Tag Archives: Social Networking

Why you need a Facebook page and how to increase your fans with quality content

Creating a Facebook page is a great way to build a community around your product, brand or identity. More than 99% Fortune 500 companies have a Facebook presence (it differs from company to company how much they engage their customers and clients via their pages).

It takes a few minutes to create a Facebook page but it can take months to get a decent number of fans. Creating a page over there can be as simple as using its default features or as intricate as creating an interactive Facebook app to take your presence to an entirely different level.

Lets quickly go through some benefits of having a Facebook page.

  • It can act as your landing page: Since you can make your Facebook page as interactive and feature-rich as any other web page you can easily create a landing page for your product or service. Since you cannot create multiple pages you will have to take down one page in order to create another. Or you can have different tabs as different landing pages and then randomly decide on which tab people should land when they visit your page.
  • It can help you build a community around a product, service or idea: Just as birds of same feather flock together people of similar interest try to find people like them. There are many gadget companies that create Facebook pages to post interesting stuff about their gadgets and then have interactions with their fans. You can get valuable feedback from your fans. Some of those fans can turn into your evangelists and promote your product, service or idea on their own timelines, websites and blogs. The basic idea behind building a community is developing a kinship with your fans and having regular interactions with them to maintain a buzz around your presence.
  • It can act as a press release: Whether you’re launching a new product, testing a prototype, or giving an offer on your various products or services, you can announce that on your Facebook page. A good thing about releasing your news on your Facebook page is you will get instant feedback. So if you have just launched a product, you can include a link to the purchase page of that product and you can immediately see your sales soaring. Provided you have a considerable number of fans it can be a great PR tool for you in case you get some bad press.
  • Your Facebook fan page can help you build an audience: Suppose you are an artist or a writer and you want to build your own fan base. Just imagine what a boost you will get if you have 10,000 fans on your Facebook page. A good thing about having more fans is there is a greater probability of you getting more fans much faster. As a writer it will certainly give you an edge when you are negotiating with publishers or looking for agents. People who have become your fans will be more eager to buy your books. Similarly, if you are an actor people who have become your fans will be more eager to see your movie, and hence it will be profitable for producers and casting directors to prefer you over another actor who doesn’t have a solid Facebook presence.

These are some selective benefits and there can be a long list of other benefits of having a Facebook page.

Getting more Facebook fans with quality content

Eventually it all boils down to what sort of content you post on your Facebook page. Remember that you have to engage your audience. Your content must be inspiring, informative, provocative and thought-provoking. Since they have liked your page they expect you to say something authoritative, knowledgeable and useful. You are like a thought leader. They look up to you.

Publishing content on your Facebook page differs from field to field. It depends on your audience. A Paris Hilton audience would be totally different from, let us say, a Salman Rushdie audience (yup, I’m stereotyping here but that’s the reality). So you have to understand the dynamics of your audience and post your content accordingly.

A professional content writer can help you study your audience and then create your Facebook page content accordingly.

Three things get you a greater number of fans on Facebook:

  1. Regular posting
  2. Sticking to the interest of your fans
  3. Interacting with your fans however much possible

Regular posting

Regular posting gives you constant visibility. Timelines on Facebook move very fast. No matter how popular you are if you don’t post for a couple of weeks nobody really misses you unless your presence is indispensable. So you have to appear in the timelines of your fans as much as possible. There are different frequencies for different types of audience, 4-5 postings everyday is the least amount of content you should create and post.

Regarding creating quality content, it doesn’t always have to come from you. If you come across an interesting link that you think your fans will find useful, post that link. If you find something controversial, post that and invite your fans to give their comments. You can also share stuff from people you are friends with on Facebook and other social networking websites. Use different sources to keep your Facebook page timeline buzzing.

Sticking to the interests of your fans

Your fans follow you for a reason. If you are a writer, they expect literary content from you or something related to your writing pursuits, or whatever is happening in the field of literature, writing and publishing. Of course you can also express your views on whatever is happening in the world at a particular time, but you should maintain a ratio of 80:20 – 80% your subject and 20% general interest.

Interacting with your fans however much possible

Social networking is after all 1-1 interactions. If you just post and never respond to your fans’ comments people gradually begin to lose interest, especially when they are addressing to you and they don’t get a reply. It gives them an ego boost when you personally reply to their quarries especially if you are a budding celebrity. If you are a business then people will most probably comment about how fantastic or how lousy your product or service is. Try to respond to positive and negative feedbacks as early as possible because timeliness makes your conversations more effective and relevant.

So keep on posting relevant, quality content on your Facebook page and see your fans growing with great speed in a matter of a few months.

As a business person or as an artist it is not feasible to focus on your core area and also focus on your Facebook page. Sooner or later you will need professional help, especially when it comes to regularly posting quality content on your Facebook page.


Why content marketing is important for your business

Content marketing is a misunderstood terminology. It has got nothing to do with conventional marketing where you keep on pushing your messages and then wait for response.

There is often some confusion regarding why you need content regularly and why it needs to be marketed through proper channels. Unlike your brick and mortar business, the game is totally different on the web. You cannot compete on the Internet on the strength of your money, market reach and off-line reputation. You need to have a presence, and you need to have a convincing presence, and only high-quality content gives you that presence.

On your website or your blog, you cannot directly communicate with your visitors unless you are constantly online and are using a webcam or a chat interface to talk to individual visitors (this is feasible, but only up to a certain point). Your web pages, and what they contain, become your representatives, your voice on your online presence. So your content helps you communicate.

But this is not the only reason you require ongoing content and subsequent content marketing. You also require content to

  • Strengthen and establish your brand
  • Generate traffic from social networking websites like Twitter and Facebook
  • Improve your search engine rankings
  • Establish yourself as an authority
  • Keep your visitors/customers/clients informed
  • Provide answers to the most common questions regarding your business
  • Keep on communicating with your prospective and present customers and clients so that they remember you when they need the product or the service you provide
  • Give your visitors a reason to visit your website or blog regularly

Why content marketing

After you start publishing on your website, people need to know about it. Since there are zillions of pages and blog posts on the Internet it is practically impossible to publish 50-60 odd web pages or blog posts and then expect the traffic to pour down from all over the Internet. Some people may have 500-600 web pages or blog posts, and some may even have thousands of them. So in terms of quantity and quality, you are in a constant competition on the Internet, and the good thing is you need to compete constantly. Why I say this is a good thing is because then everybody gets a chance to compete on the strength of his or her ability to produce and market high-quality content. This way, even while working from your basement, in your undergarments, you can compete with as big a company as Forbes by producing better content and marketing it properly.

In order to compete, along with publishing relevant information you also need to market it. You need to highlight it and promote it where people can see it. Here are a few things you can do in the effort of content marketing without spending much money:

  • Search engine optimize your content: Although this comes under search marketing, basically it is content marketing. With the help of your content you are trying to promote your business on various search engines. If you are able to optimize your content, it is going to rank well on major and minor search engines and this can bring you tons of traffic. Choose the right keywords, pack your articles and blog posts with as much information as possible, and make them as helpful as possible.
  • Write for other websites and blog posts: You can publish articles on article directories (although they are losing their charm over search engine rankings because there are 100s of such article directories). A better thing to do is write blog posts as guest blogger for reputed blogs. This might not be easy so first you will have to interact on the blogs and let the blog publishers become familiar with you. Many start-up companies use this content marketing tactic with great success by publishing blog posts on tech blogs like Mashable and TechCrunch.
  • Maintain an active social media presence: This may include Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or YouTube. These days your website may get traffic from multiple sources and you need to maintain a vibrant presence over these places. Regularly interact with your friends and followers on social networking websites and generate content for social media websites like YouTube and Tumblr. Lots of content is shared and passed around using these platforms and you never know which of your links might go viral.

These are but a few ways you can carry out your content marketing effort. As mentioned above, content marketing is important for your business because first of all content is important for your business, and second, you need to make as many people aware of the existence of your content as possible.


What is conversation marketing?

Although the meaning of the term “conversation marketing” is self evident there is lots of confusion regarding what it actually means and what are its benefits. You must be wondering why I am talking about a marketing concept on a content writing blog. Content writing is basically a form of marketing:you communicate your marketing message to your readers so that they do business with you. In the same vein conversation marketing encompasses communication both ways; it is an exchange of ideas in real time. You are not only marketing your message you are also aptly listening to your customers and clients.

But listening and communication doesn’t just happen. Why would anybody be interested in knowing what you have to offer or in communicating what you want to know? To know people better and to make them know you better you have to strike up conversations. Interesting, direct conversations that make people think constructively. When they talk about ideas seeded by you it becomes easier for them to remember you and associate you with the service or product you provide.

These days I am closely observing companies and organizations indulging in conversation marketing through their social media and networking profiles. There are many few who get the hang of it. Most of them simply want to accumulate hundreds of thousands of followers and friends and dump their marketing messages upon them as if they are carrying out the usual advertising campaigns using traditional media channels. What is the use of broadcasting your message to those who don’t want to listen to you or have no idea what you’re saying?

They don’t realize that more than marketing they have to initiate conversations. The marketers call this the conversation age due to a plethora of social networking tools available on the Internet and almost everybody using them. You throw a stone and it will probably hit somebody having a Facebook or a Twitter account. It shows people are desperate to have conversations among their friends and new people to stumble upon on these websites. Okay, let us not use the negative word “desperate” but everybody wants to converse with everybody else. May it be common folks or celebrities everybody is talking to everybody.

Amidst all this talking you rise like an uninvited Sphinx and start blaring out your marketing message urging people to do business with you. Nobody cares. It’s not that people don’t want to buy but when they are interacting among their friends, relatives and the loved ones they don’t want somebody to butt in and make offers. It puts people off.

Conversation marketing helps you get over this psychological hurdle. Become familiar to your prospective customers and clients by striking up conversations with them. You need to be a part of the crowd, while standing out at the same time. You have to be interesting and useful. If you’re simply there to spout your marketing messages nobody is going to follow you unless you are targeting the MLM industry.

When both the sides talk you develop a rapport. People don’t take you as an irritating marketing person when you talk to them about their day-to-day concerns. Of course if you are a bigger company talking about mundane things may not be possible all the time and in this case it is better to stick to your brand but here too you can be interesting. Share interesting stuff about your business. Ask people how they prefer to use your product and so far what has been their experience. Be prompt in replying because people very soon lose the thread due to scores of other ongoing conversations.

The basic idea behind conversation marketing is to familiarize people with your presence without bothering them with too much marketing speak. It is a great opportunity in fact. If you are an adept conversationalist you can quickly develop a following and people begin to pay close attention to what you say and how you respond. The actual benefit manifests when people begin to talk about your product or service among themselves even without your presence. This is the actual essence of conversation marketing — people begin to converse about you or your business and preferably in a positive manner. I will talk more about this in my future posts


Content marketing doesn’t stop with n number of webpages or blog posts

Whenever I tell this to my clients they think I’m trying to get more business from them, which is true, in a sense, because if I’m telling you to get more content from me, and that too on an ongoing basis, I cannot afford to provide it for free. It’s like, getting solar panels installed on your roof is a good step because once you have covered the cost of installation the power you get is practically free (and you save your environment from getting more polluted).

So, it doesn’t make sense to grow cynical if a solar energy company asks you to buy solar panels from it simply because it would mean it is trying to do business. Anyway, the point of this post is not that. I think generating content on an ongoing basis must be a conscious choice and being a savvy business person you should be able to decide for yourself.

Having said that, if you’re getting 20 articles or blog posts written and after that you think that your content marketing campaign is over you need to rethink. Millions web pages are being generated on a daily basis. At least 500-1000 among them are lapped up by search engines, bloggers, website publishers and social media/networking users to promote and spread. These are the top ones that attract the majority of the traffic of that particular day.

For how long can you sit on the laurels of those 20 articles or blog posts? The reality of the current state of the Internet is that you constantly need to publish new content in order to stay in the game.

You want people to keep coming back to your blog or website. You also want social media/networking users to continuously promote your content. You want the search engines to keep on crawling your website/blog so that whenever you are making new offers or updating your content it is indexed and reflected in search results very fast. You want to cover as many keywords as possible in order to increase your targeted search engine traffic. You also want to build a community around your product or service so that people not only buy from you they also promote your business through word-of-mouth marketing.

This requires ongoing content publishing.

Both people and search engines are constantly looking for fresh, topical content to learn from and to promote. They are not going to highlight or promote the same content again and again.

You need to provide them fresh content.

Publishing new content on an ongoing basis doesn’t mean that you do it every day (although this is preferred because you accumulate more content faster). There are many clients who prefer just one blog post every week. Some go for three blog posts. It depends on their budget and the requirement. There are many types of audience and some audience do not appreciate receiving fresh content everyday.

So quantity is not an issue here. The issue is continuity. Publish less content, but keep it going. It is like business marketing. Do you stop after a single campaign? No you don’t. Companies keep coming up with new campaigns in order to draw new customers and clients. Content marketing is also a part of that process.


Doing better networking using social media

Networking is an exercise you have to conduct almost everyday if you’re in a business of selling — whether you work for an organization or for yourself (as a freelancer). Networking as a concept has existed since time immemorial but it has been taken to an entirely new level by social networking websites like Twitter and FaceBook.

Networking doesn’t just mean hanging around with people, although it also doesn’t mean befriending others just for commercial gains. It basically means knowing the right people (people who have use of your products and services or who can recommend your products and services to others) and establishing a communication channel so that you can reach each other when needed. It may involve:

  • Attending the right gatherings
  • Keeping in touch and communicating on a regular basis
  • Letting people know how you can serve them

This Mashable blog posts highlights 7 things you can do for better networking. Basically, networking takes time and effort and some people do it as a full-time job, although this is not called for if you have to run a business. For instance, being a content writer, if I post messages and updates on FaceBook and Twitter all the time and keep interacting people will soon think, “Heck, when does this guy do his work?” And this is true indeed. If you don’t strike a balance you’ll end up neglecting your core business.

For most, keeping in touch is enough. Keep in touch, and help people if you can. Sometimes go out of your way, but you don’t have to be unreasonable. Give people an incentive/reason to remember you in good stead, and convey to them that you are available if they require a particular service, content writing and copywriting in my case, for instance.