Contribution at PaulWriter.com

August 3, 2010

I was given a kind invitation by Padmaja Nagarur from Paul Writer Strategic Services Pvt. Ltd. to contribute to their newly launched B2B portal www.paulwriter.com. The team is headed by Jessie Paul, who was previously the Chief Marketing Officer of Wipro’s IT business. For more information, you can visit their website www.paulwriter.com.

Here is a write-up which was first posted exclusively at www.paulwriter.com. It talks about some of the aspects that your brand can consider before taking the plunge into ‘Facebook’.

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Facebook: ‘4’ tips for your brand to get it right

It was conceptualized as a small time college network where Harvard university students could share pictures and messages with their buddies. Time has passed by and since then, Facebook has grown to half a billion global users and would fall next only to China and India if it were a country. Talk about users or talk about brands – the adoption has been equally phenomenal! If users are creating profiles, sharing pictures and uploading videos, brands are building their Fan pages to attract and engage with their target audience.

Image Credits: Franco Bouly

Back home here in India, the story isn’t much different. Facebook has surged ahead of Orkut in terms of percentage growth rate and by the time this write-up goes live its strong Indian user-base of 12million+ people would have grown an inch closer to the popular rival Orkut.

With this comes the opportunity; a chance for your company to engage with your prospects, identify and connect with people who would be interested in your product’s next offering.

If you are still evaluating the platform and are trying to estimate the possible returns, here are a few tips which you would want to consider:

It doesn’t work for all – Business & Stakeholder Introspection

Creating a campaign on Facebook & nurturing an online community requires a lot of time and effort. As a conscious business owner, you would certainly want to equate ‘time/effort spent’ to returns. The bottom line is, Facebook isn’t a one size fits all solution. There would be businesses for whom Facebook presence is not at all a necessity.

Whether or not you need to be on Facebook depends on your industry vertical & the type of your product and service offering. A 10-second TV commercial for your moisturiser shampoo brand costs a tonne of rupees and that isn’t even targeted since your product is meant only for girls in the age bracket of 18-24.

Here on Facebook you can define your age group, demographics and then run a targeted campaign resulting in subsequent cost savings when compared to Print/TV advertisement.

On the other hand, if your prospects aren’t thriving on these communities building a dead brand-page isn’t perhaps worth the effort. The reason: Your people are simply not watching you because they aren’t there and even if somebody is he isn’t your target.

Define your expectations

Now that you have realized that your vertical fits into the Facebook schema, the next step is to define your objectives. These objectives are going to be a subset and combination of your top level business goals, expectations from the online medium and from Facebook as a social network.

Make a list of these objectives and prioritize these in the order of importance. Let us say, if you are a beverage company examples of some objectives could be:

  • Attract my target audience and build a loyal fan base.
  • Position my beverage as the favourite energy drink of youth
  • Provide a platform to my customers, where they can learn about our brand’s new offerings.
  • Create fun contest s and drive end-user participation

Synch your needs with Business functions

The next step is to map your expectations with respective business units. E.g. it could be a need arising from your marketing function or from HR or from operations. At the end of it, you need to understand what all my stakeholders require and which units do these stakeholders represent?

Set your Metrics

Lastly, a thorough set of metrics needs to be defined against which your brand’s performance on Facebook can be evaluated. It is absolutely vital, as these metrics will help in ROI calculation and deciding a future course of action. The success or failure criterion of your activities will depend on these metrics. Some examples of these metrics are:

  • Level of engagement of your brand and its definition
  • Relevance of rise/fall in number of page fans in a month’s time
  • Averages Likes and comments on your Facebook page
  • Click through rates for your Facebook ads.
  • Monthly traffic to your website from Facebook

Remember that any activity you need to justify to your cost centre should ideally have metrics in place.

Although it takes less than a minute to build your Facebook presence, these are some of the possible approaches you can take. What is your Facebook plan? Share your tips with us!

This exclusive guest post was written by Daksh Sharma is the Director and Co-founder at Iffort, a people centric digital marketing & a web-strategy consulting firm. For more information you can read his blog http://themarketingblog.wordpress.com and visit his company’s website www.iffort.com.

Sharma Ji

Sharma Ji

Half-marathon, Photography, Spirituality, Swimming, table tennis, cricket.. Social Media, Conversations.. Dire straits, Anushka Shankar.. Munich, Vanilla Sky. For the last 10 years has been making the New Year resolution of playing a guitar.

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