Friday, July 9, 2010

Businesses on Facebook and how they can achieve success

There is so much talk around whether Facebook is a viable place for businesses to be. So I wanted to share a case study that I personally was involved with for a former client of mine, Thomasville Furniture, that I would say demonstrates a 'success'.

When I was hired to help Thomasville with their Facebook page, they had about 800 Fans. Within 7 months, they had more than 8,000. Success #1. But what do all those extra eyeballs and "Fans" mean for Thomasville?

These are people who might not have otherwise advocated for this furniture brand. These are people who willingly engaged with Thomasville and shared that advocacy with their friends by having it appear on their newsfeed page for all those friends to see. This opens the door to those friends considering becoming a Fan, too, and on and on. A study was just done that showed people most trust their friends/peer recommendations over any other kind of advertising. (See my blog entry from May 6, 2010)

The cost for Thomasville to pay me to handle their page and create promotions for their page was minimal given the costs they might have paid for ads to be created and media to be bought to run those ads. There is no telling how many "eyeballs" have seen the Thomasville posts and comments from these Fans and their friends. That is an amazing awareness builder for a relatively small price. (which isn't to say I think Facebook is preferred over print or other forms of marketing. An integrate media approach works best. We sent out emailers that also drove success.)

The other good news is, I also figured out ways around Facebook's costly promotion guidelines, saving Thomasville even more but allowing them to have sweepstakes and giveaways that shot up their Fan base numbers.

This promotion was done using Facebook, but there's a secret to getting around paying the exorbitant media costs Facebook requires.

So can businesses find success on Facebook? With the right understanding of the target and how to engage that target, mixed with appropriate and smart promotions, I'd say the answer is a resounding, "Yes!"

Check out these posts in response to a single sweepstakes promotion that we did. (Click on picture to enlarge it.)