Christian entrepreneurs of today must understand Facebook strategy. These are tried and tested concepts that have worked since Facebook began and are still working.
Note: We will not be talking about Facebook ads, since that is a strategy by itself. You can however, use Facebook ads very effectively with the strategy below.
Get to know your audience
Step one in any marketing is to know your audience. If you have been doing Facebook for more than six months, you should have enough data to work for you. You can review your top posts. What are people responding to, liking and commenting? Look for trends in topics and base a series of posts on that topic.
Another way to get to know your audience is to ask them. You can set up polls, surveys or simple questionnaires. Offer an incentive (see the next section) so that people have a reason to share their thoughts. These can be serious or fun based on your personality and the culture of your business.
Incentivize them to give you information
An incentive is a free sample, electronic book, report, or other item your potential customers will find helpful. You offer an incentive in exchange for some information from them. Some people call incentives an ‘ethical bride.’ (As Christians, we don’t do bribes, right?) What we want to do is offer our customers something valuable to them in exchange for their email address. Emails are free to use and a great way to build a solid relationship with your customers.
Think about it. Not everyone who comes to your page is ready to buy. They may be curious enough to accept your special offer and you can have them on a follow up list using email. The best way to do this is to use an email ‘autoresponder.’ There are free versions for up to two thousand email addresses for businesses just getting started. (Here’s a helpful article about autoresponders.)
Inside of Facebook you can set up your own ‘opt-in’ form that works inside of Facebook. You will want to review the training in your autoresponder to see how to best do this. There are a lot of choices for autoresponders, but if you don’t have a budget I suggest starting with a free service or a free trial period. You can always export your list if you decide to move to another system.
Note: You can ask for phone numbers, addresses, birthdays, etc. However, statistics show us that the more you ask, the more people walk away from your form without taking action. Simply ask for a name and email. After they are on your list and get to know you, then, you can ask for additional information. Of course, if you are sending a physical item, you need an address, but make it friendly by saying something like, “Where should we send your free sample?”
Set up a follow up sequence
Once you have names and emails from Facebook, you can begin to communicate with your audience directly. Again, refer back to your most favorited posts to find relevant topics your customers can relate to. Create a simple sales sequence where you point out valuable insights about your industry. Think about educating and entertaining your customers.
The idea of a strong email sequence is to create familiarity with you and your company. Customers will get to know your culture and interact with your brand. This keeps your company at the top of the mind of your customer so when they are ready to buy, you are the first one they contact.
When you are creating these sequences (it is just sending an email once a week or every other day), you don’t want to hard sell. Post seven to ten good learning posts and then offer to help your customers if they need it. After the first bump in collecting emails, you can go to one email a month in a newsletter type form. You can even use content from other sources . . legally. . . we are Chrsitians here!
If you want Facebook to work, you must get to know your audience. You must understand their needs, wants and desires. Then, you can create a relevant marketing strategy to connect with those customers and get more leads. Every like your page gets is a potential customer. Every email you can collect is a solid lead. Connect with those leads using email for a simple, cost effective marketing strategy.
As Christian business owners, we have an obligation to connect to as many people as possible so we can help them. We must line up our values and ethics and relate to our customers with love and respect. Facebook is a great collection of people we can connect with and get to know. The more effort we put into getting to know them, the more they will respond to us in kind.As Christians, Facebook is where we can show people we have yet to meet the love and respect of God. Click To Tweet