sure you consider creating events for your product or brand, even if these “events” don’t take place in physical locations. It’s certainly a more powerful way of announcing things like product launches and the engagement levels tend to be higher, even if more people RSVP “no”.
● PLACES. If you have a physical location, make sure you claim, take control of, and integrate your Places page right into your Fan page. It’s a great way to get user generated content and comments through check-ins.
● ADS. If you thought creating PPC ads was easy, then Facebook ads were meant to be created by 5-year-old marketers. You never realize how simple they are unless you actually create one. But a good Facebook ad goes far beyond a pretty picture and 135 characters. You’ll want to keep it simple, make a compelling offer, use images that are relevant (not like those SEO ads with the hot babes, ok?) and a strong call to action that tells users what to expect next.
● SPONSORED STORIES. Sponsored Stories allow you to leverage people’s interactions with your brand so you can advertise that to their network of friends. Think of them as your goldmine for amplifying word of mouth recommendations, which are twice as effective in driving awareness. With 7 different types of sponsored stories, you’ll find yourself with no shortage in what you can promote and how. You can sponsor a:
1. Page Like Story
2. Page Post Story
3. Page Post Like Story
4. App Used & Game Played Story
5. App Share Story
6. Check-in Story
7. Domain Story
People have a natural inclination of being interested in things that their friends care about. So if you know that your friend, Bob, likes the new Mountain Dew flavour, wouldn’t you be more inclined to check it out than if you had just seen a regular ad for the product? I’ll answer that for you. Yes.
Advanced tools to generate awareness:
● APPS. Apps can really bring your page to life by making it more engaging and interactive. Whatever it is that comes to your mind, hey, there’s an app for that! Consider using apps to create exclusive offers that can only be viewed if people like your page, apps that allow people to leave reviews on your page, apps that let you create multiple page tabs, etc. Your possibilities are endless but beware of clutter.
● SOCIAL PLUGINS. Think of those as Facebook tools that live on external websites, but can pull interactions back into Facebook. They include things like the “like” button, comment boxes and activity feeds on your favorite news site or tech blog. You often notice those on the right column of sites, and they can either correspond to specific stories, or the website as a whole. If a user lands on your external website and sees that 7 of their friends have liked your brand or a specific post, well, guess what? … I’ll let you answer that one.
● DEALS. As implied by the name, deals can be a great way to drive people to your store, reach new customers, get recommendations and build loyalty. Want to take it to the next level? Have them check-in at your store, then use that in a Sponsored Story to advertise to their friends. Though not available to everyone yet, it’s a good idea to understand the different types of check-in deals to figure out what would work best for you. You can use:
1. Individual Deals
2. Friend Deals for groups who check in together
3. Loyalty Deals for your customers with the most number of check-ins
4. Charity Deals where you promise to donate to charity in exchange for check-ins
● GRAPH API. Saving the most advanced for last, Graph API is simply the new name Facebook has given to their API. It dissects individual elements in Facebook such as users, pages, groups, events, etc and maps out how they relate to one another. From a marketing perspective, let’s say you your Facebook page is eCommerce oriented. You can use the Graph API to allow people to like individual products, then advertise that “like” to their friends. See how it all ties in together?
Now that you know some of the tools available for you to generate brand awareness on Facebook, it’s time to roll up those marketing sleeves and dig in. Experiment with different tools, find out what works best for your target audience and remember, whenever you start getting overwhelmed with the technology, step back and evaluate your initial objectives.