Facebook. I hear that word everywhere now: on the radio, on television, and even in conversations while I'm standing in line at the grocery store.
Facebook seems to be taking over the world…and judging by the numbers, that statement isn't that far off.
- Over 300 million active users (that's one for each U.S. citizen!)
- An Alexa ranking of 2, just behind Google.
- The fastest growing demographic is people age 35 and older.
- People spend an average of 20 minutes a day on Facebook.
A couple of notable points here:
- That's a LOT of people. A lot.
- The fastest growing demographic (35 years and older), is probably the same demographic that has and is spending the most money.
- Guess what the average time people spend on a given website is…10 seconds. Facebook: 20 minutes.
Ridiculous numbers. Ridiculous.
I guess this is why we're seeing more and more companies today ditch the website address on commercials and are putting in their Facebook addresses instead. It makes perfect sense, and it's a sign that we should be doing the same thing.
How Facebook Can Snowball Traffic to Your Website
I've been doing a little research with Facebook and how it can be used as a promotional platform, and what I found out wasn't necessarily “new” to me, but seeing how Facebook could work from a marketing perspective really opened my eyes, and was the reason why I started the Smart Passive Income Fan Page.
First of all, it should be pointed out that you can't use Facebook to sell or promote anything directly to your fans. Well, let me correct myself. You can directly sell stuff to your fans, but you shouldn't. In fact, the Facebook Terms of Service as of October 12, 2009 says you are indeed allowed to directly promote and sell products to your fans (of a Facebook Page, not a Facebook Personal Profile), but my point is that if you go into Facebook hoping to hard sell your ebook or whatever it is you have for sale, you're going to upset most (if not all) of your fans, you're not going to convert very well, and you'll just end up wasting your time.
The idea is that the Facebook platform allows you to directly connect and interact with people who are interested in you and what you have to say. It's all about establishing that relationship and gaining people's trust, which is probably the most important asset in any online business today. If someone asks you a question via Facebook and you answer back, that person is more likely to do business with you in the future. It's in the same realm as Twitter as far as how it should be used, but Facebook has a lot more features, obviously.
Phil's Fly Fishing
To get an idea of how powerful Facebook can be for a blog or website, let's make one up for fun. Meet Phil.
Phil loves to go fly fishing. Actually, he loves it so much, he created a website, philsflyfishing.com, where he talks about fly fishing in North America and sells some gear too. To promote his website, Phil decided to create a Facebook fan page.
Phil setup a free fanpage (I'll show you how to do this in a video later), and named it Phil's Fly Fishing Fan Page. He inserted some company information, a link to the website, and uploaded a few photos just for fun. At this time, Phil has zero fans.
Phil wrote a new blog post about Brown Trout and included a paragraph at the bottom explaining that he created a Page on Facebook and he would love everyone to become a fan. The next day, Phil has 5 fans.
When Bob became a fan of Phil's Fly Fishing Fan Page, a notification was sent to all of Bob's friends that he became a fan of Phil's Fly Fishing Fan Page. Since Bob is a fly fisherman, many of Bob's friends were fly fishing enthusiasts too. When they saw that Bob became a fan of Phil's Fly Fishing Fan Page, they clicked on the link and became fans too. Two days later, Phil has 15 fans.
When Joe, Bob's friend, became a fan too, a notification was sent to all of Joe's friends…and so on and so forth. This could go on forever, but I'll keep this part short. Because of the notifications that are automatically sent out, fan pages can go “viral” fairly easily. In addition, if you're in a specialized niche, you're more likely to find a string of people interested in the topic just from this process. Let's say that Phil now has 25 fans.
Some more cool stuff…
Phil's been updating his Facebook Page with some really interesting material. For example, he posted a link to the biggest fish ever caught on a fly fishing setup, and a notification was sent to all 25 of his fans with the link. Sam, another one of Phil's fans, commented on the link saying something like, “That was the biggest fish I've ever seen! Thanks for the link Phil!”.
Now, all of Sam's friends get a notification that Sam commented on Phil's link, and the whole “viral-like” goes into effect once again. Some of Sam's friends notice his interesting comment, and make their way to Phil's fan page. Phil now has 35 fans.
And even more cool stuff…
Bob, one of Phil's first fans, is actually headed to Canada for a vacation. On Phil's Fan Page, he asks, “Phil, I'm headed to Canada next week, do you know any good spots near Ontario to go fly fishing?”
Phil responds with, “Hey Bob, I actually have an entire section on my blog about Fly Fishing in Canada, check out this link here. Have fun!”
When Phil does this, not only do the rest of Phil's fans get a notification of the response, but they get the link to blog as well. Some of them actually find he's selling gear, and make a few purchases at the same time. Nice.
Getting even more ULTRA targeted fans…
Phil decides to actively search for fans of his Facebook page. He creates an advertisement like the one below:
He also makes sure this ad gets shown to EXACTLY to who he wants. He knows that most of his customers are over the age of 50, male, and in the U.S. and in Canada. So that's exactly who he targets:
Oh yeah, and he targeted people who have fly fishing in their profile. How ninja is that? He set the bid price to $0.30, which means that every time someone clicks on that ad, which get's shown to males over the age of 50 who like flyfishing, he will pay $0.30.
After a week, his ad was shown 113,890 times and clicked 370 times, which means Phil spent $111.00. Phil now has 462 fans. (Don't forget—those fans notify their friends when they become a fan.)
So he has 462 fans. What's the point?
How Can Phil Leverage his Facebook Fans for Business?
One day, Phil decides to offer a promotion for some of the gear on his website. He updates his fan page status with the following:
He could take it even further and say the discount is JUST for the fans on Facebook. They'll feel special, and if any fans comment, their friends will get notified and possibly see the deal too.
I hope you can see how powerful Facebook is.
Phil's goal was to eventually make sales by first establishing a relationship and a fan base for his website first.
For me and my Facebook Fan page, my goal is to connect with as many people as possible, funnel them here to my blog and subscribe for more content. As you know, I'm not currently selling or actively promoting any products, which makes it even better because I think people know I'm in this to help people.
I'll be creating some videos about how to exactly create a Facebook Fan page and even a highly targeted ad to go along with it, so make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel if you're interested in that, since I will probably not be putting that content here on the blog, at least right away.
It's up to you if you'd like to create a Fan Page for yourself. I just wanted to illustrate exactly why you might want to do this in case you were wondering. Cheers!
Photo courtesy of allriversguideservice.com