Most companies have not fully adapted to Facebook. That’s one reason why it frustrates them so much. But also, they miss out on a lot of benefits. What can Facebook marketing teach you about more effective marketing, sales and product and service creation? A lot!
The Promise of This Post: I guarantee you that if you are thorough with the Facebookize process I describe below:
- It will dramatically improve your Facebook marketing results (I’ve seen it triple post interactions and website clicks)
- It will revolutionize how you think about your customers.
- It will lead to improved ideas for products, services and marketing.
- It will filter down to customer service and strengthen your customer loyalty.
I’ve been teaching my Facebookize process to companies for more than a year. It’s a fundamental part of how we help our clients get better results.
The Problem With Facebook: Facebook, like any marketing channel, is different. People use it differently than Twitter or LinkedIn or Email or TV. The specific goals and tactics that work best on Facebook are different.
The targeting and tactics we use may be completely new to your company. You may not yet have a complete enough picture of (or data) your customers to succeed with Facebook marketing.
The Opportunity For Your Whole Business: What have to do just to get visibility on Facebook (like getting post interactions) are also powerful adaptations that help you get more results across all marketing platforms.
Why? Because if you can get likes or shares, now you know how to get an emotional response to your marketing.
People buy emotionally, so the value of learning this goes beyond Facebook.
Here’s the 7-Step Facebookize process:
1. What does your company sell?
2. Who buys it?
3. What’s unique about them?
4. What’s their lifestyle?
5. What else do these people like?
6. What dreams are you empowering?
7. Put all of that into images and copy.
Let’s get into it.
1. What Do You Sell?
This should be the easiest one for you to answer- especially if you’ve already thought about this in terms of search engine keywords (via the Keyword Search tool in your Google Advertising account or by using a service such as SEMRush). You know what your category is and that people want it. You know what words they use to describe it.
If not, you may need a more basic article or my forthcoming book The Cowbell Principle.
2. Who Buys From You? Using Demographics and Psychographics to Understand Your Customer
Who are your customers? Your perception may already be accurate if you spend a lot of time talking to them and that information been passed throughout your organization. Sometimes companies’ sales departments have a deeper understanding of the customers and prospects than marketing. Over time, your organization should understand and focus on what signals a good or bad customer (this is a big part of designing a content marketing system). You may or may not be able to flex to accommodate all the types of people who inquire of your brand.
Who is and is not a good customer for you? The most basic and traditional marketing terms for answering this are demographics: age, gender, location. If you don’t have demographics for your website, consider adding Quantcast’s tag and get specific data from them.
Psychological tools help us try to understand who the customer is from a personal and emotional standpoint.
An example is the Meyer Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which distinguishes extroversion vs introversion, sensing vs. intuition, thinking vs. feeling and judging vs. perceiving. It’s a fascinating system- but the problem is that there are 16 different types- are you going to have 16 different websites or Facebook pages? The question is how to apply it practically. And how do you get your customers to take the test? Also, some of the 16 types are more common than others. Are you going to compare to the population baseline to figure out which types your customers are and aren’t? The complexities are overwhelming.
There are more obvious applications of the MBTI though. There’s a good chance that if you’re marketing to IT professionals, they’re more dominant in thinking than feeling. No offense!
Personas are another approach. This means you create several fictional customer personas. You name them, put a face to them, and you keep them in mind when marketing. It sounds completely reasonable, but it’s important that your personas come from your customer data or experiences your organization has had with customers. Another criticism is that you can become irrationally attached to the personas you’ve created so much that you ignore real customer interactions. And of course, if your internal team doesn’t believe the personas are accurate, acceptance hampers utility.
If you don’t like any of these approaches, just hang on until we get to #5!
3. What’s Unique About Your Customers?
It’s more profitable to reach only people likely to buy. That’s one reason many brands don’t use mass media like radio and TV (apart from the cost!).
Now Facebook advertising offers a way to reach that size of audience but with better targeting (and much more affordably). If you’re not sure about this, read Why Every Business Should Spend At Least $1 on Facebook Ads A Day.
You can target potential customers with Facebook ads with demographics AND psychographics. You can’t use the MBTI to target them, but you may be able to use aspects of your personas (and hopefully they’re accurate). Facebook ads offer tons more targeting options including workplace, job titles, consumer behavior, educational level and college attended.
But do you know these things about your customers?
This is where Facebook requires us to go back and get new market research. How do we do that? We can, to a degree do it in Facebook itself.
Before we do that, we have to ask if your Facebook fan page is representative of your customer base? It may not be if you’ve bought fake fans or used other tactics to get a bunch of prospects you’re not sure will buy from you. Or your fanbase may be representative of your customer base if you had a strong email list and sent those people to your Facebook fan page to like it.
If your fans are representative of your customers, then you can use the Facebook ad interface to first target your fans, then subtarget it and watch how the numbers change. This will help you find out what is predominant among your customers.
Let’s say you have 10,000 fans. You can select male and see how many are male. You can select age ranges to see what ages they are. You can select categories like “parents” to see how many are parents. Get it? Write down what you find.
Now ask yourself, does what we know about our customers match this? Sometimes it doesn’t because the fans aren’t representative of your customers- but other times it’s because you had the wrong idea about your customers and didn’t realize it!
Now, back to the uniqueness of your customers- when you target potential customers with Facebook ads, you don’t want to spend money on bad prospects. So using the most unique targets is best.
Just an example: As you’ll see in #5, you may find that your customers prefer country music over rap- well, then, targeting people who like country music is going to get you more customers.
4. What’s Their Lifestyle?
There are tons of subcultures in every country. The best way to find this information is via graph search- so let’s move to #5!
5. What Else Do Your Customers Like on Facebook? Diving into Graph Search
We have to think about what our customers like on Facebook- and not just that they’ve liked our FB pages, but that they like other pages and interests.
Your customers will have other likes in common that they don’t have in common with the customers of another company- kind of a revolutionary concept- but before Facebook we never had access to this kind of information. Is your customer more of a Mac or a PC? Are they a CNN or Fox News watcher? Are they more into country music or something else?
You will certainly have variety across your customers- and you don’t want to alienate any of them- but you may find some powerful synergistic likes you can use in Facebook ad targeting and for post ideas.
Facebook lets you search for some really cool things.
They have all this data from what they call the Open Graph. That’s really just a way to visualize how all the people are connected to their friends and what they and their friends like. In a way, we are all in different tribes based on what we like. But we all have overlapping likes. And what’s funny is that often the people we are friends with only share two or three major likes with us. A lot of people like very particular things that they never really share in community with others.
Graph search is a cool way to learn about your audience or your target market- you know, the people who you want to pay for what you offer.
Try this out- think of one of your favorite Facebook pages- and if you can’t think of one, let’s try CNN or Fox News.
Go to the facebook search box and type in “Pages liked by people who like” and then add the Facebook page.
It will return a whole bunch of other things that fans of that thing like.
For example, let’s compare what the Fox News fans like with what the CNN fans like.
- Fox News fans like Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Paul Ryan, CNN, George Strait, Jesus Christ, Brad Paisley, The Bible, Macy’s, The Hangover, Disney, Zac Brown Band, Jesus Loves You, Jeff Dunham, Blake Shelton, Mark Wahlberg – so country music is a pretty unique thing- and the Republican candidates aren’t a surprise.
- CNN fans like App Center, Bill Gates, Facebook Security, Michael Phelps, Twitter, The Ellen Degeneres Show, Google, Facebook Studio, Steve Jobs, Snowboarding, Funny or Die, Breaking Bad, The Official Grumpy Cat- a lot more technology and comedy high in the list.
- They both like The New York Times, BBC News, Barack Obama, Upworthy, George Takei, CNN, Fox News, Amazon.com, Target, Facebook, YouTube, NFL, ESPN, History Network, Photography, Will Ferrell, National Geographic, Camping, Subway, Music, Moody Blues, Cars (movie), Johnny Cash – these are things we can consider to be pretty popular with a lot of Americans on Facebook.
What if we looked at what Apple fans like vs. what Microsoft fans like? Or cat people vs. dog people?
There’s a lot to be learned about your potential audience.
Here are a few guidelines to get the best results:
- Graph search results aren’t returned in any special order. We can assume it’s by popularity.
- Create a new Facebook account with no friends or likes, and you’ll get more objective search results. Otherwise, you’re more likely to see things that you and your friends like
- It’s always best to compare two or three things at once so that you can find the things all three audiences like, and remove those. The ones that don’t overlap will teach you more about your audience.
You can search for other things with graph search. Here are some example searches, with a few example results (there are tons more results for each of these):
- Interests liked by fans of George Takei – Burning Man is an interesting result
- Pages liked by people who work at Walmart – lots of country music!
- Interests liked by people who work at Sony – Star Wars & Soul Music??? Weird!
- Pages liked by people who majored in Accounting – Cairo, Egypt? Weird.
- Pages liked by people who majored in Accounting and live in United States – The Moody Blues, Fox New & Journey?
- Pages liked by people who are my age (I’m 40) – Dave Ramsey & Lifehacker are some interesting results
- Pages liked by people who are over 40 years old – Def Leppard & Journey!
- Pages liked by people who are under 40 years old – Tough Mudder & Daily Show
- Pages liked by people who are married – Tough Mudder & Gardening
- Pages liked by people who are single – Tosh.0 and GoPro
- Pages liked by people who have been to Lincoln Memorial – Maya Angelou & Oprah Winfrey
- Pages liked by people who have been to Empire State Building – Moscow, Russia & Daily Show
- Pages liked by people who were born in Dayton, Ohio (that’s me!) – Kevin Hart & Tyler Perry
- Pages liked by people who live in Charleston, South Carolina (also me) – Trina & Gucci Mane
Don’t forget to narrow your search. In any search results, look to the right and you’ll see you can narrow the results with a variety of factors.
6. What Dreams Are You Empowering?
Here’s something I’ve been teaching since 2011.
Most marketers & sales people learn early on to talk about benefits rather than features. Benefits are how it will improve the buyer’s daily life- these have greater emotional impact. Features can be technical and have less impact.
But how boring would 50 Facebook posts about your product’s benefits be?
The kinds of posts that work better are inspirational and aspirational.
So we want to talk about your customers’ dreams: the bigger goals in their life or career.
What are the dreams they’re trying to fulfill with your product?
Example #1 – iPhone
- FEATURE: “The iPhone can run some apps simultaneously.”
- BENEFIT: “You can listen to music while responding to emails.”
- DREAM: “Be productive and have great quality of life no matter where you are- even in a noisy airport.”
Example #2 – InfiniGraph
- FEATURE: “InfiniGraph offers data, charts and content aggregation for social content marketing. You can put a widget hub on your own site.”
- BENEFIT: “Surface your successful older content to increase its ROI.”
- DREAM: “I want to be more profitable with my time and outsourcing so that I have more money and time for vacations.”
Example #3 – Brian Carter Group (two of our services)
- FEATURE: “We offer Facebook ad creation and optimization.”
- BENEFIT: “We’ll lower your ad costs and increase your ROI.”
- DREAM: “We’ll rocket you past the competition so that you can stop worrying about competitors and start being a leading company in your niche.”
7. Put All of that into Images and Copy
Now, how can you create images and copy for Facebook posts and ads?
Exemplify your audience’s identity, concepts and dreams.
The two analogies I use for this are cheerleading and coaching.
You can cheer lead for their values, beliefs and likes:
You can coach them to inspire them to reach their dreams:
Give it a shot, and let me know what your results are like!
Brian Carter is a popular business expert and keynote speaker with Fortune 500 clients like NBC, Microsoft and Humana as well as small businesses. He delivers motivational keynotes with practical takeaways with the comedic flair of his stand up comedy background. His agency, The Brian Carter Group, creates marketing that excites customers and increases brand visibility, sales and loyalty. Brian is a bestselling author you’ve probably seen on Bloomberg TV or in Inc, Entrepreneur, The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times. He has over 250,000 online fans and reaches over 3 million people per year.