With Facebook recently exceeding half a billion users, businesses of all types are
realizing they have a big opportunity to monetize their efforts on the world’s largest
To put this into perspective, compare Facebook to the largest retailer
in the world, Walmart: Roughly 20 million people visit
Walmart on a daily basis, whereas 250 million people visit
Facebook each day. There is no other online marketing channel
that can deliver this kind of reach.
But before we look at some ways to actually drive revenue,
it is important to understand that Facebook is not your traditional
e-commerce channel and should not be used as a direct
marketing tactic. The hundreds of millions of Facebook members
have joined to share their personal stories through updates,
images and videos within their social network — not to
buy products. That being said, utilizing the social network as
a sales channel is not a bad thing but should be handled carefully,
like meeting a neighbor’s dog for the first time — approach
with respect or risk being bitten. Aggressive behavior
does not pay off.
Prior to engaging in Facebook as a business outlet you must
develop a strategy for connecting with your customer base. Your
strategy should be about quality not quantity of people that
“like” your page. Taking the time to develop relationships with
your fans, creating engaging content and measuring results are
the three essential steps to an impressive return on investment.
STEP 1— Engage With People That Like Your Page
Start with an interesting and compelling Facebook Page that
differentiates your business from the competition. Apps are a
good way for any business serious about marketing on Facebook
to create a unique experience that helps you stand out.
From sharing videos to contests, Facebook Apps are among the
most used features on the platform. Add in the ability to share
with friends and a strong Facebook App can have a huge impact
on your ROI.
When we started working with e-commerce companies it
was quickly realized that creating a separate tab that helps business
owners showcase their products or services is the right approach.
Constantly posting your products on your Facebook
wall is considered bad etiquette and will turn people off, resulting
in a sharp increase in the number of people “unliking” your
page and, therefore, dismissing your brand. Creating a low-risk, high-reward option for your customer is important, so always
put yourself in the customer's shoes when implementing any
new Facebook ideas.
There are thousands of amazing apps on Facebook and visiting
the Facebook App Directory is a good place to start, as well
as talking with other business owners about which Facebook
Apps they have found to be beneficial.
STEP 2— Create Engaging Content
A few months ago, I attended Facebook’s f8 annual conference
and was able to capture the news feed optimization formula
Facebook uses to decide what content shows up in a user’s top
news feed. Showing this formula and how it is tied to Facebook’s
current news options (top news vs. most recent) was genius, as
it really encourages you to do the right thing by your customer.
Facebook news feed optimization has become a new type of
SEO. If you like or comment on updates from one particular
Facebook page often, you are likely to see that business’ status
update in your top news feed (the default setting) on a regular
basis. The formula (shown below), called EdgeRank, looks at
affinity score (how often the user interacts with the page), weight
(how many comments or likes a post has), and time decay (how
recent that update was posted). In many respects, this is not
unlike link building.
If you post content on your page that does not follow the
above formula you are wasting your time, as updates will not
be seen by your fans. Before you press the share button, reread
the post and make sure you are asking for engagement. For example,
if you are thinking of launching a new product, ask the
opinion of your customers.
If you are just starting out and have very few people following
your page, Facebook advertising is a great approach to reach the right people at the right time. Advertisers can request that
ads are served based on what your customers have said they
liked in their profile. For example, a Phoenix-based Mexican
restaurant could promote a new brand of tequila to people on
their birthdays that are located in the Phoenix area, based on
the information from those users’ profiles. Before launch, Facebook
will even show the number of estimated reach (see below)
so as to not waste marketing dollars advertising to those less
likely to engage.
STEP 3— Measure Performance
Used with your Facebook Page, Facebook Insights offers valuable
customer information. After reviewing age, gender and
country of residence you can enhance or change your current
Facebook strategy. Using this data, you can decide which content
works best, the audience you are currently reaching and where
improvements can be made.
In the end, it’s all about making social connections with
your target audience. Too often, business leaders and owners
think of their target audience as nameless, faceless people.
Facebook brings the human touch to your relationships with
your customers; faces, names and conversations. And that is
how you monetize Facebook — by creating a living dialogue
with your fans.
About the Author: Jay Feitlinger is owner of StringCan Interactive, a strategic online marketing and social media agency
based out of Phoenix, Arizona, and co-founder of ShopTab, the 1st Facebook App that showcases an eCommerce
store on Facebook through a data feed. Connect with Jay on
Twitter @jayfeitlinger, 602.740.6502 or firstname.lastname@example.org