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Reliable Ways to Monetize Your Facebook Pages

The latest powerhouse tool in online marketing is social network promotions and the site that is currently offering the best service for businesses and marketers is Facebook. With custom business pages and a comprehensive choice of advertising methods, monetizing your Facebook pages is an easy, cost effective, low maintenance way to run online promotional campaigns that have the potential to reach sizeable audiences that are comparable to television or print media campaigns at a fraction of the cost. Facebook ads also take advantage of the fact that as much as 50% of purchases are influenced by recommendations from friends and that as much as 65% of word of mouth reviews are generally positive1.

Creating and Using Facebook Ads
Facebook ads offer a variety of six premium advertisement types from simple ‘like’ ads to more complex poll style ads and standard marketing methods like free product sample give-aways are easy to set up and can be closely monitored for their effective reach and conversion rates. Creating a Facebook ad that is linked to your business Facebook page or that links directly to your company’s website is a simple process that can be done by almost anybody in as little as half an hour, and which can be set up and online for as little as $10.

Beginning by choosing the type of advertisements that you want to use, they can then be customized to target exact demographic audiences and made to run automatically for strictly specified times. Each ad type offers different benefits and you will need to examine the specifications of the different formats to find the right ones for your campaign. Fortunately, Facebook has published a clear guide2 to the different ways that Facebook ads can be used. Essentially, the difference between these ads comes down to the amount of engagement that is required from the targeted customer, ranging from the simplest ads requiring only that they click on the ‘like’ button for the ad, to the Video Comment ads that call for input from people about the products that are being advertised. There are also Sponsored stories that use your customers’ engagement with your business or product as a recommendation to their friends on the site to spread your marketing message.

Using Facebook to Funnel Traffic to your Business Website
The object of having a business page on Facebook is to use it to direct traffic to your company’s website where the actual sales take place, and there are a number of effective ways to do this. Simple Facebook ads will keep the links to your Facebook business page prominently displayed in the advertising column that makes up the right sidebar of the page. However, it is the sampling ads and event invitations that are more likely to draw visitors to your actual page on Facebook. Once there, the content of your page should be structured using images and links to direct that traffic off Facebook and onto your own company website. Using Facebook ads that require a higher level of engagement from people is the key to driving traffic to your page that you can then convert to sales. It will also keep your business contemporary in the News Feeds of your followers for longer than the simpler ads will.

One of the oldest marketing strategies is to offer free samples of products and Facebook ads will tell all of a customer’s friends on the site that they have tried your product and thus encourage many of them to follow up and get a free sample as well. Of course, the object of giving a free sample is to attract new customers, but getting the biggest returns from these new customers comes from the endurance of the marketing opportunity that is created. Therefore, it is important that your links from Facebook to your company’s website go to a landing page where you can collect as much information about these consumers as you are able and that they are willing to give you. The most important information that you can collect like this is their e-mail address, as that will allow you to compile a strong, organic list of customers you can then send marketing material to for a longer time than the lifespan of your Facebook marketing campaign.

Using Your Webpage to Generate a Higher Facebook Profile
Of course, just as Facebook can be used to generate traffic to your company website, so too can that same website be used to increase your following on Facebook, which will then extend the potential reach of your Facebook marketing campaigns. This is done by adding a ‘like me on Facebook’ plug-in for your website and is as simple as going to Facebook and creating the custom button and then copy and pasting the script into a widget for your site3. Visitors to your site can then like you from your webpage and they will be added to your business’ Facebook friends list and receive all of the promotional material that you post there.

Because the things that people engage with on Facebook goes into their News Feed and can be seen by all of their friends on the site, every new fan that your business collects creates the potential for reaching a new sector of the market and vastly increases the reach of all of your advertising on the site. This means that attracting a strong following on Facebook is vital to using their advertising for your business and keeping a strong link between your social media pages and your company website is the best way to leverage that following.

The Etiquette of Marketing on Facebook
While it is tempting to just go onto Facebook to make blatant advertising posts in the status updates, most Facebook users will skip over them as they scroll through their News Feed. They generally don’t have a good EdgeRank4 rating, because they will have a low affinity with those users if you haven’t put in the time to develop a genuine relationship with them by making comments on their posts. A good way to develop the kind of relationship with your customers is to engage them using comment or video ads that request an input from them, rather than just a simple click on the ‘like’ button. This will not only ensure that the marketing posts that you do make in your status updates will have a longer lifespan in the News Feed, but it will be a more effective way of reaching your specific target audience and their list of friends.

By using Facebook’s variety of ads to first attract followers to your business page and then to engage them in a conversation about your business and its services, it is possible to develop an effective long-term marketing strategy that is aimed at generating high conversion rates, while simultaneously growing the audience that your advertising will potentially reach. Once you have developed a strong rapport with your customers on the site by using Facebook ads to develop relationships with them, then the status updates that you do make will have the lifespan in the News Feed that will give you the real cost effectiveness and value that there is to be had from marketing your business on Facebook.

References:
1.
http://www.powerreviews.com/resources/social-commerce-stats

2. Facebook ads and Sponsored Stories, PDF

3. http://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like/

4. http://www.insidefacebook.com/2011/12/27/edgerank-and-graph-rank-defined/


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