Social networking as a marketing tool

Well, it has been on my mind quite a bit the past couple of weeks since I started out on Facebook and set up a farm page there. I have learned quite a little bit about the whole Facebook thing since then and I really must say, it has been encouraging! I kept hearing about the power of social networking and how every business should have a presence on the social networks, but I really didn’t think it was that big of a deal, so long as I was pushing my website on Google, and the other major search engines, that should be enough.

I WAS WRONG!

I can’t stress that enough. I was totally and completely wrong in thinking that. My website, which really didn’t receive all that much traffic to begin with mind you, has already doubled the traffic from what it had just a week ago from doing little things on Facebook and Twitter. I have a MySpace account, but I haven’t checked in there in months, but I think that may have to change. I may have to tap into yet another audience for the farm.

I would like to help you out, if you aren’t familiar with Facebook, I will explain what I did and what I think I could do better below. If you want some help with the technical details, shoot me an email at: alpacas@fancyfiber.com; but I really don’t think it is terribly difficult what I did. Just takes a little bit of poking around your account options.

So, I started with a Facebook account for me personally. Got familiar with the interface, added some friends, played some games, and generally had a good time using the site. It helps that Facebook has tools that make it “sticky”. By sticky, I mean that people come back and stay around on the web site. MySpace, when I used it several months ago, didn’t have the sticky factor. I came, I read a message, I left. Facebook, I log in, I see what people are doing, I interact with them, I play games with them and then when it is way past time to head off to bed, I tear myself away from the computer. I know that this is good from my marketing perspective because there are other people on there just as active as I am.

I then started a second account for the business. DO NOT DO THIS STEP. It really is not needed and actually makes my life much more complicated than it should be! I repeat: DO NOT START A SECOND ACCOUNT ON FACEBOOK FOR YOUR BUSINESS. It is not needed because Facebook allows you to create separate pages under your personal account for your business activities!

Anyway, I started a second account for the business pages and started editing the information for the business. Putting in information and trying to figure out how to make it all work together and be easy to update when I was online with my personal account. Kim wanted access to the business page and I didn’t see why not, so I went hunting and found that the business page could allow fans to become admins in the Settings. NEAT, so now Kim becomes an admin from her personal account and I become an admin from my personal account. I soon discover that I don’t really have any need for the second account, but I have fans already signed up, and I really don’t want to redo the whole thing since it is working. I can manage the business page from my personal account without logging in using a second browser (I was using Google Chrome for my personal Facebook account because it is MUCH faster and then using Microsoft Internet Explorer for the business Facebook account so I could be logged in to both at the same time…cookie management, etc)

Next I saw the Promote Your Page button and started looking in to it further. It is a simple thing really, Pay-Per-Click or Pay-Per-Image view. I went through and set up my account, and set up an advertisement for our Friendship Bracelets (see them here if you are interested). I set a small daily limit and small bid amount per click. The ad has to be approved by Facebook staff (what a fun job that must be) before it will start appearing on the Facebook network, but considering I was setting this up on a Sunday afternoon, the 2 hour wait really wasn’t that bad. Once it was approved, I had recieved my full allotment of clicks for the day with in an hour and the ad was shown over 26,000 times in that hour. I was impressed, but I didn’t make any sales. I saw the same basic results the next day, my ad didn’t run for very long and used all of my clicks and was displayed a large number of times, again with so sales.

I then decided that I needed to limit the scope of my ad a little bit by demographic. So, I narrowed the scope down some to people that are more likely to be into friendship bracelets and reduced the number of people the ad would be presented to from somewhere in the 35 million range down to the 15 million range. Still alot of people, but more targeted.  I let it run like this for a couple more days. I used all of my clicks each day, but I still didn’t make any sales, so I decided that this wasn’t working for me, I should try another route and paused that ad campaign.

Next I created a new ad campaign to try and get Facebook Fans for my Facebook business page. I had some already (like 15 of my closer friends). I wrote an ad promising Fan Only discounts. I limited the scope of my ad WAY down to a very specific set of people that I wanted to become fans first, totalling around 4,000 accounts that the ad would be displayed to. I let this ad go free and it actually worked fairly well. It wasn’t seen my too many people, but the people that did see it, many (many is a relative term here) became fans of the page in the first 48 hours. I am impressed. So impressed, I gave the fans a discount at the web store. 🙂 I watched the traffic to my website soar immediately following the release of the discount. I am hooked.

Another thing I did, was sign up for a Twitter account for the business. Now, I don’t really understand Twitter and what it is used for yet, but with out doing any real marketing I have 4 followers. You can follow Fancy Fiber Farm too by checking us out at Twitter: http://twitter.com/fancyfiber

I hope this is a good start to help you use social networking as a marketing tool. I would love to hear back from you about how you use social networking for marketing. I would also like it if you would become a Fan of Fancy Fiber Farm on Facebook. I am also interested in hearing your sucess stories using social networking.


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2 Responses to Social networking as a marketing tool

  1. Karen Cubic says:

    This is really helpful. I joined Facebook to promote my alpaca business too, but I’m not all that computer savy, and haven’t really known what to do w/it. What you said has helped, and I’ll check out more of your pages. I also tried to pay per click ad, and that hasn’t worked well for me either. Thanks for sharing your successes and what didn’t work for you!

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    • admin says:

      Very glad you found this useful. I hope many others do too. I think we should all be trying to help each other out. That was one of the guiding principles that got me in the alpaca business to begin with too. But I have discovered there are a few bad apples in the industry, like in all industries, but I don’t think they spoil the whole bunch. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Hopefully there will be more to this story in the future. 🙂

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