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Facebook has been in the news quite often lately. With their "Initial Public Offering," people are speculating if Facebook could potentially create thousands of millionaires overnight.
But this article is not about whether or not you should buy Facebook stock; that''s a conversation you can have with your financial advisor. What all this media attention on Facebook has done is brought to the forefront some little known facts about the company, facts that will have a huge impact on how you are able to market your business.
"Going public" has put the spotlight on the profitability of the company. In other words, if Facebook is free, how do they make money? This scrutiny has unearthed facts that some people don''t like, but for entrepreneurs like you and I, it''s the stuff marketing dreams are made of.
What is it that has some people up in arms while the marketing savvy are drooling at the possibilities?
For starters… Facebook has the ability to take all the information that people have in their profiles, from their likes, to their locations, their ages, what they do for work, to whom they are friends with, and offer that info up to businesses in nice little targeted marketing opportunities.
This information is valuable marketing content accessible in a laser-like focus that brings your "message to market match" to an unprecedented level of accuracy.
For people who appreciate that ethical selling and providing valuable services to people sustains our economy, the value of such a marketing tool is priceless. This is capitalism at its best and, as an entrepreneur, you can profit greatly from this opportunity Facebook is affording to businesses today.
Now whether or not you agree or disagree with the "privacy" issues surrounding this controversy is irrelevant, because if you are a smart marketer you see the sheer genius in this access through Facebook. Just check your opinion at the door for a moment and you''ll see why.
Facebook advertising obstacles
According to some Facebook advertising experts, 99 out of 100 people who try advertising on Facebook fail miserably. Maybe you tried it for a week or two and found it just "didn''t work" and gave up. That''s because really succeeding with advertising on Facebook is not the way most people have used "social media" in the past.
Check out these opportunities: Statistics show that every 20 minutes over 1,000,000 people share links on Facebook. This quarter alone, Facebook users are expected to swell to one billion. That''s an awfully big swimming pool… you better dive on in.
So why do so many people have a hard time monetizing their local carpet cleaning businesses marketing on Facebook? It has nothing to do with posting "updates" like you have probably done in the past.
Despite what you may have been told, you''re probably not going to make a dime by posting updates on your page. In fact, it could be detrimental to your success. For one thing, only about one-fourth of your "audience" will even see your update in their feed. The way Facebook works is people see the postings of the friends they interact with, so unless you are "interacting" with your clients through Facebook, most of your status updates will go unseen or ignored.
And, most likely, the people who do get them will find an ad in their "feed" more of an annoyance than anything else. People go to Facebook to escape, not to think.
If you want to succeed on Facebook, you have to imagine it is like a "coffee house." Imagine that you stood up on a table in the middle of a crowded coffee shop and announced, "Now that you are all here I''m offering a special on carpet cleaning!" How effective would that be? You just annoyed the whole crowd and, on Facebook, that equals getting "unfriended."
If you want to use Facebook for take-it-to-the-bank, trackable, direct-response marketing, then you need to approach Facebook in a different way than you do any other type of your marketing.
How to do it right
Here is one way you can successfully approach marketing on Facebook. Imagine that you''ve just cleaned at the home of "Mrs. Smith." You take out your camera and say, "Cleaning for you is always a pleasure, Mrs. Smith. May I post on Facebook a photo of you in your beautifully cleaned home?"
Then you post the photo with this simple caption, "We just cleaned for Mrs. Smith. She''s an awesome client and it''s always a pleasure. The first five friends of hers that call me get a free room of carpet cleaning. (Insert your phone number)."
And here''s the best part, how this really works. You "tag" Mrs. Smith in the photo. Now it''s showing up on Mrs. Smith''s feed to all of her 100 or so friends (statistics show that the average person on Facebook has at least 100 friends.)
Bam. You weren''t annoying. You reached a targeted audience. And that didn''t cost you a penny.
But there is so much more…
There is also paid advertising available through Facebook, also known as "pay-per-click" advertising.
To start with, if you have used Google Adwords, forget everything you think you know about "pay-per-click" advertising. Perry Marshall, my good friend and leading expert in both Google and Facebook advertising, says Facebook and Google are "two very different animals." As he puts it, "With Google you are appealing to your prospect''s ''head'' and with Facebook you appeal to their ''heart.''"
This is the short version of how it works. When you set up your advertising account with Facebook you can target specific areas, age groups and even tailor your ads to your clients "likes" and "dislikes."
For example, if you know a disproportionate amount of your clients "like" Starbucks or watch "Gossip Girl," you can put that into the criteria for your advertising. Then your ads will show to people in your targeted area that fit your target client.
And that is what makes advertising on Facebook so special. You can appeal to your client''s heart and passions. So when they are looking at photos of grandma or of their best friend''s last vacation, you can be presenting them with a nice little "impression" (ad) off on the side of the page. This would be a message that is relevant to their likes, but not annoying and you can do it for less than $2 dollars per day. According to the experts that''s a healthy ad budget for Facebook.
Getting the ''likes''
Take every opportunity to get your clients to "like" you on Facebook. That might sound underwhelming, and maybe even cliché by now, as most people already have "Like us on Facebook" plastered across their websites and ad copy.
But you need to take an active role in this. You or your technicians are in several of your client''s homes per day. While you are in front of them, get them to log onto Facebook and "like" you. Carry around an iPad and have them do it on there. Offer them a discount or a coupon towards their next cleaning if they do. Send out a campaign to your existing clients with an offer that gets them to give you those "likes."
Getting those "likes" will build you a "list" of clients and prospects that it used to take a team of market analysts months to compile. And even then it wasn''t as comprehensive as your Facebook list will be.
You will have access to all the commonalities of your target client, access to their friends; you will know their likes and dislikes. And then when you advertise to your "list" you are only marketing to your most likely prospects.
Just remember to follow the Facebook "rules" of advertising, and remember to minimize your advertising through status updates — you are in a "coffee shop" not a "mall." So engage people into discussions through your updates but don''t blatantly advertise.
The new frontier of marketing
What''s really cool is that "the good old days of Facebook" are happening right now. The time has never been better to get in on this awesome arena of marketing and advertising, and you can be a part of this revolution for mere pennies a day.
You really owe it to yourself and your business to master Facebook advertising.
Even if you have zero experience advertising online, through social media or using "paid for" advertising on the Internet (such as Google Adwords) you could and should be using Facebook, whether you are a one-truck owner/operator or a multi-truck millionaire.
And when you do "get" how to advertise on Facebook, you will find it''s a game changer. And game changers don''t come along every day.
Joe Polish is the president and founder of Piranha Marketing, a premier marketing and business-building company in the cleaning and restoration industries. Piranha provides ready-to-use marketing tools, sales systems and training to create ELF businesses — easy, lucrative and fun. Get his all new free report where he reveals "4 Little-Known, Easy Ways To Have Your Carpet Cleaning Business Booked Solid In A Week…" Just go to www.RichCleaner.com/4Free for access.