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More and more businesses are creating FaceBook pages as a marketing effort - is this leading to an increase in business, or just another type of web brochure with no call to action?
Yes but very small
Haven;t used facebook for my company yet and was always curious about it.
I just created a page for one of our homes. I haven't noticed more inquiries yet and, honestly, don't really expect to. But I figured it'd be a nice way for our past renters to keep in touch, at least.
We created two pages in 2010 and have seen 2 bookings as a direct result of Facebook. This was after we hired a professional to manage on the pages to gage their ability on procuring bookings. It was an expensive lesson learned. I think it is good for your loyal customers to be kept current on local events and specials but have not been impressed so far.
Do you mind saying which professional you hired so we don't make the same mistake?
Sure - you can call me at 800-837-5102 ext 201. Pat Denny
I think, facebook page is more for image of the brand it self , I havent find good result for having the fan page or groups. all of them are the people that insterest with related business it self or just annonymous people like or add to page or groups.
But it is really good for seo, it doesnt really generate leads but crawling the links.
I havent got any booking goal from facebook page.
Now, im going through Google+ and the page, its good but still finding out the strategy to get them.
now its more popular google + for businesses I guess.
what do you guys think?
So the interesting thing about Facebook and other forms of social marketing is that it can be VERY effective if done correctly. Now, the response you get is all relative. It's really a numbers game - the more Likes you have the more interactivity you get - obviously.
But, not just anyone can get 10,000 Likes. You have to have a brand and a product of interest that is capable of amassing an audience of that size.
I've created, built and managed a few pages that have gotten up there in Likes (facebook.com/pcbdaily (14k+) and facebook.com/shoppierpark (24k+)), one for my project (pcbdaily) and the other as a consultant. But, both of them had large audiences already and tens of thousands that knew who they were already.
With all that said, our company's facebook page is measly compared to the others I've worked on. But we've not done any marketing push to get it to where it is (241 Likes). Frankly I'm burnt out from doing social media marketing in the past.
What we are doing, though, is including our Facebook url on all our marketing collateral, every email that goes to our guest, all followup emails, etc. - which has resulting in the trickle increase we've seen since last summer.
For small companies, this is what you should be doing several times a week:
One thing that I do quite a lot of, though, that nets pretty good results (especially since I'm just spending time on it, and no money) is:
If you need ideas, let me know. This is what I used to do for a living.
Thank you for posting your advice and ideas. I have a fledgling facebook page for my rental property. It's badly neglected because I don't have a good understanding of how to use it. And, I must confess, I have a personal facebook page and barely use it. I'm uninformed about the workings of social networks and I don't like facebook. (I hear a dissenting crowd . . . ) Your post has renewed my interest in my rental property page and given me much to think about. Thank you so very much! Great information!
The trick is to do things that aren't overly absorbant, time-wise. And to keep at it consistently - not for a week, a month or 6 months - but forever.
That's the trick with social marketing - you really have to ingrain it in what you do - otherwise it won't be that effective.
Our company has been facebooking, twittering, and exploring all kinds of online & mobile innovations for the past few years. Some have died on the vine (i.e. Yelp), but FB seems to be sticking around. We get as many bookings directly from our FB page as from prior guest referrals (about 2% of bookings in the last 3 months), but we also have many repeat guests (10-22% of our traffic) who follow the FB posts as their portal into our community. We've seen that when ski conditions are truly great (not just what the marketing department says), we get more action; we attribute that to having VERY current video and photo posts.
We also use FB ads, as they can be very tightly targeted and reach beyond our followers. And they're pretty darn cheap.
Our in-house social media guru spends about 20% of his time keeping up with things each day. We see FB as part of the mix, not just a direct-lead generator. It helps "flesh out" our presence, make it more tenable.
If you set up a page and just let it sit there, it will get about as much traffic as stapling up a poster on a telephone pole.
I think that crealting a facebook page is very very powerful for your business because it allows you to use your friends to actually advertise to their friends by simply clicking your "like" button. all you have to do is get them to click it
Facebook is the number three website in the world, with nearly 150m visitors every month. With that kind of reach, how can you NOT have a presence there?
I agree with the others that it needs to be tended regularly if it is to be successful. That goes for all the other social media websites as well. It's like planting grass... you can't just throw down some seed and expect to have a plush, green lawn a few days later. It takes time and a lot of effort.
What I recommend to my clients is to look at where your target audience is (and with most rental property, a lot of your market is already on FB), and second to just focus on a few websites to get them going. Don't create a dozen different social media accounts right away. It will do more harm than good because it will be distracting. If you can't do all of them well, you won't do any of them well, know what I mean?
Facebook is truly representative of you get out what you put in. Our home has a Facebook page that is linked to our website. We get many likes through the website from people that want to follow us on Facebook. The mix of likes on the FB page is about 50/50 prospects/past guests. Here are our hints for maintaining a FB page:
Make it interesting. We take advantage of the panorama picture on the timeline page and change it out once a week.
Make it timely: We post links to local articles about things to do in the neighborhood. And don't limit this either. We've posted links to a food truck festival, a new bike path, improvements to the freeway exit, a new store downtown, etc. We try to appeal to our prospects' interests.
Keep your expectations low. You're not Ellen, and you're not going to get millions of likes.
Run a FB ad. We spent $75 one week, got 40 likes and one booking. (Worth it? We think so.)
I hope I can shed some light on Social Media and how it can work for you. My husband and I run a mid-size Social Media agency with about 50 employees. We were one of the pioneers in the field back in 2003 before Facebook even existed. As a firm we evolved from a Public Relations Agency, so we have many case histories to share.
Back on-topic Facebook is not the best form of Social Media to work with since it is a "closed garden" to the rest of the Internet. Let's go back in time and look at the Internet progression.
Not that long ago "the experts" in the field would recommend that you have a web page up so that people could find you - but as many people learned it's not good enough to just have a web page - you need to invite people to the "party," as well. So evolved the world of SEO, keywords etc. When Facebook landed on the scene it was falsely presumed that an active Facebook page would generate activity and drive traffic to outside links, but unfortunately Facebook does not allow the bots from Google to worm their way through it's site.
Unless you really know what you're doing, and have 3 to 5000 friends on Facebook your posts will go largely unnoticed. That's because of the "closed garden policy."
Twitter however is another story. Twitter results show up and affect the results on Google searches. No expertise required, it happens on it's own. One way you can get your ranking higher on Twitter is to use your Twitter handle to post comments using your Twitter Name. Some years ago I experimented with this method. I have a very entertaining little dog called SnickersYap. I try to make my posts read as if they were being posted from a dogs' perspective. I engaged with as many other "dogs" on Twitter as possible. I also used the name SnickersYap as a handle on other sites such as New York Times, Wall Street Journal etc, and posted comments on any relevant story using his handle.
As an example, last week WSJ just ran a puff piece on vacation swaps - so I'm going to go to the on-line version of that story and post a comment using my VRBO handle. That creates highly ranked links back to my site. A word of warning though - don't copy and post the same comments on multiple sites as Google will penalize you for doing so. The posts have to be organic.
As to the time element of actually doing this - it is extremely time consuming. We in fact have members of our staff who post for companies on their behalf, and actually grow the follower base as well. It's not unusual for companies to have in-house social media staff. If you're on your own, then you really have to limit yourself to the social media outlets which will generate the best mix of results.
Rentini just posted that they're trading LIKES on Facebook: http://blog.rentini.com/2012/06/28/friends-with-benefits-rentini-wants-to-like-your-vacation-rental/ could be helpful for some of us!