Elayne Whitfield, BA, MVA ~ VA Industry ExpertSubscribe Now

Tips On Using Facebook For Marketing

Tips on Using Facebook for Marketing - ImageFacebook’s popularity with Internet users has run into the millions since its acceptance of anyone with a valid email address in 2006. Most members play games, update their profiles and upload photos or videos for their friends to view. While planting crops on Farmville, drinking virtual coffee in the cafe or beating off snakes in FrontierVille is addicting, Facebook can also be a powerful marketing tool for Internet marketers.

Marketers, including those using the Internet to market their products, know that in order to attract potential customers, they need to announce the benefits of their products to a large audience and give their readers a reason to visit their site. Simply put, No Visitors = No Sales.

Facebook members make connections with each other, called Friends, and you are only allowed to contact or message those friends. Member profiles are only available to other Facebook members, which creates a loose pool to specifically market to. Some of Facebook’s most popular applications, those you probably use every day are specifically for Internet marketers.

In fact, marketers who know how to market on Facebook start that huge marketing process with their Profile, adding games, puzzles or videos that are interesting to other users. Facebook’s underlying purpose is to make the site a fun place to be. An RSS feature allows users to syndicate their blogs, increasing their exposure dramatically.

Users can use Facebook to promote products from Clickbank and Amazon as an affiliate, whether they have their own website or not.

Here are some tips to get you started and to keep you out of trouble with this very powerful social networking site.

Each user has a profile page and part of that page is used for The Wall; effectively a place to post messages for each user to see. If your “friends” have access to your full profile, friend marketers can post messages on your Wall. Perhaps a more effective application might be posting attachments to your Wall promoting products.

Use The Marketplace. Free classified ads are allowed in a few categories. Marketers are jumping all over this free application in the four allowable categories, For Sale, Housing, Jobs and Other. Any Facebook user can take advantage of this treasure trove of opportunities.

Application developers have found a home with Facebook and are happy to design applications that rapidly become standard Facebook apps, taking advantage of the Web 2.0 graphic and audio options available to users.

One feature that's used by those who scan posts instead of reading them is the Status feature. This feature is a quick update on what you are doing and, used carefully, can be a powerful marketing tool. For instance, using Facebook’s format, “John Thomas just finished his new software.” A convenient link to that sales page for that software would get a lot of traffic just from curious members.

A Facebook Event is used for keeping friends aware of upcoming events. Here is where a marketer can advertise seminars, podcasts and ecourses, to name a few. Facebook’s rules about announcing an event should be carefully read in order to avoid being branded a spammer.

Videos are everywhere and have rapidly become the most popular method to use to market many Internet products. Videos can be added to Facebook with a Facebook Mobile application, which has a webcam feature. The videos cannot be shared outside of Facebook, but with the huge membership ranging in the 60 to 70 million users and growing daily, that shouldn’t be too much of a setback to a smart marketer.

Facebook is the perfect versatile application for creative marketers to increase their traffic and, therefore, their customer base. Simple processes can be powerful marketing tools and Facebook is no exception.

Grabbing Attention with Graphics to Take your Online Presence to the Next Level

Media technologies conceptAs someone who frequents several social media platforms, blogs, and websites on a daily basis for both personal and professional reasons, the amount of posts and links that I find myself subjected to is staggering. There are truly not enough hours in the day for me to read through all the articles I want to, and to click through all of the links that catch my eye. So what exactly is it that makes a link or post irresistible to the average social media browser out there? With an endless sea of information that is begging for our oh-so-valuable clicks, what ultimately determines where our increasingly shortened attention spans are directed to?

Of course, headlines and titles are vital, but do you really stop and read every single article headline that is posted on your Facebook homepage or Twitter feed? That would be impossible for many people. The one thing however that does demand, at the very least, a quick glance, is an image or graphic of any kind.

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words because looking at an image for even a short amount of time can create countless questions, emotions and opinions in a viewer’s mind. So how long then does it take for just one word/opinion to form when viewing an image/website online? According to a study done at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, it takes less than two-tenths of one second. This means that when you have a graphic or image associated with your link, the vast majority of people are going to have enough time to spare to form at least some sort of opinion about it.

The quality of these images and their effectiveness in producing certain desired emotions and opinions is a topic for another time, because to begin with, all that you want is for people online to take notice. Think about your own internet use. How much more likely are you to click on something if there is a thumbnail image next to the link as opposed to there just being a plain text title? For me personally, a graphic will make all the difference for attracting my attention and convincing me to explore further.

Graphics and images on websites will also set the tone for what the viewer is going to engage in. They prepare the reader’s mind for the information they are about to take in and give them something to think about while they are reading. In terms of explaining the ideas and concepts that your blog or article is covering, graphics will also help to simplify things. The more easily the information you’re presenting is understood, the larger your audience can be.

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, graphics and images communicate a message of legitimacy that text alone just cannot achieve. Not only will they help get your message across, but graphics can also make your reader more open to the ideas you are putting forward. Anyone can type some text onto a page, but being able to successfully accompany that text with meaningful images conveys a certain level of professionalism in your work that should not be overlooked.

In today’s competitive market of online content, maximizing the experience for your audience is crucial. Take advantage of the amazing technology and resources that are available for creating images and consider including graphics whenever they can add value to the information you are presenting.