If you administer a Facebook page, you know that the key to turning your page into a successful social media marketing platform is generating likes. The more fans you have, the farther every message you post will spread. However, many marketers limit their Facebook marketing to the digital environment. There’s nothing wrong with online and mobile ads, mind you, but it’s fair to say that’s where the greatest competition is. One of the most powerful strategies for marketing success is to find ways to reach your customers where your competitors aren’t looking. That’s why you should consider print marketing as a tool for generating Facebook likes.
Certainly you’ve seen others try to leverage print marketing to gain Facebook likes. They print the Facebook logo along with their page URL or QR code on all of their marketing materials. They might even offer an incentive to like their pages: a coupon code, for example. The biggest problem with these two strategies is that:
a) who cares about your Facebook page (the answer is no one but you); and
b) coupons make the assumption customers want to buy something right now (in many cases, they don’t).
I’m not saying coupon incentives can’t work. They can, and they do, every single day. But that’s also the strategy your competitors are likely using to generate Facebook likes from their postcards, posters, flyers and banners. The problem is that the campaign goal is to land sales and pick up Facebook likes. Having two separate campaign goals will always divert focus from both goals, meaning your efforts are diluted. Conversely, having a single goal means you can focus your efforts on only achieving the desired result.
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Thus, I postulate that the best method for generating Facebook likes via print marketing is to give something away – and make it valuable. Doing so doesn’t mean you can’t later turn your attention to generating sales, but it requires you to first concentrate solely on getting likes.
Let’s say you run an ice cream shop, and you want to generate Facebook likes and sales. Instead of sending a direct-mail postcard with a coupon, you instead send a postcard that offers a family ice cream night good for up to four free small cones. To get the deal, users simply have to like your page on Facebook. When they do so, they can print out a coupon to redeem your offer. To discourage immediate “unlikes,” you can cross-reference the like at your ice cream shop.
Now, once customers redeem your free ice cream, you can hand them another coupon good for a discount. An even better idea, however, would be to offer a major discount to anyone who takes photos of them enjoying ice cream at your shop, tags their location and posts it to their Facebook wall. In this manner, you’re able to encourage user engagement as well as what basically amounts as a third-party testimonial to all of their friends. You might even empower them to “pay it forward” – to gift a family ice cream night package to their friends. In short order, you could generate a ton of Facebook likes and, more importantly, buzz about your ice cream shop from thousands of potential customers. Then, you can offer discount coupons right on your page in an ongoing fashion.
This marketing strategy will require you to forgo initial profits, but it comes with the potential to earn long-term business and rabid customer loyalty – plus tons of word-of-mouth marketing. Remember, you can start small – even a 100-postcard campaign could ultimately yield hundreds of new Facebook likes and customers. If you want to increase Facebook page likes, it might be time to rethink how you use print marketing and see if you can develop a similar strategy for your business.
Image credit: Thomas Angermann via flickr