by Guest Blogger Sabrina Jensen
Even when you make a connection with a potential customer on Facebook, it can be difficult to contact them directly. In order to guard against its users being bombarded and overwhelmed with solicitations and business communications, Facebook has structured its business pages so that there’s no way for a business to send messages directly to groups of its connections.
Because of that, and because a Facebook is following is not something you own, you should create a mailing list outside of Facebook that you own completely.
Based on the promotional activities you’ve done on your website, you may already know how important it can be to use a quality service to manage your email list. The same holds true when it comes to building your mailing list through Facebook. Most of the major email service providers allow you to integrate their services into Facebook, as is the case with MailChimp (http://mailchimp.com/features/facebook-integration/), or you can use a Facebook application, as you can with Constant Contact (http://apps.facebook.com/ctctjmml/).
Use the SEO principles you may already be familiar with to optimize your Facebook page. Use targeted keywords and keyword phrases throughout your posts, and make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors anywhere on your page. Cultivate quality links to your page from third-party websites. If you have a physical storefront, be sure to display location and other contact information prominently on your page.
We’ve noted in previous articles that the average prospect you have through Facebook might not have the same profile as the average prospect who interacts with you primarily through your business website. You might find, for example, that a website connection is more seriously interested in your product or service, and may be closer to a buying decision point than a Facebook page connection. For this reason, you may want to create a separate mailing list.
Many of the tried and true list building techniques work equally well on Facebook. Incentivizing a new sign-up by providing them with a free informational product, or a discount code for making a purchase, can be a great way to build your mailing list on Facebook.
Setting up an advertisement on Facebook is relatively simple and straightforward. If you’ve ever used Google AdWords before, you’ll find that the process goes quite quickly. Facebook has a number of ad guidelines you need to follow, so be sure to learn them before you place your first ad. As with AdWords, you’ll be able to set a fixed budget so that you’re always in control of your overall ad spending costs.
6. Evaluate Your List Promotions.
Periodically evaluate the mailing list you build through Facebook to see how you’re doing. Are too many people dropping off your list after each email you send? If so, then you may need to evaluate the frequency or tone of your e-mails. You also want to track what percentage of your mailing list subscribers eventually become customers.
7. Make List-Building a Priority.
While it’s possible to grow your mailing list without putting forth a lot of effort, you’ll likely be disappointed with the results. On the other hand, when you make building your mailing list a priority, you’ll often wind up with an extremely valuable business asset that you’ll be able to profit from far into the future.
8. Don’t Send Too Many Emails.
Don’t treat the subscribers you get from Facebook any worse than you treat subscribers you get from your website. The normal mailing list rules regarding email frequency, honoring unsubscribe requests, etc. still apply to Facebook subscribers.
In the next post we’ll discuss how you might be able to use your Facebook page to sell directly to your Facebook connections.
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