Facebook, Twitter And Website Each Have A Role In The Sales Funnel
With more than 500 million users, Facebook has become the major player in the social media industry. Facebook can be a powerful platform for building a community of advocates for your business to help increase word-of-mouth marketing. The first step in leveraging Facebook for business is to set up a business page.
Facebook versus Twitter
At least half of us that are on-line are also on Facebook. However, Facebook is now the medium of choice. It is estimated that there will be over 200 million Twitter users in 2011. So, Facbook remains the primary place most on-line users go. In fact, Facebook users are moving more and more towards remaining on Facebook while they do other duties on-line. The more a business integrates their message, website and call-to-action activities within the Facebook domain, the better. This helps build community for the business, which is what Facebook is all about. And, Facebook is a strong visual driven medium, which means that the business which uses it needs to be as well.
However, Facebook is a profile driven environment, focused on individuals, not entities. That orientation has been a hurdle that Facebook has finally learned how to adapt in order to be more business friendly. This is evident with the movement towards the Facebook Page, originally known as the Fan Page. Now, it is possible, even desirable to have multiple Facebook Pages focused on a variety of messages which a business wants to present.
Remember the roots
The key to successful Facebook experience for a business is to recognize and value the roots of Facebook. Business must also adapt to this new medium. A business must think more like a friend might do when recommending a plethora of positive experiences that they feel good about sharing with another friend. It is, therefore, not a good idea to be too product message pushy. Rather, a good business Facebook user will think more about sharing useful information that its fan base might find interesting enough to share with others. The objective is to provide reasons why a friend would want to share what the business has to their friends, who in turn share with their friends. This piece of information might not be something that directly relates to the business, yet is similar enough to express expertise so that it will be meaningful and credible to the growing fan base.
A business must recognize that when it starts a Facebook page, it takes time to develop a fan base, which is like any networking activity normally works. Friends take time to develop into trusted relationships. Likewise, so it is with a fan base.
There is a balance to how often a business should share their messages to a fan base. Facebook communities are not like Twitter followers in this one simple regard. Fans are really just friends. They live complicated lives and find breaks in the day to spend time communicating, or keeping up to date with friends. These events happen at given times of the day, or weekend. So, a business should adapt to those times to share a new message. A good practice is to share a message about every other day and possibly several messages on the week-end. The best time of day during the week is in the evening, or before the work day begins.
Make sure that you do not overwhelm your fan base like one might do with a Twitter account. Twitter is good for a fast pace informational setting. Friends, or fans, are generally more measured in their need to be informed.
Twitter became more popular in the news media and celebrity crowd where the latest piece of information is golden. If your business does not have a need to Tweet at such a pace, it is still wise to use Twitter in a more measured way.
Consider the standard sales funnel
Since there is a large base of Twitter followers that are looking for their own base of followers, using Twitter with Facebook helps feed both ends of the sales funnel. The process is like thinking of a sales funnel where the less focused lead comes in the top and the much more focused customer comes out the bottom. Having allot of Twitter followers coming in the top of the funnel and using Facebook as a means of bringing them down the funnel is a good joint strategy. Pulling them out the bottom of the funnel should be accomplished through your own website.
A sales funnel is also a good way of thinking about how the information should be structured. For instance, you would not think about having your product listed on Twitter. There might be more information provided on Facebook. And, the most complete information would be listed on your website, including your blog. Using Twitter as your only blog source is not a good idea. You will never be able to complete a structured message that way.
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