Those smart bastards over at comScore have been busy. The dudes who seem to know everything there is to know about everything worth knowing have been publishing reports hand over fist. One of their latest seeks to inform the unenlightened of the ‘Top 10 Need-To-Knows About Social Networking.” Need-To-Know number three? ‘The importance of Facebook cannot be understated.’ No shit. The imminent stock market debut of everybody’s favorite waste of time looks set to value the company at as much as $100 billion. That Mark Zuckerberg is one lucky &@%$. But I digress. Heading back to the smart bastards, they also tell us that Facebook membership is rapidly approaching 900 million users and that one of every five minutes spent online is spent on a social networking site. So that’s where all the customers are.
Luring Customers Away from Farmville
If you can’t beat them, join them. If you haven’t already set up a Facebook profile for your business, then dude, where have you been? The time is now. You can use the snazzy new Timeline style page that enables you to fill it with pics of your sparkling products for followers to enjoy. Then, all you have to do is find a way to lure their asses away from Farmville and all the other time-wasters they seem to enjoy. Apparently it’s not enough to just throw some basic information up and hope for the best. Facebook’s internal analytics platform tells us that customers are up to 150 times more likely to consume branded content via the Newsfeed than they are to visit a business profile. What does that tell business owners? Duh! You have to actually post some decent content and engage with your audience. You can’t just sit back and let customers come to you. Sheesh.
Even Mickey Mouse is Killing It. And He’s 83-Years-Old.
So, is it appropriate to connect with your customers via social media? The way things are going, it’s probably the primary way you should be connecting with them. If you do things right, there’s every reason to believe your business will grow to stupendous heights. Disney, for example, has around 35 million fans. If an 83-year-old mouse can do it, you’ve got no excuse. Once you’re all set up on Facebook, lining Zuckerberg’s pockets even further no doubt, the thing to do next is to get some customers to actually like you. The practice of like-getting has been gathering speed for some time now. Basically, you offer a coupon, eBook or some sort of freebie in the hope that customers “like” you in return. The real magic starts to happen when those followers start posting about your brand; that’s when all their friends start to hear about you. If you’re really lucky, you’ll end up with an audience of thousands that you can then go about turning into paying customers. And when you’re done with Facebook, you’ve got Twitter, LinkedIn and countless other communities to keep you busy.