Darren wrote a post recently on 12 tips for building relationships with other bloggers. They are all great tips that could be expanded into individual posts or even an entire blog, particularly in the area of social networks.
Using social networks can be a fantastic source of traffic and generating a community around your site. There is a minefield of information on marketing on social networks, so I would just like to write about one technique that has worked for me with Facebook.
Many people have profiles on Facebook and people are quick to put their URL in their profile. This is great for your friends to see what you are doing, but is difficult to expand beyond your networkd of friends. Most people using Facebook try to keep their “friends” to people they have actually met or have some kind of relationship with.
The answer to this is Facebook pages. Facebook pages were created for authors, businesses, politicians and celebrities to build a community around whatever they are promoting. Unlike Myspace, individual profiles can only have a limited number of “friends” in Facebook and there is no way to send email to all of your friends at one time.
Once you have created a page on Facebook, people can then become your “fan” or “supporter”. You don’t have to accept people as a fan and they can’t see your individual profile. On a page you can then easily add relevant pictures and video. You can have a discussion board and add any of the thousands of applications to your page.
One of most powerful features of Facebook pages for marketers is that you can send email updates to all of your fans. For people who limit their friends to just the people they actually know in Facebook, you can expect that the messages they receive in Facebook have a higher chance of being read than emails sent to their regular address. Also there is no chance of messages going to a “junk mail” inbox, your messages are assured of 100 per cent deliverability.
Barack Obama has one of the most popular pages on Facebook, with over 800,000 fans. Could there be a better or cost effective way for him to reach his voters?
Facebook has cracked down on people putting up pages to businesses, brands and people that they have no claim to and you may have to provide proof that you are the owner of the business or product that you are promoting.
Facebook pages require little maintenance and if you have good keywords in the title of the page you create, people will find your page naturally. You can promote your page through Facebook’s PPC advertising, but personally I haven’t found it necessary to get decent traffic to my page. Facebook also provides interesting analytics to your pages and you can even see gender and age breakdown of your fans.
As it becomes more difficult to compete in search listings and delivering your messages through email, creating a Facebook page is an easy and effective way to connect to your community