9 Tips for More Effective Facebook Marketing

By Brandon Cox

Facebook is NOT welcoming of the marketing efforts of its users; and often, family and friends on Facebook are ANNOYED by marketing efforts. Both of those statements are undeniable. So trying to "market on Facebook" requires good sense, strict moderation, and an understanding of how Facebook might work for marketing purposes.

Personally, I rarely post any marketing messages on Facebook. I post them on Twitter frequently, but I also try to make sure that 75 - 90% of what I post on Twitter is either personal interaction, plugging good free content, or plugging other people's stuff. I do think, however, that monetizing my content on even free social media platforms is perfectly acceptable. Why? It's simple. Even though the platforms are provided to me for free, I'm also providing the content that allows the network to exist. If nobódy posted on Twitter, they'd be broke.

So again, in moderation, with good sense, and with a priority on relationships over sales, marketing across these platforms should be an acceptable thing. Now about the good sense part.

Why is it That Social Platforms Are So Effective for Marketing?

People are social, by nature, so they love recommending stuff they like. Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms have a rapidly expanding user base. Authenticity is demanded as people will give honest and public feedback. The platforms are accessible and easy to use by design, even by people with few technical skills.

For the most part, marketing across social platforms is free, but doing it badly can cost dearly.

Why Is Facebook So Important to Messaging and Marketing?

With 500 million (and growing) unique users worldwide, Facebook is the number one social networking site in terms of activity and subscriptions. What started as a garage initiative by Mark Zuckerberg has now become the biggest phenomenon on the internet.

A user interface that allows for quick communication and the ability to create fan pages and groups at the clíck of a button are what make Facebook extremely popular. Another important reason for its immense popularity is the wide variety of social applications that have been developed and made available within the Facebook environment.

Facebook provides a wide variety of avenues to communicate with the audience, which opens up an entirely different world of possibilities to have a fruitful dialogue with customers. Some of these methods used popularly by marketers are:

Advertising: The first, which is the most obvious one, is advertising on Facebook. The difference, however, is the fact that you can create an advertisement in a matter of minutes and also specify the details of your target group in terms of demographics and types of discussions where you want your advertisement to appear.

Fan Pages: Facebook allows every brand, as well as individual users, to create fan pages for their favorite celebrities and their own businesses. Large brands have also created their official pages on Facebook that have a huge, immediate fan following world-wide. The fan page has immense utility to convey first hand information about the brand and also to collect immediate and frank feedback from your customers.

Branded Applications: One of the most effective ways to engage a user toward your brand is by creating an application; this could be a game or a contest, with your branding coming across subtly through it.

What makes Facebook even more exciting is the way it allows you to target your communication sharply just to the customer segment you want to attract. It also provides analytics and page insights that give good feedback and measurement on the activity done.

Facebook is envied by other platforms and internet companies because, at least for now, they own the social graph. If Google has mapped the Internet's URLs, Facebook has mapped the Internet's personal relationships and connections, and that's extremely valuable. Why else would a company with virtually no physical assets to speak of (other than offices, servers, and datacenters) be worth billions of dollars?

9 Tips for Using Facebook to Market a Message

If you're thinking about jumping into the idea of marketing (or messaging even without the goal of profit), here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Facebook, like any other online platform, has terms of use. Respect them or be prepared to be banned as well as criticized mercilessly.

2. Facebook is about relationships. You don't have a "relationship" with a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman - so don't be one on Facebook.

3. Being personal is everything. Successful Facebook marketing campaigns revolve around personality.

4. There isn't a magic formula for making any message "go viral." You can't control a virus - that's what makes them viral.

5. People like Facebook for entertaining stuff. In fact, entertainment is defined as "holding one's attention." Remember this.

6. Facebook ads are more personally targeted than ads anywhere else.

7. Being "liked" can work very, very well for your message. Being "unliked" (no, there's not a button, but it can happen) can bury you.

8. Facebook is in control. Always remember this and don't ever, ever assume its available tools won't change. They have and they will.

9. Don't build a business on Facebook marketing - or Twitter marketing - or newspaper ads, radio ads, TV ads, or leaflets dropped from hot air balloons. Build your business on a great product, a great message, and great relationships.

What did I miss?

About The Author
Brandon Cox is a Communications nut, a blogger, designer, web entrepreneur, and a Pastor at one of America's largest churches, Saddleback Church. And he loves helping people blog for income.

Internet Faxing

I would like to touch on the technology of what we call Internet Faxing or I-Faxing. I-Faxing is a method of transmitting messages electronically via the internet or IP addresses (like postal addresses for machines on the internet allocated by your Internet Provider). Much like e-mail has taken off in the business world (and outside of it), so will Internet Faxing and the concept of communicating for a minimal cost and without the use of paper.

So how does an office take advantage of Internet Faxing? Well let's firstly look at the application that I-Faxing is used for. Just like normal faxing I-Faxing allows us to transmit electronic messages from one point to another using the scanning technology in either a fax machine or MFD (multi-function device). The difference between a normal fax and this technology is that the cost involved with sending this data can be dramatically reduced.

I-Fax also allows the sender to reduce paper usage and the company's carbon footprint on the environment by taking advantage of I-Fax from desktop software that is associated with the module installed in the MFD. Given our commitment to a sustainable future, I-Faxing, Scanning, Emailing and other clever paper saving systems (including the simple double-sided print) are options that have become apart of our everyday life, without exception. The good news for businesses concerned not only with its carbon footprint but also operating costs and profit margins is that I-Fax can help you with all of these.  

Take the following as a working example:

Company ABC has an office in Melbourne, Australia with a multi-function device fitted with I-Fax and also has an office in Sydney, Australia (interstate) with the exact same configuration. The two offices need to communicate between one another for printed orders and invoices. Rather than sending normal faxes or sending physical paper via the postage either office can send a fax via the internet (I-Fax) without having to pay local or interstate phone costs. And depending on how the receiving station is set up the fax can either print out direct or can even be forwarded on to a local fax number in the other state (thus reducing interstate call costs to near enough nothing, excluding IP costs).

You can see with this type of technology how a company could save hundreds of dollars alone in faxing costs and improve the efficiency of its current system. I have had the pleasure of viewing many clients operate a well-oiled system with I-Fax and enjoy the speed and reduction in costs associated with this technology. You will find that even with some of the latest word processing software that I-Fax is now being incorporated for everyday use.

Have a look at your current system or if you are investigating a future system have a look at I-Fax options that are available and how they could benefit your organisation. This example above is only a small example of what can be done with this fantastic technology.

7 Steps to Building the Right Social Media Connections

By Angelique L. Rewers

Once upon a time, it seemed as though the number of "followers" or "connections" a person had on social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn was akin to the number of votes they had for homecoming king or queen. It was the grown-up version of a high school popularity contest.

However, as these websites have now matured - and as entrepreneurs and business owners have figured out how and how not to use them - most everyóne has come to realize that it's not about the number of connections you have, but the number of right connections.

Just like in the real world, you want to make sure you're making the most of your networking time by connecting with those people that have similar or complementary interests or expertise and, therefore, create a mutually beneficial relationship - particularly when sites like Facebook limit your number of friends to only 5,000. In fact, many people who have large followings of the wrong people are taking the drastic step of deleting their connections and starting over from scratch.

Whether you're just getting started building your social media network or you're a seasoned pro, who's thinking about doing a major overhaul, here are seven steps you can take to help you build the right connections.

1.) Start With the People You Know. If you're still not using social media and are hesitant to get started, the best way to get your feet wet is by connecting with those you know personally: your friends & family, your neighbors, and your co-workers. But don't stop there; your network is likely a lot bigger than you might think. Don't forget about your former co-workers, your connections through professional organizations to which you belong, your clients or customers, members of your mastermind communities and even vendors with whom you've done business.

2.) Add the New People You Meet. Not so long ago (unless you were in sales), the majority of the business cards you collected at networking events, conferences, trade shows and other professional development opportunities probably went in the garbage can the next day. Today, however, there's no excuse for not taking a few minutes to extend the life of those connections by sending social media invites the very next day. Be sure to remind the person who you are by referencing something from your conversation or by providing a piece of follow-up information that you promised.

3.) Follow Your Followers' Followers. Check out the connections and followers of your colleagues, peers, friends, etc. On Twitter you can easily see who your friends are following, as well as who is following them. Facebook automatically provides suggestions of people you might want to add because you have a lot of shared connections. In LinkedIn you may need to ask your connection to make an introduction. In any case, if you have things in common with your networkers, it stands to reason that a good portion of their followers is also worth following. Just be sure not to "spam" your connections' lists.

4.) Broaden Your Reach. Extend invitations to people in groups to which you belong in both the real and online worlds, such as professional organizations. On LinkedIn you can connect with the folks you "meet" through LinkedIn Groups. And on Facebook you can make connections when you're invited to attend an event or when you join someone's fan page.

5.) Follow the Experts. We're constantly learning from experts in our respective industries. Why not reach out to these folks in the social media world? Maybe you've just read a great book. See what the author has to say on Twitter. Or maybe you've gotten a brochure for an upcoming conference that you'd love to attend but can't. Before you throw the brochure in the trash, search for the speakers' names on social networking sites and send them an invitation to connect. Let them know that you saw their session description for the conference and you're disappoínted you're going to miss it, but would love to keep track of where else they might be speaking.

6.) Do Some Digging. Don't forget to take the time to search for people who share similar interests as you or who would be an ideal customer for your business. Granted, this is the most time consuming of all the methods. But it will give you the chance to unearth new sources, experts and connections that will add value to your business and who you might not otherwise have ever "met." Be on the lookout for bloggers, reporters, and analysts who cover your company or industry.

7.) Invite Others to Follow You. To truly create an online "relationship" it needs to be a two-way street. One of the best ways to encourage others to follow you is by showing that you will provide value to them. In other words, be worthy of their time. Start by ensuring your online profiles are professional (i.e. no avatar photos) and accurately describe who you are, what you do, and what topics you're interested in. Provide content and commentary that matches that profile, is timely and doesn't spam. Promoting is fine so long as it's balanced with valuable content. Link to blog posts, videos and articles your followers would find interesting. Ask questions and provide insightful comments on other people's posts. Make it easy for others to follow you by providing "follow me" widgets on your website, blog posts, article archives, and podcasts.

Remember: It's not about the number of connections you have on these sites - it's about the quality of those connections. Today, people are looking for authenticity. They want to meet real people with real things to say who will add value to their personal and professional lives.

Are you doing something interesting to find valuable contacts on social media sites? Leave us a comment and tell us know what strategies are working for you!

The Queen of Clarity - Angelique Rewers, ABC, APR, harnesses her extensive experience working with Fortune 500 companies to help solopreneurs clarify their marketing focus so they can build a business that makes them happy and makes them money. If you're looking for simple, low-cost ways to boost your sales, get Free marketing *Brilliance!* now at: