Using Facebook Like to Market Your Business

According to new figures released by a joint survey between Exact Target and CoTweet, Facebook users use the Like option for a brand for one overpowering reason – discounts and special offers.

Why fans like Facebook pages

Surveying 1,550 U.S. respondents aged 15 and older from March 2009 to April 2010, the results found that a whopping 40% of consumers like a brand or company on Facebook to “receive discounts and promotions.” When it comes to getting freebies, 36% would like a brand who offered giveaways.

Add to that 30% of those surveyed would like a brand to get updates on upcoming sales, and it’s clear that having a Facebook page offers a great opportunity for businesses to build loyalty with a willing customer base.

So how can you use this information for your business’s Facebook page?

Coupons and Customer Coding

The obvious way to market would be through coupons of your own. If you have flyers or discount coupons for your brick-and-mortar retail store, you can easily transfer that to your Facebook page.

Grab the artwork from your existing flyer (or make one unique to Facebook) and then transfer that to a tab on your page’s navigation menu. Currently this is created using the FBML application (and some HTML coding), though soon you’ll have to change to iFrame.

Call your tab something simple like Coupons or Discounts to grab attention. Then, to encourage folks to Like your page, only make the coupon or discount available to people after they like you. If you’re unsure how to do this, my friend John Haydon has a great guide on using Facebook HTML as well as hiding offers until people click your Like button.

I used this method when I offered a free Facebook Marketing ebook exclusively to folks that liked my Facebook page, and as you can see by this overview on the metrics, exclusive content definitely works.

Of course, getting folks to like your brand through coupons and discounts is just part of the process – keeping them is a whole other story.

Loyalty, Lists and Like Highlights

So now you have a bunch of folks that have liked your Facebook page because of your discount coupons or freebie offer. But how do you stop them from un-liking as soon as they have the coupon?

Simple – you market. But not just any old marketing – now you use the strengths of the Facebook page platform and make it a no-brainer for folks that like you to continue to do so.

  • Facebook Insights are available for admins of any Facebook page, and will give you information on demographics, content popularity, interaction on offers and other useful insights into how people are acting on your page. Use this to tailor audience offers and time-sensitive specials.
  • Facebook Updates are the equivalent of email lists, and will send a targeted message to people that like your page. The great thing with updates is that you can completely tailor them so that instead of everyone receiving a message, only those in a certain city, country, age range, demographic, etc, will receive the message. Perfect for gender-specific offers, or cultural events, or national holidays – anything you like, really.

On top of these two options, rotate your coupon and offers, and make sure they’re only available to people that like your page. Don’t settle into a routine – have an offer one week, then change two weeks later, then 2 days, etc. Mix it up so people will always have to be connected to your page to know when a new coupon is available.

Highlight your most valuable users as well.

Folks that interact the most; or use their coupon the most; or share your offer the most – give them special discounts and rewards to say thank you. It shows you value them, and also offers incentives to your other “fans” to become more involved.

These are just some of the ways you can be the brand that customers won’t just like, but be loyal to instead of being a fairweather friend.

And at the end of the day, isn’t that what you’re in business for?

Image: Exact Target and CoTweet

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