Facebook ads for small local business?

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

The question of the day for local marketing is if Facebook can really deliver local audience that is primed for shopping your store or locations?

You may have heard by now that Facebook has now passed Google in daily usage on the internet. That stat alone is mind-boggling, if you think of the incredible reach that Facebook has been able to generate, by allowing an open forum of communication to take place among friends.  So how does that apply to local business and marketing?

I have written several posts regarding Audience and the importance that your marketing strategy include an analysis of the audience value, based on your end goal. So Facebook we now know has a tremendous audience that should have all the qualities of broad-based marketing combined with the power of targeting. However are they looking to shop?  Is this Audience here to support your business or to just share interesting information with others?

I have not found any real statistics to support that Facebook fans produce any great success in sales when it comes to local broad-based marketing.  I do know from experience there have been instances of brilliance with local fan bases on Facebook that create one fantastic event in marketing. I recall a restaurant owner who challenged his friends to help him reach the 500 fans club, and once they did he threw an after hours party for all his fans only, he generated a new fan base with in a day and had a party which generated future clients.

So I guess the question once again is do you have a marketing plan for Facebook?

  1. Are you a local small business who can generate events on a regular basis that will continue to attack and inspire your friend network to respond?
  2. Are you expecting that just because you open up your Facebook page that it will grow organically to the point of marketing success by pure numbers?
  3. Have you designed your Facebook page to generate leads?

Here is what I need to share with you if you are a small local business:

  1. Facebook Ads gives you the power to target local consumers and only pay if they actually click on your ad. (PPC Model)
  2. Facebook Pages must contain information and conversation which interests your reader
  3. Fans get bored quickly so your strategy needs to be nimble.
  4. Don’t over sale. Give Back 2-3x more than you want to receive. Understand why they are there and what they are looking for and then add value to your relationship.
  5. Respond quickly and professionally to all communication.
  6. Ask for their business on your fan page.
  7. Build local Facebook ads that play to the customers needs not yours.
  8. Link Facebook ads to a lead generation page on Facebook or Website but make sure the fan gets something of value to them in return.
  9. Build multiple campaigns to run at the same time. Remember there are still only so many people in the marketplace for your widget today and with the PPC model you can afford to have multiple product lines marketed at the same time.
  10. Build a Blog and Feed it to Facebook so that you generate interesting content regularly and your fans have another outlet to communicate with you. Also ask you blog followers to follow you on Facebook. Provide additional content of Facebook. ( Photos)

In conclusion, I believe Facebook can be a very powerful local marketing tool, however you must remember that you still must create the audience.  Unlike traditional media in social media you must create your own marketplace and audience. This takes time and attention on your part.  As a small business owner it is a good idea to discuss with a marketing consultant when designing your social media strategy.  They can help you develop the plan, however I do suggest that you invest in the process and become a voice in your own plan. Fans want to know you, not your agency or consultant.

If  you would like to discuss your small business further sign up for my e-mail list and send me some contact information so that I can communicate with you.  I love to discuss this process with small business owners and help them get started. Check out my website at www.1to1valet.com



Where does Social Media fit in the marketing funnel?

Social Media Landscape

The past two years I have had an internal conversation going on about the choices business people are making in regards to social media, mobile media, newspapers, direct mail ect.

As our economy started the slide I saw businesses start to blame their media outlets for the lack of response they were receiving and decide to jump to newer and trendier media selections. Unfortunately I also saw a rise in businesses which lost brand value and often found themselves in that place where going out of business would be more delightful than staying in business.

Let me try to clear up where I believe Social Media Fits today in the Marketing Funnel. I am big believed that Audience size does matter. Those elements such as timing and buying cycles in your industry must be used to increase the effectiveness of your marketing ROI. If you are just beginning your social media experience, you know all to well that your Audience is very small at this point. So making a marketing decision that represents this as a base marketing program at this time is reckless and will be damaging to the momentum of your company.

Before I share my ranking of sort let me tell you a little story I once heard to illustrate a point.

This story takes place back near the Great Depression. Mr. Wrigley, Wrigley Spearmint Gum, was on a train heading West with several of his trust business executives, they were discussing the decreasing revenues and profit statements of the company, A young accountant speaks up and tells Mr. Wrigley that he has a wonderful idea on how to reestablish a positive bottom line for the company. He suggests that they cut the marketing campaign budget until things improve. It is at this point that Mr. Wrigley displays great leadership and ponders this thought for just a moment. Then he asks this question of the young man. “Son how fast do you think our train is moving?”

The Young man says “35-40 MPH?” Mr. Wrigley Walks him to the front of the car and then asks, ” So if I pulled that pin out at the front of the car that attaches us to the main engine how long what do you think will happen?” “Well Mr. Wrigley we would coast to a stop” said the young man.

Mr. Wrigley then turns to the entire staff and exclaims, ” that is precisely what will happen if we cut our marketing efforts, we lose all momentum and come to a stop, Marketing is the engine that creates our movement!”

I tell this story because I think many businesses today are facing this same question, not only because of finances but because media and Audience has become fragmented and is responding differently than in the past.  See the Media that is out there still works, but the audience is smaller and the Audience has changed the expectations for responding.

So how do we design a marketing funnel for today’s audience?

Basic Marketing Funnel principles can still apply.

  1. Broad Based Marketing – The use of large audience impressions to place any possible customer in the funnel and building them to a potential customer.
    • Newspapers – Still have some of the largest Audiences in every Metro Marketplace
    • Television – Very Large Audience in a Region or Nationally if you have the budget.
    • Facebook Ads – non-targeted, you ever looked at the size of audience if you set out your message to all users? Pay per click options make this very attractive.
    • Google, Yahoo Ad Words – Similar to Face Book you can capture a global audience.
    • Direct Mail – Saturation Mailing has become easy and more affordable with the USPS new simplified mailing programs.
  2. Target MarketingAfter filling the funnel with potential clients it is much easier and more cost effective to target market to groups of customers or potential clients. Many businesses think they can just jump to targeting and skip the first step, however I would argue that they do it at the expense of future growth and will eventually spend much more trying to find that additional market share. Target Markets tend to move or dry up and then leave businesses in want for their attention.
    • Social Media Ads – Facebook etc., now allow you to zone in geographically, demographically etc.
    • Google and Yahoo Ad programs you can target very effectively, with these programs and again the pay per click model allows even small budget firms to take advantage of practice.
    • Radio – Demographic profiles of stations make this more of a targeting vehicle.
    • Cable TV – Same as radio
    • Direct Mail – Not as cost effective as Saturation, but lists today will allow you to slice and dice a zip code in various ways to get the right target.
    • Zip Code Insert Programs – Newspaper, Still one of the cheapest ways to reach a Zip Code and have a good client demographic reading your material.
    • Web Ads – Pick your site
  3. 1 to 1 Marketing – Any marketing channel where you have the ability to personally talk with your customers and or clients.  Social Media has now made this Marketing level very affordable and is now changing the workforce in many large companies around the world.  This step does take Data, and Audience and is not effective till you have both.  The secret is in accumulating Data on your customers from the first two stages and then building relationships with an audience, which trusts you and will share their love for you with all that they know.

Have you forgotten the basics in Marketing?

I read a great article this morning written by Steve Howard, author of Powerful Marketing Minutes and Corporate Image Management,
11 key marketing trends. In a vast world of marketing opinions this article hit me as very intuitive, and well thought out. It tackled the question that many of us are asking ourselves about the new marketing world we live in today.

The tip that caught my attention was number 6) Marketing fundamentals

— Marketing Fundamentals are as important as ever. Too many marketers and organizations have gone astray in recent years jumping on the bandwagon of “hot” marketing trends like customer generated content, viral marketing, and mass email marketing.

The marketing model mixing 1) product, price, place, and promotion with 2) positioning strategies based on customer needs, wants, desires, likes and dislikes and 3) an understanding of customer perceptions of the product and corporate brands to create a compelling value proposition to customers is not broken.

It has merely been misused in recent years by a) inexperienced neophytes who think naming a product is equal to branding, and b) by senior managers more focused on quarterly profit statements than on building brands that open vast marketing opportunities unseen and untapped by competitors.

Those who focus on knowing and understanding what customers truly value will create sustainable businesses that deserve customer loyalty. Those who do not will continue to fall by the wayside.

Product, Price, Place, Promotion, four simple marketing basic that we often forget when the next trends come swooping in a create the panic to catch up.
Do you have the right Products, at the right price, where the target consumer wants to get them, and have you told them about it?
I can recall hundreds of business visits I have made where the store had a fantastic product that I had no clue they carried. How often do we as business owners go to trade shows and buy inventory in a great new product line but then come back and not promote the item? Instead hoping that our current customers will find it their next visit and just have to have it.
So let’s take a step back here from Steve’s marketing tips and get a solution for these key marketing practices in todays media environment.

  1. Product – Do you have the right product? In todays information super highway It is hard to understand how a business can not know what their target consumer wants? It seems that with a simple Google search you can find trends and analysis on almost anything. But maybe the most organic approach today is best, use twitter and Facebook to ask your consumer base what they want and need, imagine being at the next trade show, snapping a picture with you phone of a new design and posting it on Facebook seeking feedback. (of course I assume you have developed a Facebook fan page and base of targeted consumers) Todays Social network are a great sounding board for likes and dislikes. A business must invest in the relationships prior to these tactics but can you se the potential?
  2. Price – Again with the world of information at your finger tips and Social networks filled with people sharing information you can determine both market value and competitor pricing with the click of a mouse. No you just need to decide on a pricing strategy and implement.
  3. Place – Location, Location, Location – the most basic marketing principle most often ignored. Location or place has become complex, with the growing inventory of shopping outlets online and the ability for companies to literally buy locations on the internet, place has changed. If you are a bricks and mortar store front location is still crucial to your goals and future. But on the web, you can be in any location you wish and can target consumers at the very place they wish to meet you. The challenge is that the locations are often changing, so you need staff or expert help in how to place your business in the multiple locations that your target consumers are at this month.
  4. Promotion – Wow has this category changed in the last 10 years. Don’t let the new technology scare you in promotion, think of the added connections you now have to promote your products at a value that still will give you ROI. I understand that in the past you could not afford to place a new product in your newspaper or TV ads because you would never receive the ROI needed for that single product to make it worth the expense. However with the internet and social media, you can now have independent marketing campaigns for every one of your products, targeted, geographically, social economically, behavioral etc…. and the cost can range from Zero to a couple hundred dollars per qualified lead.