Facebook's social marketing formulas

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Facebook's social marketing formulas
Facebook's social marketing formulas

Facebook product marketing manager Helen Min enlightened businesses that connect + engage + influence + integrate = the four dimensions of social marketing. “Social marketing is not one size fits all,” Min said at the Socialbakers Engage 2012 conference in New York City.

Here are Min's key marketing formulas to achieving social marketing success. No calculators needed.

  • C/F ≠ F/C

Beginning with connect, Min urged marketers to focus on quality over quantity and to replace the time-honored fans over customers formula—the number of fans brands can convert to customers—with customers over fans.

“That's pretty bad math. I think sometimes it loses the quality of those fans,” Min said in regards to the fans over customers model. “People are just trying to get as many fans as possible regardless of who they are.”

Min advised marketers to hunt for loyal fans who will “go out and do business for you.” A true Facebook advocate, Min recommended incorporating targeted ads to accumulate more Facebook followers.

  • Marketers + compelling experiences = engagement

In regards to engage, Min encouraged businesses to put marketers behind their company Facebook pages to create compelling, unique page experiences that will stand out and draw people in.

“You wouldn't trust an intern or new grad to create your next Super Bowl spot,” Min said. (Ignore the fact that the founder and CEO of Min's employer created Facebook while still studying at Harvard.)

  • Marketing: Impact / Reach

Once brands connect and engage with their customers, customers will relay their personal brand experiences to their friends; hence, fulfilling the third dimension of social marketing: influence. One way Facebook achieves customer influence is through sponsored stories, said Min.

“Influence is the holy grail of marketing. Your friends are influencing your purchasing decisions, your brand decisions more than any other marketer," Min said. "Scale is a ratio…Scale doesn't just mean growth. For marketing, that ratio is impact over reach.”

  • The Distributive Property: synergy (social marketing + core business process)

Min acknowledged that social integration is one of the marketing components for which Facebook is most renowned, such as with customized Facebook log-on pages. Min claimed that it's important for businesses to create synergy between their social marketing and core business efforts and to integrate the social marketing dimensions when creating a custom app to which engaged and influential customers will respond.

  • (A + C + I + P + L) ≤ (L + P + I + C + A)
In regards to the traditional path to purchase—a giant wheel of awareness, consideration, intent, purchase, and loyalty—Min said that brands can normally start the purchase process by focusing on either customer awareness or loyalty. However when it comes to social, Min says it's better to connect with one's customers by centering on loyalty first. Min said this method creates a sense of engagement that incorporates customer reach and frequency.
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