How to Effectively Advertise your Brand on Facebook

In order to effectively advertise on Facebook, it is important to create a customized campaign that fits your brand.

The first step in creating your customized campaign is to understand how others perceive your brand and how you want it to be perceived. This can be done through research and self-evaluation of your company. Conduct an Industry Analysis, SWOT Analysis, Competitive Analysis, and research how your brand is perceived by your primary and secondary target markets. Once you have this information you can determine your USP (Unique Selling Proposition). Your USP should drive your messaging. If you do not feel that your company can complete this evaluation internally with an unbiased viewpoint, it may be a good idea to bring in a consultant to help you with this part of the process.

Once you have determined your messaging (be sure to write to youth, not down to youth) develop a marketing strategy determining what Facebook elements you can use and how to use them. This needs to be done on an individual basis and will be different for every brand. Although this makes my job of explaining how to accomplish a customized campaign more difficult, customized campaigns are the only way to effectively brand your product and/or service.

Formal Facebook Advertising:
-Company Branding Page (Free)
-Banner/Skyscraper (Purchased through Microsoft)
-News feed Ads
-Ads on Applications Page (http://cubics.com; Pay/Click)

Informal Facebook Ads & Integration:
-Group (User produced; Free)
-Flyer (User oriented; purchased by impressions)
-Profile (User produced; Free)
-Comments (Profile, Pictures, Groups, etc.; Free)
-Facebook Applications (creation of the apps; Free)
**An offer, discount, etc. always helps**

Most companies that advertise on Facebook soley use Banner Ads and Brand Pages. They are then surprised when the Banner ads (typically linked to their website) and Brand Pages don’t work. But, why would this work? We are simply talking about an unadvertised microsite (Branding Page) and Banner/Skyscrapper ads (average of less than 1% click thru on the web). If they are not successful across the web, why would they be successful tactics when executed through the Facebook community?

So what to do? CREATE A CAMPAIGN BRIDGING THE INTERACTIVE GAP:

1) Create the Branding Page  -Be sure to have some sort of benefit for joining listed and your company’s website address

2) Do your Research – Are there other positive groups about your brand already on Facebook? If so, tap into them by writing on the group wall and/or contacting the individuals in that group. Request that they join your company’s group. (You can also use this approach to identify and address weaknesses in your brand in the negative groups).

3) Identify the connectors and influencers in your target market and reach out to them. Request that they join your group. There are a variety of ways to do this both on and offline.

Once connectors and influencers are Fans of your Branding Page, updates will show up on their News Feeds. This will allow their Facebook Friends to see your updates and raise awareness of your Branding Page; leading to additional members.

4) Keep members of your Branding Page interested and coming back to check in to build your relationship and keep your brand top of mind. This could be done a variety of ways, you will have to decide what works best for your brand. Some ideas include: Contests, Discussions, Giveaways, incentive Program, Resume Review, etc. This will begin the relationship between you and the Facebook members that are part of your group. All you have to do is keep it going and if you choose raise awareness through other Facebook Marketing Tactics or other Media.

Viola! An effective Facebook advertising campaign using a two-way communication platform and all it takes is a little work without any cost to you (except the hourly cost of maintenance and any incentives you choose to employ).

Sara Summers (The Eternal Optimist)
sara.summers@hotmail.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/sarasummersmn

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Sara is an advertising and marketing professional who is currently looking for the next step in her career.

Sara would like to use her skills, experience, and intrinsic abilities to derive creatively driven strategic solutions for her next employer and their clients. She would like to cultivate, manage and maintain relationships with her clients and genuinely connect with them to meet and exceed internal and client business objectives.

If you know or hear of any opportunities that you think would be a good fit for Sara, or if you would like to discuss her experience further, please don’t hesitate to contact her at sara.summers@hotmail.com

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