I was looking through the mail last week and came across a very attractive advertising piece that caught my eye. It was a beautifully laid out, full-color, magazine-style advertisement for local businesses. It’s not often that I pay much attention to ad inserts, but this particular piece was different . . . it looked fantastic!
As I thumbed through the pages, I scanned the dozens of ads ranging from 1/8 page to full page and, as I usually do, started to critique the ads. There were some startling and disturbing trends. The first thing I noticed was that several ads did not list a website. Of the 45 advertisers, 10 did not list a website. So I did some digging. 8 of these 10 advertisers in fact have websites! Some of them were actually rather impressive.
The Importance of Enticements
My second observation was that only 2 of the 45 advertisers indicated a presence on Facebook, in spite of the fact that almost every one of these advertisers has a Page on Facebook. Of those two, one simply had a Facebook logo while the other used the weak, “Find us on Facebook” phrase (I consider this phrase weak because it has become so overused that readers tend to tune it out). Every business needs to be using the Facebook logo and using an enticement like, “Like us on Facebook to receive Facebook-Only Specials/Discounts.”
The objective here is to grow your ‘fan’ base on Facebook (I wish they still used that term) with quality ‘consumers’ that can be converted to ‘customers’ over time. Some companies use prize giveaways as enticements, which is a great way to grow your fan base, but you will get a lot of “Likes” that are only interested in winning something and are not necessarily interested in your company or your products. Not that this is a totally bad idea, because you may be able to convert these people into customers over time, and it doesn’t really cost you anything to have them on board. It’s just not necessary to spend money on prizes to increase your fan base.
A fan who wins a prize still may never set foot in your establishment. But, if you use an enticement that is exclusive to your Facebook fans, you will find that your fan base becomes more loyal and communicative about your company. After all, the idea here is to create a community “buzz” about your business, where fans share their experience and tell others about you. Your job is to set the wheels in motion . . . your fans will take it from there.
Because your Facebook fans are there by choice, you need to treat them like royalty. They have the power to grow your business faster than any paid advertising could ever hope to do. For that reason, it is worth rewarding their loyalty by spending some money on them. For example, a restaurant could offer a weekly special for a 2-for-1 or a free dessert. By changing it up every week, you keep people coming back to see what you are offering time and time again. Why not make it even easier for them? Accept your Facebook offers from customers who show your Facebook coupon on their smartphone. This will bring in customers like me who tend to forget their coupons at home. Are you worried about people sharing the coupons? Really? These tag-alongs will hopefully become fans of your business themselves and will spread the word about your establishment.
Who is to blame? Ultimately, you are!
I’d really like to know who to blame for the missed opportunities in this ad circular. Certainly, it doesn’t cost any more to list a website URL or mention the fact that you are on Facebook when putting your ad copy together. It really shows me that businesses still don’t get it when it comes to Social Media Marketing. I would also have to point a finger at the publisher of the publication. This is really a reflection on the quality of their product! If I were the publisher, I would have my salesperson ask every advertiser if they were on Facebook and then post a separate list of Facebook advertisers with an asterisk next to those who offer special Facebook enticements.
Ultimately, you, the business owner, are responsible for your final advertising presentations. You must proofread the copy. TWICE. The mindset of the small business operator who handles his/her own marketing has got to change if they want to remain relevant and viable in this economy. Facebook needs to be a regular and an intentional part of your marketing strategy. It has the potential to double or triple the effectiveness of all of your visual marketing efforts. To ignore this free opportunity is a waste of a valuable resource!
And to those that didn’t even list their website . . .. seriously?