Thursday, July 12, 2012

How Much Power Does A Facebook Like Have?

How much value does a Facebook Like have? I posted this comment on Facebook the other day regarding the influence a social media Facebook Like has---or basically, what is the financial value of a 'Like' as quoted by Heather Whaling, president of Geben Communications: Having a lot of 'likes' will not pay your rent or your mortgage. The bank doesn't accept 'likes' as collateral." Sooner you get familiar with the new Facebook page design, the bigger competitive advantage you can gain.

One of my Facebook friends took offense to the quote by saying "Likes have value." Yes they do have value, but how many marketers can substantively say that Facebook is generating an income sufficient enough to quit their day jobs, and work full time from home making an income off the social media network? Not many, there is only one Mark Zuckerberg. However, there are many webinars, whitepapers and special reports that can help assist marketers in how to make a Facebook Fan Page engaging and relevant enough that it generates leads which can lead to an outbound lead program that will create prospects from those leads. But, the key is, how many marketers are actually attending those professionally hosted webinars getting free and invaluable information so that they can learn how to do this? I can guarantee you that it is only a small percentage of the ones on Facebook. Social media tremendously expanded the potential of inbound marketing so HootSuite & HubSpot have paired to talk about the science of inbound marketing.

One way to do this is by integrating social media marketing with email marketing. Did you know that "without proper practices in place your social integration efforts may not be as profitable as they could be?" Yet, many marketers shoot blindly at a target of 900 million users (the amount of people who have Facebook accounts) hoping to get the attention of a few, then will hound them to death to make one or two sales. Why not, take the time, a week, a month, as long as it takes, get the best practices in place to do it right, and make a lifetime income? Facebook Likes do have power, they are very valuable, that's why NBC Olympics has a Facebook page with 159,494 likes -- you can bet most of these people, if not all of them will be watching the Olympics and using Facebook to comment about their likes, dislikes with the programming as well as their most memorable moment right on Facebook. Those Likes have a financial value tied to them because those people will be watching the Olympics, thus watching the commercials intertwined within the Olympics and making purchases of some of those advertised products (which when this occurs, advertisers make money and NBC can continue to charge for those ads.) This is a tangible metric that comes from social media marketing and the power of a Facebook Like. But, NBC did not just throw up a Fan Page and hope for people to Like it, they developed a marketing plan that had a beginning a middle and an ending, just like any book you might read.

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The power of a Facebook Like lies in the behind the scenes planning of that Like. As a marketing professional, you want to work your marketing plan in reverse order, that is, know what it is you want your social media marketing campaign to accomplish, then figure out how to accomplish this goal, then learn which segment of your target market you will be focusing on. If you don't know who this is, or how to discover market segmentation, contact me for a private social media marketing consultation. However, if you choose to just throw marketing messages up on the wall hoping something sticks, then go right ahead. As my grandfather used to say, "keep throwing at the wind, one day you might hit something." The only problem with that theory is you can't pay your bills on hope.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

How To Get Mobile Opt-Ins From Your Customers

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Mobile marketing is not only mobile smartphones, but it also includes tablets, e-readers and iPad devices. When you think mobile, think about all of these gadgets, because the owners of them will be connecting with you.

According to marketing agency Merkle, 63% of mobile consumers check their email on their mobile devices an average of one to four times per day. That's huge! Another survey done by ClickZ found that people are not casual phone readers. About 70% read emails, 18% skim their emails and the rest just glance and delete them. But, here's a statistic you never want to forget, many individuals report their mobile phone is within reach 24 hours a day. With that in mind, here are tips on how to get mobile opt-ins from your customers.

First, you will want to build trust with your brand. If you build trust between your brand and your customers, they will trust you with their time and most importantly access to them, and will opt-in to your offer.

Create engagement by offering loyalty programs, new product alerts and shipping details or confirmations to your customers. When a customer opts-in for mobile, think of it independently of email opt-ins. They are similar but the trust level is different. When a customer shares their mobile telephone number with you, you are closer to their lives, and the proximity between business and customer is reduced. So make sure you communicate with your mobile customers at the right time (the time when they are most likely to read their SMS messages), delivering the right message all the time. You may need to run split tests to find out when is the best time to send your marketing messages to your opt-in customers.

Make it easy for consumers to type in a mobile number or click a check box in order for customers to set preferences. Remember, your customer is using a mobile device and is not on a computer, so it may not be so easy to do these tasks.

Provide an in-store or on property offer that creates interactive engagement. QR codes are not dead! A QR code your customer can scan that gives additional loyalty points or freebies and coupons. Coupons and discounts come alive on mobile devices because you can even embed a scannable barcode in coupon emails so your customer can easily redeem the coupon by showing it at an offline venue. A merchant processing company can assist you with this if you have one. If not, contact me, I will help you get a loyalty program started for your business.

Easily create social media interaction by adding an incentive for liking a Facebook Fan Page, Following a Twitter account, or Pinning a Pin on Pinterest. These activities could be combined with mobile alerts sent to customers on a random basis.

These are just a few ways to gain mobile opt-ins from your customers. Mark Wittier, vice president of account services for Seattle-based direct marketing agency The Hacker Group states, "Mobile isn't a tactic, it's how consumers are choosing to consume information." You should make sure that when consumers choose your brand (opt-in) your offers are valuable and benefit them, otherwise, your mobile marketing campaign will die a fast death.

What are some of the strategies you use to get mobile opt-ins from your customers? We'd love to hear about them, reply below.