I am often asked to redact guiding principles to muscle up a company’s sales, marketing and brand offense, smartly designed to polarize competitors off their game; forcing them into a bulwark posture of market defense. Easy words to articulate but in fact rather complicated to business comport based upon so many varying company brand, product, manufacturing, advertising, channel, pricing and market share dynamics.
As your brand is your promise and no brand stands competitively alone, your sales and brand offense should both articulate and navigate your proud advantages. In essence, the value of your brand means little if not assiduously serenaded, if not desired and engaged by many: the right profitable many who actually have the will, the means and the need to engage with your brand and experience your burnished promise. Oh by the way, there is a very special social pylon for you to hunt, find and build your most effective, cost efficient brand engagements: most profitable product relationships. No, not found within the cold steel of the P&L (profit and loss) by spending more advertising dollars but rather through smart organic, social community building found in a mammoth cloud of brands, friends, neighbors, clubs, communities and potential fans so well designed, so well respected. Yes, your right, it’s called Facebook.
I was recently interviewed by my great colleague Bruce Freeman regarding whether Facebook really adds value specifically for small business owners. Bruce is a very unique and dynamic multi-modal business leader as you will read within his profile. Trust me, Bruce is smart, market savvy, business dynamic, highly energized and jaunty spirited to ensure his customers success. Below is the published article from my interview with Bruce regarding Facebook principals with a keen eye on small business advantage.
America‘s Newspapers & World News - Newsroom Edition Distributed To Over 450 Newspapers Nationwide Scripps Howard News Service:
The Small Business Professor: Master Facebook to attract and smartly engage your customers
Author/Byline: BRUCE FREEMAN , Scripps Howard News Service: November 7, 2012
Dear Professor Bruce: I’ve been told by colleagues a company’s Facebook page is a must have for business growth. I only have a web site, and am still pondering whether I need a Facebook page for my company. Can you please advise me on this Facebook opportunity?
Answer: Profitable growth planning for small business includes the smart goal to “attract, convert and retain” customers. Whether you own a corner deli or a large construction business, your opportunity for profitable growth comes from initiating a viable Internet publishing foundation. Small businesses need to focus effectively on:
- Unique, highly creative foundations designed to “attract” customers.
- Marketing magnets for hunting, finding and “converting” customers.
- Valuable “retention” programs building lifetime value for old and new customers.
Facebook is the largest publishing model today, with over 1 billion global users.
Because of its mammoth user base, many small businesses have turned to this
social platform to connect to potential customers. Smart owners realize Facebook is a competitive weapon of choice. But, just like any business tool, it requires an investment of time to learn to use it, and to tune your use for optimum performance.
According to Peter Weedfald, the president of Gen One Ventures and author of the book Green Reign Leadership, “creating a highly successful small business storefront on Facebook will require your focus and time on 10 digitally smart Facebook principals. When done right, your small business can hyper-speed your brand, your products and your services onto Facebook’s offense: driving your formidable competitors to the defense.”
Green Reign Leadership’s digitally smart Facebook principals are:
1. Your customer conversations need to be fresh, relevant and updated daily.
2. Focus heavily on customers “liking” your page to accept messaging, engagements and offers.
3. Deliver a clear mission statement that includes whom, where and what you offer and why it is better.
4. Project value. Provide relevant content, time sensitive coupons, contests, promotions and smart customer reward programs.
5. Build a publishing community of fans with discussion boards, surveys and reviews creating wider engagements.
6. Create a referral benefit program for fans who engage with your business.
7. Enlist RSS (really simple syndication) feeds from your blogs and Twitter account inserting content directly into your Facebook page.
8. Link your company’s Facebook page on your company website and emails.
9. Make sure physical customers are introduced to your Facebook site.
10. Thank your customers by highlighting them and add photos that their friends and neighbors can see, can mutually enjoy and admire.
“Facebook is based upon face-to-face common-sense principles that work for any small businesses valuable products, smart pricing, genuine customer care. Facebook optimization for small business allows you to attract, convert and retain customers. Once you master the Facebook proposition and tune your customer (fan) engagements, you will begin the process of super-fueling kinetic, competitive business growth and advantage. So yes, in my humble business opinion, Facebook is truly a competitive weapon of business choice.”
Thank you Peter Weedfald and thank you small business owners for working so hard and smart to build your businesses, to build your competitive advantage.
For further information: www.GenOneVentures.com.
Bruce Freeman is president of ProLine Communications and co-author of “Birthing the Elephant.” He also teaches at Seton Hall and Kean Universities. Email Bruce at: email@example.com
Copyright (c) 2012 Scripps Howard News Service
Bruce Freeman, The Small Business Professor® Columnist, Scripps Howard News Service
President, ProLine Communications focused on PR opportunities through excellence
Commentator, Smallbiz America Radio Network