Research has shown that close to 70 percent of adults with access to the Internet log in to Facebook daily. Such numbers present a good opportunity for personal brands to reach to their target audiences faster. Consider who you want to reach who would be a great referral source, connection, provider of up-to-date information in your industry or a great mentor?
Smart marketers post their products on Facebook. Currently, the site has recorded more than 15 million brand advertising pages, many of which have been successful in their endeavors. The main goal behind such a strategy is to reach as many of your Facebook connections as possible to like the product. If a friend likes it, chances are most of his/her friends will follow suit, thus you have reached out to many other potential customers.
The same works for your personal brand. According to Jim Rohn, motivational thought leader, you are the average of the five people you hang out with the most. Online through the multitude of social networks you can zero in on who those top five are regardless of geographic location. With rule of six degrees of separation still in play, friends of friends are still the most effective and powerful way to connect with people.
Below are some tips on how to make sure Facebook likes positively influence someone’s decision to connect and invest time in you.
Target the right peer group
Surveys conducted by Bazaar Voice have shown that a higher ratio of online customers believe their fellow peers more than critics. For example, a study done on various electronics brands with a presence on Facebook show that 77 percent of clients considered the opinions of their peers than other external suggestions. Peers have close relations regardless of the extent to which they know each other. Naturally, you will be inclined to follow the recommendation of your friends and co-workers than you would any other source.
Action: What have you done to make your personal brand message portable? By portable, I mean that someone must be able to easily say what make you unique or what you deliver to someone who is in their sphere of influence.
Get the likes
Secondly, to ensure your Facebook likes turn into good connections, you have to focus and know specifically who you would like to connect with. The more likes you get for your brand within your target on Facebook, the more connection power it gains. It’s not quantity here, it is quality. However, if you can increase the quantity of connectors (people who are at the hub of their industry or who naturally have a large connection of people who know, like and trust them), you increase your reach and visibility.
Review! Review! Review!
Apart from likes, you need also to urge Facebook users to review your services or products. Ensure that your Facebook page is the platform of choice when it comes to such reviews. Doing this has shown to help increase sales rather than harm your brand’s reputation as many people might think. A study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology concluded that well composed and insightful remarks and reviews have positive impact on sales.
For your personal brand, this is effective too. How many times has someone said something positive about you on your Facebook page? Do you provide them the opportunity to do so or are your updates focused on negatives, memes and off brand updates?
I’m not saying to go out and solicit reviews. I am saying to provide a great forum and platform where someone can share a testimonial about you. [tweet this]
For example, if you volunteer for a non-profit, communicate with them that you would like to forgo the plaque, trophy or gift and save that expense for them so it can be put towards their mission and you would rather have a letter of thanks that you can add to your personnel file and a public comment of thanks on your Facebook and LinkedIn page.
Too bold for you to ask? Then, try a post with a photo of somewhere you’ve volunteered and say what you enjoy about working with this organization or why you are passionate about their cause. Then publicly thank them for the opportunity. Tag their page so that your contacts can find the organization in case you have inspired them to become volunteers themselves and then let the comments/feedback flow.
Last but not least, after earning a substantive amount of likes and reviews, let your Facebook fans do the rest. Thank those who do make comments and provide feedback. Comment back and have a conversation with them on your page to encourage more conversation and to let them know that you do read and pay attention to what is posted.
According to Forbes, close to 80 percent of those surveyed agreed that posts made by their friends have a major impact on their decisions. This justifies the fact that by motivating your personal brand advocates to share with their friends your values, you will significantly make a significant and powerful impact on your personal word of mouth.
Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog, CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks– a word of mouth marketing firm, and a professional speaker and trainer on developing social networks that work. She provides workshops, webinars, seminars and direct services that help create conversation, connection, credibility, community and commerce around your brand. Maria Duron is founder and moderator of #brandchat – a weekly Twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding that is recognized by Mashable as one the 15 Essential Twitter Chats for Social Media Marketers.
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