*This post was originally posted on Wpromote’s Blog.
by Jesse Bouman and Amanda Moshier
It’s no news social media is changing the landscape in online marketing. One of the more influential social media tools is the social network Facebook, and the practice of sending viewers to a company’s Facebook page and not its homepage is a growing trend (See Carl’s Jr TV Ad). More companies should take heed.
Not every company ‘needs’ social media and not all traffic should be sent to Facebook, but most brands need at least a presence on the main social networking sites. Read on for the #1 benefit of sending consumers to your Facebook fan page and how to start looking at social media as a branding vehicle.
The value of filtering website traffic through a Facebook fan page
The main reason brands set up a presence on social networks like Facebook is to create a bond with consumers they hope results in organic word-of-mouth generated via enthusiastic fans. On Facebook, the relationship between a brand and its consumers develops via interactions occurring on the brand’s fan page. Frequent two-way conversations strengthen the bond between brand and consumer. Likewise, the more interaction, the better the chance a consumer becomes a brand evangelist (someone excited about promoting your brand to friends and peers) and, where applicable, a customer – which is exactly what you want and the #1 benefit of sending traffic to your Facebook page.
Sending traffic to your Facebook page doesn’t mean your website is out of the picture; ideally, sending traffic to Facebook excites users about your brand and compels them to visit your website with more enthusiasm than they would have had visiting your site blind.
To get people excited, however, you must create a Facebook fan page that rocks.
How to create a Facebook fan page that rocks
If your create your Facebook Fan Page properly, it will encompass much of the content included on your website. In turn, sending traffic to your Facebook page does not mean a lost opportunity to educate consumers about your brand; rather, it is an opportunity to engage with consumers before they visit your site, increases the chances they will travel further down your sales pipeline.
Let’s look at Wpromote’s Facebook fan page:
Looking at the screenshot above, you can see it is possible to feature a lot of content on a fan page. In addition to providing background information on our company and mission, we share product information via a ‘Services’ tab which links backs to respective departmental web pages, links to our other social media profiles (Twitter, etc.), and photos and videos of our staff to put faces to the Wpromote name and make us more accessible to consumers and fans.
Providing users with enough information about your company and clear options to further engage with your brand means interested parties will take the time to visit your website; since you’ve already engaged them, the chances they take steps to communicate and hopefully, do business with your company, are higher.
Leveraging a Facebook fan page for greater brand awareness
By now you likely gather sending people to a Facebook fan page means more time spend with your brand, higher levels of consumer engagement, and better odds a consumer becomes a customer, but that is hardly all Facebook can offer.
In addition to acting as a consumer engagement tool, Facebook makes it possible to spread the word about your brand virally with relatively little effort, thanks to the way it shares information. Specifically, Facebook posts user actions to the main News Feed which notifies a user’s friends about pages they have become a fan of in addition to other common activities.
In turn, if one user becomes a fan of your page, this exposes your brand to an entirely new set of potential fans (with no extra action required on your part). The same goes for any action a fan takes on your page, such as answering a question, posting a link, or commenting; all user-generated actions boost brand awareness exponentially.
To understand how information travels on Facebook, consider this scenario:
Fan X answers a question posted on your fan page. His 478 friends are made aware of this activity via the News Feed, and 2 of his friends become fans of your page, exposing it to their 284 and 938 friends, respectively, and the cycle continues.
In this instance, one post and fan’s comment on that post potentially exposed your brand to 1,700 new people. Does your homepage offer the same ripple effect?
The bottom line
Utilized smartly, Facebook is a powerful marketing tool. To leverage the potential ripple effect offered by Facebook networking, create an optimized fan page, let people know about it by any means possible, and engage fans to build relationships and foster viral word-of-mouth.
If your company does not have a Facebook fan page or you are unsure if your fan page is being utilized properly, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow Wpromote on Twitter @wpromote to discuss your Facebook presence and overall social media strategy.