Ten Top Tips : Make money from Facebook

As with traditional forms of marketing, return on investment (ROI) from your social media activity is crucial. Amanda Davie, MD of digital management consultancy Reform, looks at how you can make money from Facebook et al (without buying shares!).

by Amanda Davie
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
1. Win new customers
Social media is a great way to engage non-customers with your brand and encourage them to buy your products and services. Photos, videos and interesting content are delivered straight from your business and via their friends to their desktop or mobile screen. Encourage your Facebook fans to share and understand the power of the re-tweet.

2. Customer research and feedback
The best social campaigns ask users to participate and contribute (make a video, send a picture, answer a question, contribute ideas, etc.). That builds engagement but also acts as cost-effective research into what they think, want and don’t want. Just look at the current Walkers "What’s that flavour" campaign; this encourages engagement with their fans through guessing, but also generates great ideas for new flavours of crisps.

3. Improve customer service (and retention)
Social media is fast becoming the number one customer service channel, so make sure your service teams are dialled in. A quick response to a complaint or query on Twitter can make the difference between a completely satisfied brand advocate and a disgruntled ex-customer.

4. Improve your search rankings
Facebook content might not appear on Google (yet) but YouTube certainly does. Branded videos with the right tags will get your company to the top of the video search rankings, which can be just as important as the ‘traditional’ search pages. And Google+ content will also get picked up by Google, so it may be worth having a presence there too.

5. Exclusive offers
If your Facebook fans and Twitter followers feel special, they’ll spend more. And a great way to do that is with promotions, offers and incentives that are exclusive to them. For example, you could open your regular sale to your Facebook fans a couple of days before anyone else can access it, or offer prizes for re-tweets on Twitter.

6. Support your other marketing
If your business has a big ad campaign, promoted tweets on Twitter can help get the message across to the online community. Also, the success of viral YouTube videos such as Harvey Nichols’ ‘Walk of Shame / Stride of Pride’ campaign is another way to get customers on board and spending money.

7. Video sells
Video helps captures people because it’s passive entertainment. Instead of trying to convince the public about your product through words and images, you can create a video that highlights the benefits, have existing customers provide video testimonials and share content through video. YouTube is an increasingly important channel for business marketing, but the content can also be shared on Facebook and Twitter.

8. Incorporate e-commerce directly into your Facebook page
Allow Facebook fans to buy directly from the page, as well as giving them the opportunity to allow their purchase to be published in the Facebook newsfeed. People are more likely to buy something that they see their friends have already purchased.

9. Treat it like a business
Social media isn’t just ‘something we should do because everyone else is doing it’. Create a business plan and aim for a return on your investment.

10. Measure everything
Track everything you can – it’s the only way to tell what’s making money and what isn’t. And when analysing the results, don’t lump everything together: analyse the different social networks separately, and even look at the difference between what you shared yourself and what was virally shared by others.

Find out more about Reform

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