Five conditions for cultivating a successful Facebook strategy: PART ONE

By Darrell Cook

Ok, you own a small business and you’re trying to figure out the best approach for using Facebook to help grow your brand, increase your sales and drive new customers. This can be challenging, as there is little enough time in your day to read a Facebook profile, let alone write and maintain one. Furthermore, your experience in social media is limited. You’ve read a number of articles and looked at a few Facebook pages, but overall, you are in uncharted waters. After reviewing a number of social media case studies for small business owners, I have put together five conditions for cultivating a successful Facebook strategy.

1. In for a penny, in for a pound

Facebook fans expect a lot for their participation. Their attention spans are exceedingly short, especially if your Facebook content is only changed sporadically or you wait too long to update information. For the best results while hosting and managing a Facebook page, get into a weekly (or daily) habit of updating content, changing images, adding incentives and providing good educational and informative content. Fans will see your commitment and give you their “attention monopoly” if you follow this rule.

2. Slow and steady wins the race

Savvy marketers know that promotion depends on multiple reoccurrences for impact. Therefore, when building your Facebook strategy, count on a slow drip of Fan increases rather than a home run promotion that doubles and triples your fan base. With the fragmentation of information out there, Fans are choosy about which Facebook pages they get sticky with. The good news: the difference between Facebook vs. more traditional marketing/promotional channels means that the small business owner needs only invest as little as two hours per week. Over time, your Fans will begin to provide feedback and start communicating directly with you. Although entrepreneurs start off enthusiastically, it’s important to remember that you are building a relationship with your Fans and not building a selling channel. It takes time to build trust.

3. Interact with each fan

Since the Fan base for small business owners is typically smaller than that of large organizations, who can have upwards of tens of thousands of Fans, small business owners can use this opportunity to reach out to their Fans more intimately by building a direct connection to hearing their voices. It’s a good idea to interact with each new fan on an individual basis. The viral effect of this intimacy can become greatly appreciated across unknown groups. The most hidden sub-culture within Facebook is comprised of the local “Mom” groups looking for family-friendly activities, sharing parenting ideas and yes, learning about good products and services from other group members. You never know if you have a Fan that may be part of a larger group that can springboard additional Fan participation and loyalty.

Stay tuned for PART TWO of Five conditions for cultivating a successful Facebook strategy on Monday.

Darrell is Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Conversys. His focus is to steward the North American growth for Digital Promotions Marketing. His career spans a wide range of technology and Internet companies throughout North America and the UK. From small start-ups to Fortune 500 firms, Darrell excels at bridging offline business processes with effective online channels. He is currently a Board of Director of the Retail Advertising and Marketing Club of Canada (RAC), and former Board of Director of the Internet Advertising Bureau of Canada.

By Adam

March 16, 2011