Sam Goldfarb is the author of Facebook For Business: How to Market your Business on Facebook and Get More Sales, New Customers, and Brand Awareness.
He’s also a former computer engineer and the General Manager of Tradimax, a company that develops branded Facebook pages and devises Facebook advertising campaigns.
I asked Sam if I could ask him some questions about marketing on Facebook, and he agreed to share his best advice.
In this interview, Sam explains how we can all use Facebook to increase our sales and marketing results, regardless of the size of our business.
Heather Vale Goss: When did you start tapping into the power of Facebook?
Sam Goldfarb: Tradimax started three years ago and in the last three years, I have been in charge of many ad campaigns and strategic moves on Facebook® for many companies.
For me it was easy to see that Facebook had created something new, way back then.
I have been very familiar with the online world since 1994, and I have seen all the major changes in the online world — from using AOL messenger to the social media world of today.
On top of that, my experience in the high tech world as a computer engineer helped me to “see” the upcoming future of the internet.
It seems that the web has evolved in the last 10 years to the point where each business owner has a website; however, the next evolution of the web has arrived in the form of “social media” and people have become clueless on what to do on Facebook when it comes to their business.
Actually, for the first time in the history of humanity, 500 million people are CONNECTED! You can actually connect with each one of these users, and this was impossible before Facebook came around.
Another thing that Facebook is all about: it’s a newspaper made by your friends!
It’s a live newspaper, and your friends and favorite brands are the editors of this newspaper.
You can customize this newspaper and read the information you want to read when it happens!
Heather: Yeah, that’s all pretty cool. But why should entrepreneurs, marketers and small business owners have a presence on Facebook?
Sam: Facebook targets 500 Million people… if it was a country, it would be bigger than the U.S.
The most interesting thing is that in the U.S. there are more than 130 million users.
It’s not just for young people anymore: 85 million U.S. users are above 25, and 40 million U.S. users are above their 40s.
It means that if you are not using Facebook as a MAJOR marketing tool for your business, you’re missing out. It’s a marketer’s dream to have many users or “prospects” in one place; all you need to do is to decide what to do with them.
The most important thing you need to understand is that Facebook is a viral platform. It was built with viral components which helped it grow very fast, just like a virus does.
Many people still don’t get that communication goes from one to many in viral platforms, not just from one to one as you already do by using email, and how your website communicates with your customers.
You must understand that when you have a visitor to your website, his friends are not aware of that. Basically, many of your site’s visitors are doing activities that are not shared with their friends. In one way, it’s a good thing if they want to keep their privacy, but on the other hand it’s part of human nature to share!
Why do we get married, why do we have friends, and why don’t we like to be alone for long periods of time? It’s because our nature is TO SHARE, so if your brand is “placed” in an isolated platform called a “website”, you are missing the party of social media platforms which have at their core sharing — and many people will share if it’s easy for them to do it.
This is why Facebook has become the leader of the social web.
I believe that the growth of the mobile industry will take this one step further, and mobile platforms will have social components, so people will be able to share content while they are mobile (or just not in front of a computer). It’s already happening right now on the iPhone!
Heather: What benefits does a “Fan Page”, or Official Page, have over a personal profile?
Sam: There are two very important products on Facebook:
The first is a personal Facebook profile. This personal page is used to serve individuals. By using their personal profile they can communicate with their friends and the brands they like.
A personal profile is limited to 5,000 friends. This means that once you have 5,000 friends, your list of prospects and customers WILL NOT grow, because this is a technical limit Facebook has.
The second is, as you mentioned, the Official Page, as Facebook calls it now, or Fan Page, as I still like to call it. This is the way to open a “profile” on Facebook for your business.
The great thing is that you can have unlimited number of fans or supporters… just like the most famous guy on planet right now, Barack Obama, who has more than 11 million fans.
Heather: A lot of people I know — including myself — started with a personal profile, and then opened an Official Fan Page once we almost maxed it out. So if we’ve got thousands of personal profile friends, but very few “Fans”, what’s the best way to grow our fan base?
Sam: Each business has its goal so their fan page looks different.
You have to decide what you want to achieve from your presence on Facebook. It’s a strategic decision and if you have the right people to implement it on Facebook, you are heading in the right direction.
Right now, the text in the title of the official page makes you appear on search results on Facebook — but your page will also appear on major search engines such as Google. So think about that when you choose the title.
And the best way to increase the number of fans is to share good content, and get more “Likes” and “Shares” on it. That’s the viral part I mentioned earlier. Ask your fans to recommend what they like, and click “Like” on your own fan page content, too.
Heather: How would we use Groups or Community Pages?
Sam: The truth — don’t use them. Groups are an old way to communicate on Facebook without any viral spread of information, and community pages are just a waste of time right now.
Heather: OK, so besides starting Groups, what’s the biggest mistake you see business owners doing on Facebook?
Sam: I see many businesses on Facebook creating boring and not engaging pages. It’s not enough to “be” on Facebook; it’s about how engaging you are and how “REAL” you are.
If you are “engaging” you will attract viral buzz, and if not you will “just be there”.
Heather: What are your top three tips for entrepreneurs to get the most out of marketing on Facebook?
Sam: Tip #1 is very important: The person who is creating the fan page for your business, or The “Creator”, is the Administrator of the page!
The creator of the page can’t be removed from your fan page because he created it. Sure, you can add many administrators to your fan page; however, there’s a big problem that some businesses and companies have right now:
Imagine that an employee, or someone you asked, created your fan page for you, and you are no longer in a business relation with him. So now he holds you as a “hostage” because the creator can also remove all other Administrators, and you get stuck — there’s nothing you can do.
It’s like a webmaster deciding that he is the owner of your website and you don’t have any access to it.
So make sure that either you, the business owner, or someone who you trust for the long run creates your fan page for your business. I’ve met many clients that were REALLY stuck because they had no Administration rights for their own fan page.
With the help of a special team at Facebook you can solve this problem, but for most people this team will not be available because they get too many requests. So again, please be careful with this or ALL YOUR WORK and time will get lost if you lose Administrator rights.
Tip #2 – iPhone lets you update your Fan Page. iPhone’s FaceBook application is number 1 among all other applications on Apple’s app store!
Users can update their Facebook status on the go with their iPhone, and interact with users and brands they are fans of. This is big! They don’t need to be in front of a computer to log in to Facebook.
What does that mean to you? It’s a big chance for you to update live content on the go. If you are a business owner, you can upload live photos and status updates where it happens.
For example, if you have a store you can take a photo of a cool thing happening at your store such as crazy sale, or a famous star coming in. You can upload it to your fan page and MAKE the news when it happens!
There are many creative ways to use it, and I suggest you use this option when something interesting happens.
Here are the steps:
- Open the Facebook app on your iPhone and tap on “Friends”.
- Tap on “Pages” at the bottom right side, then tap on your Page.
- Tap the “Camera” icon to upload a photo or “What’s on your mind?” to update your fan page status.
If you want to add your fan page as a favorite application for an easy navigation, please do as follows:
- Tap the Top Right Corner of your Fan Page (the blue arrow).
- Tap on “Add Favorite”.
- That’s it, your fan page is now on your FaceBook App Home Screen for easy navigation.
Tip #3 – There is a phenomenon among young people happening right now. It’s about the way they use Facebook to get updates on special events that are about to happen.
What they do is that they click on the “Friends’ Events” link and the results will show all of their friends’ events sorted by the event date and time. Then they know what’s “happening” and can join events they were not aware of or weren’t invited to in the first place.
This is a HUGE opportunity, because how do you know about events? You ask your friends, right? And on Facebook you can have hundreds of friends, so it’s kinda hard to do. So this is a way to be aware of many events you may not even think of.
You can use this option for your business in a creative way, because you can get a great viral spread of information for your events.
Heather: What else can entrepreneurs learn in your new book, Facebook for Business?
Sam: It’s a Kindle book available on all digital platforms, unlike an e-book — it’s available for the PC, iPad, iPhone, Kindle, etc.
The HUGE benefit for the readers is that they don’t need to have a big advertising budget to spend on marketing with Facebook, because we’ve already done it for them!
After all, when you do online marketing you need to try different strategies until you find the right one; “until” is the scenario of injecting an advertising budget “until” things go well. I am talking about “getting” in this book: getting more online sales, leads and branding by using my experience.
On top of that, in this book I share 50 tips that I have figured out after serving many customers for three years and handling their Facebook marketing.
If you already think you know everything about marketing on Facebook, that’s great; however, I promise that in my book you’ll learn a few new things that you can implement while you use Facebook to help your business.
Heather: Awesome. Thank you for your time today, Sam!
Sam: No problem, thank you!
Keep Unwrapping your Success!