SEMA News—March 2012
By Joe Dysart
Making Facebook Pay
MailChimp offers a free app that lets users automatically add a mailing-list sign up form to their Facebook Pages.
Given that Facebook has become critical to any serious social media strategy, it’s no surprise that a number of tools, software packages and apps have sprung up to give businesses a leg up on maximizing their marketing campaigns on the service. Here’s a sampling of some of the most promising:
Go for a Page, Not a Profile: While many businesses started on Facebook with Profile pages—pages meant for individuals—Facebook has always scorned the practice and deep sixes any violator it finds. Instead, be sure you create or have a Pages presence on Facebook, which is specifically designed for businesses. With a Pages presence, you’ll do better on search-engine returns. Plus you’ll be able to run basic analytics on your page with the company’s free Facebook Insights. For first-timers, Squiddo has a superb tutorial on how to put together a Facebook page.
Bolt-On ROI Software: Packages, such as Campalyst software, enable you to continually fine-tune your Facebook marketing strategy by studying and reporting on how the social interactions on your Facebook page directly lead to sales. Specifically, Campalyst tracks the full history of a Facebook-generated sale, from a potential customer’s initial “Like” of your Facebook page to his or her ultimate purchase of a good, service or other action you’re seeking.
Campalyst also measures the revenue generated by your Facebook page during any given time frame as well as the revenue generated from any particular Facebook fan of your page. You’ll also be able to track the amount of additional revenue you generate each time you make a new post on Facebook.
The software goes beyond simply reporting on conversations. Instead, it zones in on how content shared (text, images, video, etc.) from your Facebook page results in sales and how much revenue those sales generate.
Campalyst also works for campaigns on Twitter and YouTube. Pricing starts at $100 per month, with a free 30-day trial. Adobe also offers a tool in this service genre—Adobe Social Analytics —which runs $20,000 per year.
Sell Directly From a Facebook Page: Reduce the number of clicks required from initial contact to sale with BigCommerce, which offers software that enables users to sell directly from their Facebook pages. Other shop-on-our-Facebook-page solutions include Payvment, ShopTab, Muncom and TabJuice.
Easily Integrate E-mail Marketing With a Facebook Page: MailChimp offers a free app that lets users automatically add a mailing list sign up form to their Facebook pages. They can also use the app to auto-post any e-mail marketing they send to a Facebook Wall. While a MailChimp account is required in order to use the app, users can experiment with a free entry-level version of the e-mail marketing service for as long as they’d like.
Easily Create a Marketing Campaign From Pre-Designed Templates: Constant Contact (www.constantcontact.com/social-media-for-small-business/index.jsp) has just released Social Campaigns, a tool that auto-creates a Facebook Page for a business as well as seven pre-designed marketing campaign templates, including product showcases and downloadable content. Users can quickly drop their own text, images and video into any of the seven templates and then post to Facebook.
Campaigns created with the software can also be syndicated to a company’s Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and be quickly integrated into traditional e-mail marketing campaigns. The solution comes with basic analytics, including the ability to track how many people buy as a result of the campaign and how many people share information about the campaign with their Facebook friends. Pricing starts at $15 per month.
Even better, all of the campaigns available with Constant Contact Social Campaigns can be auto-integrated into the business’s presence on Twitter and LinkedIn as well as into e-mail marketing campaigns. Plus users will be able to add a Share Bar to each marketing e-mail with the e-mail version, which enables recipients to spread the word about the campaign to friends and colleagues.
Easily Create Contests, Coupons and Special Offers on a Facebook Page: Wildfire Promotions offers an app teaming with wizards that enable users to quickly assemble and post promotions to their Facebook pages. Pricing starts at $5 per promotion plus $.99 per day.
Expertly Manage Customers on a Facebook Page: UserEcho enables users to monitor customer feeds on Facebook, quickly respond to them and then organize broadcasts of the conversations, if they so chose. A stripped-down version is free; the advanced version is $256 per month. Similar solutions include Assistly and Get Satisfaction.
Integrate a Facebook Campaign With YouTube: Facebook Campaign Manager, a new tool that’s been added to Awareness Social Marketing Hub, enables users to quickly integrate their videos on YouTube with any promotion they’re running on Facebook. FCM also helps automate the creation of Facebook tabs and coupons on Facebook pages. Pricing starts at $500.
Integrate a Business Philanthropy With Facebook: CafeGive is an online marketing service that enables users to expertly create and manage their philanthropic community outreach. With the service, they’ll be able to create custom-branded landing pages and offer sharing opportunities for Facebook friends who are interested in inviting friends to participate in the cause. The solution also automates Facebook newsfeeds on these efforts and auto-generates a steady stream of “Thank You” and “Progress” pages to keep the momentum going.
Consider Running a Sponsored Story on Facebook: Beginning in 2012, Facebook began running advertiser-driven Sponsored Stories in the news feeds of Facebook users. Essentially, the service automatically serves up brief alerts about how Facebook friends are interacting with businesses. If you “Like” a business on Facebook, for example, notification of that Like may show up in the news feeds of all your friends. Similar alerts are generated if you “Check In” at Starbucks, “Like” a piece of content on a company site, play a game on a company website multiple times or take a similar action. Facebook says that users will currently see only one Sponsored Story in their news feeds each day.