Breaking Down Walls: A Facebook Marketing Discussion with John Haydon

If you are looking for information on Facebook marketing, John Haydon literally wrote the book on it, as co-author of the soon-to-be released Facebook Marketing for Dummies (3rd edition). He is also a regular contribution to the Huffington Post, an instructor at MarketingProfs University, and co-founder of 501 Mission Place and SocialBrite.  We sat down with John to discuss Facebook marketing in anticipation of our upcoming free webinar Creating a Breakthrough for Your Business on Facebook on February 8 at 1 PM EST.

What affect does Facebook page design have on increasing fans and engagement?
It’s all about maximizing your first impression to convert visitors into fans. There are two major elements that have a significant impact your initial impression, your page’s profile picture and a custom welcome page. Your main image should be designed so that the thumbnail clearly communicates who you are. The name of the page and the thumbnail are the only pieces of information most Facebook users will be able to identify you, so you have to make them count. Second, all Pages should have a custom welcome tab that’s set as the default tab for non-fans when they first arrive at the page. Studies have shown that pages with a branded welcome tab will convert fans at a 25% higher rate than Pages that do not. My favorite example of a branded welcome tab is the Dog Bless You Facebook page.

After you’ve converted a fan, the design of the Page doesn’t really matter that much. The reason why is that everything happens in the News Feed, NOT on your Facebook page. According to a study by ComScore, Facebook users are 40-150 times more likely to engage with Page content the newsfeed instead of Fan Page itself. So your main job on Facebook is to keep people interested in your organization so that they spread the good word. Your tool for doing that job is the News Feed.

What are some of your favorite Facebook campaigns designed for engagement?
I’d have to say Dog Bless You, The National Wildlife Federation and Moms Clean Air Force. Moms Clean Air Force has an amazing application that allows Facebook users to see which of their friends are most likely affected by increased toxic output from coal plants.

How is Facebook marketing different for B2B vs B2C companies?
Facebook is primarily a B2C environment. Most of the brands we interact with, like Harley Davidson and Starbucks, are trying to get our attention directly. What B2B marketers need to remember is that the decision makers they’re trying to reach are also people like you and me who use Facebook. Additionally, those decision makers flock together with other finely feathered decision makers that may already be customers. By engaging current fans with useful content, businesses can spread awareness to other decision makers at other companies.

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Some of my favorite B2B companies are Get Satisfaction  and ClearRisk.  Get Satisfaction uses Facebook as a platform to provide their fans with educational content, best practices and tips, while also managing their customer relations, answering questions and addressing any issues.  ClearRisk has a great “like-gate” offering on their welcome tab, baiting new fans with a free white paper targeted at risk managers.

Finally, B2B companies need to remember that their customers are often B2C businesses and should be asking themselves, how can they help their customers achieve their goals.

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