Successful marketing on Facebook

This week in my social media class, Sarah Van Elzen, the senior digital communications strategist at Laughlin Constable, spoke about the challenges and possibilities with Facebook marketing. Specifically she discussed how Medela’s Facebook page is being used.

Sarah informed us that Medela’s Facebook page is more successful than about 10 of its competitors. Some of this is due to some statistics that she has found. For instance, there are over 23 million United State’s moms on Facebook. To put that into perspective, that is about 2/3 of all moms in the U.S. Also, three posts a day on Medela’s Facebook page is the magic number for its audience.

Sarah also makes it a point to increase conversation by posting one question per day for the audience to help answer. By interacting with their audience and not simply “broadcasting” about the company, Medela is giving moms a reason to stay interested in the brand.

Few things are worse than liking a brand on Facebook only to see that they either never post or post every other minute with useless information. I cannot begin to count how many business or products I have “liked” only to be completely fed up with them later. The sad part about it is I still like the product. I just can’t stand its social media! My home page does not need to be filled with yet another post of what the Wednesday special is especially when it is the same every week.

An article titled “5 Facebook Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Make” on Mashable.com offers a few tips that we can all learn from. The first, which Medela has managed not to do, is to broadcast. By broadcasting information you are not offering any sort of relevant content to keep them intrigued or excited about the topic, product or business at hand.

The second mistake is to not devote adequate amount of time to Facebook marketing. You cannot have a “build it and they will come” mentality when it comes to your Facebook page. Building an audience takes time and the page needs to be monitored very closely and regularly to maintain that audience.

The third mistake listed in the article is being boring or predictable with your social media. Switch up your posts! I don’t need to see something I already know or something that I read on your wall only a week ago. Create some variety. Joseph Manna, community manager at Infusionsoft also warns not to automate posts. He says, “It’s nice to ‘set and forget,’ but the risk is two-fold: publishing systems sometimes have issues, and Facebook places low-priority on auto-published content.”

The fourth piece of advice is failing to learn about Facebook’s tools and mechanisms. Now, I would generally think that this was pretty self-explanatory. A kind of “know what your getting into” kind of a thing but apparently not. The “info” tab isn’t used very often and many businesses do not take the time to create a custom “welcome page.” For monitoring, Facebook’s built-in analytics program “Facebook Insights”, is often overlooked.

Finally, the last helpful hint is to understand Facebook’s terms of use. Make sure you know the rules of running contests and tagging pictures. The article continues with “To avoid these common mistakes, invest time in learning about the Facebook platform, educate yourself on how to build and sustain an audience, and don’t forget to engage with people like you do in real life.”

By following Medela’s example and keeping these top five mistakes in mind, our own marketing plans on Facebook are sure to be a success.

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2 responses to “Successful marketing on Facebook

  1. First of all I love your blog title, “Get ‘Kerry’d’ Away.” I definitely agree with you, it seems like Medela does a great job with marketing themselves on facebook. A big part of this is definitely due to how attuned they are to what is happening on their page and helping their customers or future customers however they can. Of all the points you mentioned, I think the most important one is that you must interact with the customer, not just preach to them on how great the brand is.

  2. Very nice recap of Sarah’s presentation and going more in depth about what small business need to do.

    One of the best conclusions here? That you realize you still like brands even though you dislike their social media presence. How can they improve that? And do they risk losing you as a customer because of it?

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