If you’ve been on Facebook or any other social network for any amount of time, you’ve probably seen people asking questions – polling their friends for ideas or thoughts to help them come up with a solution to a problem they are facing.
“Where can I take a couple out of town friends to dinner around Bakersfield?”
“Anyone know a good gardener? Mine just broke the back patio window with the weed whacker”
“Who repairs vintage gowns locally? My grandmother gave me her wedding dress, but it needs a new hem”
Those are all questions, I have personally seen come across my Facebook news feed.
Social media has really changed the way people behave online
People are able to get answers from those in their circle of trust within moments. There’s no phone calls, digging through phone books or waiting – the answer to questions like these come quickly via social media. And the likelihood of a person acting on a recommendation from a friend via social media are very high – in fact, these recommendations are just as viable as a word of mouth referral.
Perhaps the most profound shift marketers have successfully taken advantage of, is the fact that social media has enabled answers to come to people before they are even actively looking for a solution. Using Facebook to reach your fan’s circle of influence means you are able to reach friends of fans before they are actively looking to solve a problem. Adding an ultra-focused “friends of fans” or a “sponsored stories” ad can add some highly targeted momentum to a Facebook marketing campaign as well.
A quick study in using trust to market your business on Facebook
A client of ours is a very successful stylist at a local beauty salon. She has a very specific demographic and knows the type of client she likes working with. As an artist, she knows her best work is done with those who appreciate edgy, vibrant hair styles and those happy clients are walking billboards, advertising her work – front and center. She is always looking for new clients and decided to launch a Facebook landing page along with a very targeted Facebook ad targeted only to friends of her of current fans.
The ad’s narrow focus means she is targeting far less people in her area, but those people will see an ad like this one that shows which of their friends like the page already:
Being that I liked Angela’s page, my friends who fit the ad’s demographics will see this ad throughout Facebook with my name at the bottom telling them that I’ve liked the page. Those that know me well, know I am very selective about who touches my hair. The fact that I like this hair stylist says to my friends “She must be good”.
When a person likes a page, their friends are far more likely to like the page as well – this is due to trust. We trust our friends; especially when choosing a hair stylist, bookkeeper, attorney, gardener or any other merchant or service provider. No one wants to get ripped off or have to wear a lousy hairstyle for the next few months. It’s much easier to rely on the experiences of others that have paved the way previously.
Leveraging your fan’s friends to get your foot in the door is a great way to start a relationship, as potential customers start out with a good impression; one that hopefully says: “If my friend likes them, they must be good”.