This is part 4 of 4 in a DrivingSales series about setting Facebook goals:
Every strategy needs a goal or else it’s just an aimless plan. We’ve covered the need to set Facebook marketing goals and described both the safe approach as well as some of the more aggressive approaches to these goals. Now it’s time to bring it home (in hopefully less than 1000 words) with a couple more aggressive Facebook goals that you can set for your marketing.
As I said before, it’s extremely important to realize that playing it safe is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s not that I want to encourage businesses to take that approach, but being aggressive means taking a bigger risk that the effort you put in will not yield the appropriate return on investment. I know that it can, but that’s no guaranty that it will even if you do everything right.
Thankfully, there’s always an abort button. If your aggressive techniques don’t seem to be paying off, you can always revert back to the safer goals.
When you ask business owners about the risks of social media, most will latch on to the potential for negative press. I’ve even been told by a very prominent business owner that they don’t have a Facebook page because they don’t want people to have the ability to talk badly about them on Facebook. I was waiting for the punchline. There was none.
As you know, sticking your head in the sand is not the right approach, but sticking it way out there for others to attack is risky. It can, however, be extremely rewarding as companies like Domino’s Pizza have demonstrated. Are there risks of getting bitten by being extra communicative on social media? Sure. You have to know that going in if you want that to be your primary goal.
The benefits can be tremendous. When you turn Facebook into a communication hub that is active with feedback from former, current, and prospective customers, you have the ability to be eloquent, sincere, and transparent, three traits that most would see as admirable. It means that you stand behind your product and your company and you’re willing to accept the good with the bad.
The bad news is that if you’re doing it right, the bad will come. The good news is that the “bad” types of communication where customers and former customers complain can almost always be turned around into an opportunity to impress future customers. Bad reviews aren’t bad unless you let them be bad. By applying empathy, professionalism, and a true desire to improve your business, even the most scathing reviews and communications can be turned into a major win for your business.
Setting this type of goal requires constant attention. You have to set your smartphone to alert you the moment that anyone communicates with you because time is of the essence. It’s not just about not letting things linger without a response. Perhaps more importantly, it lets others see that you’re extremely attentive to your Facebook communication hub; this encourages them to want to talk to you through there as well. The more that people are talking to you on Facebook, the greater the opportunity to shine through the constraints of EdgeRank and let your messages be seen.
This is one of those situations where Facebook sponsored posts might happen well after the post goes live. Let’s say you ask a question like this:
“What should we serve at next Saturday’s big tent sale: hot dogs, hamburgers, barbeque, all of the above, something else? Let us know in the comments, please. We’re planning on making a decisions based on your input by this Wednesday.”
In that scenario, you’ll want to get the word out. It’s not just about giving people the choice on food. It’s about letting as many people as possible know about your sale. Once you have a couple of responses, now is the time to promote the post. Then again, if you’ve had success with previous promoted posts, it’s okay to launch the ads the moment you publish the post.
Be creative. Setting a goal of communication is fruitful when done right and embarrassing when done wrong. Do it right or don’t do it at all.
This is the big daddy of the goals, particularly for local businesses. It takes an abundance of creativity, a willingness to not give up when something doesn’t work, and the ability to make things happen in the real world as well as on social media.
If you’re an internet manager who has no access to setting specials or running promotions, this is a tough one to pull off. To bring real world traffic, you need real world incentives. If you haven’t the budget or authority to affect the real world aspect of your business, you should not go for this goal. It’s not that you can’t drive foot traffic with intangibles, but it’s infinitely easier when you have “the goods” in the form of reality rather than just virtual.
For example, the Dodge dealer that we used as the example in the previous post could set an event or create an offer that they run through the Facebook system for $14.99 oil changes available to Facebook fans only. They have to claim the offer or announce that they’ll attend the event and this can help you let your fans spread the word for you.
Another Dodge dealer example would be to set an event around a sale. Announcing the sale itself won’t do much, but giving something away such as free sunglasses can help you to get people to like your event on Facebook, again exposing the sale through their channels.
The hardest part about driving foot traffic through Facebook isn’t in getting the traffic. It’s in proving that the traffic came as a result of Facebook. When you’re working with budgets and you have to report to the boss, you’ll need to prove the effects. This is where events and offers come into play, but that’s not enough. You have to give the people who come to the store a reason to let someone know they came because of Facebook. Otherwise, they simply won’t tell you. If you can’t track it, then it didn’t really happen.
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Regardless of which goal you set, remember that Facebook is a marathon of sprints. By that, I mean that it’s not always steady and constant but it’s also not something where you can expect to sustain the sprints of success over and over again. You have to know what you want and then set out to make it happen. Otherwise, you’ll be like everyone else who is flailing around on their Facebook pages trying to find reasons that they can use to demonstrate it’s working.