Monday, September 13, 2010

The Inbound Marketing Facebook Challenge

Facebook is fantastic social media tool for gaining new market share, spreading news about your business, getting found, and developing a following. There are fabulous ways to increase your brand marketing through Facebook as well. With over 500 Million users, your possibilities are endless. Facebook Success Summit 2010 is sure to help you master Facebook marketing.

Although these are all great tools for marketers to jump for joy about, there are some challenges when it comes to marketing on Facebook. We all face our own Facebook marketing challenges and those challenges vary depending on our individual business needs. I am going to highlight the biggest Facebook marketing challenge I have encountered thus far.

How Do I Make Them Like Me? I find this to be the biggest challenge in Facebook today.

I set up a page for my business. I can search for friends. Those friends who decide to become my friend are only friends with my business page. They are not “Likes” of my fan page. There is no way to search for friends while you are logged into Facebook and have those friends “Like” your business fan page. They will always become friends of your business page instead.

I feel the friends of your business page do not even realize you have a business fan page to “Like”. Even though you may post something about your fan page on your business profile page, it is most likely overlooked. This causes businesses to double post content on both their business profile page and their business fan page in order to reach both audiences – those who are friends with the business profile page and those who are “Likes” of the business fan page. Double work. You can suggest your fan page to your friends; however, this does not seem to be very effective and those people are already friends of your profile page, so you are not reaching a new audience or gaining a new community member.

It would be more beneficial for friends to become “Likes” of your fan page. Reasoning for this is Facebook will only allow you to have 500 friends, at least last time I checked. If you reach this 500 mark, you are stuck. Your business can obtain unlimited “Likes”. That’s the catch. It would be much more sensible for your profile page friends to automatically become a “Like” of your business fan page.

And that is just hurdle number one.

Hurdle number two is trying to get friends for your business profile page. Yes, you can place your “Like” box on your website and you can compile your email addresses into a CSV File and use Facebook’s Friend Finder, but then what? Facebook doesn’t seem to be very business-friendly even though businesses are appearing on Facebook at a rapid rate. Have you tried to add a friend lately? “You cannot send this friend request unless you know Jane Doe. Facebook considers friend requests without knowing Jane Doe spam.” Or something like that.

Here we have a social networking site that does not allow you to socially network. If you add friends too fast, you are blocked from adding friends. If you add a certain amount of friends that have not responded to your friend requests, you are blocked from adding friends. (The downfall of uploading a list and having 100 people not respond to your friend request.) You cannot search out your target audience and ask them to be friends – it is considered spam to Facebook. So, businesses are supposed to network how? We aren’t allowed to do anything and this becomes a real challenge. Facebook is continuously deleting business profile pages, and personal pages for that matter.

If you are not a major brand that most of the population is familiar with, such as television shows, movies, sports, or major products, the odds of the general population searching for you are low. Facebook discourages you from searching for them. So, there’s the other catch. Stuck… again.

I feel Facebook needs to makes some changes to their policies. I have slowly started adding four friends per day in the past and have been blocked. My son’s personal profile was deleted. My orthodontist’s business page was deleted. A fan of my page my blocked. That is four instances just from my personal circle of family and friends. How many people and pages do you know that have been removed or blocked on Facebook? Check out Facebook’s help section on this topic in your spare time. It is full of people screaming, but of course, with no answer as Facebook does not have a customer service department.

Hey Facebook! Could you help us out here?

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