Author Topic: Using Facebook To Increase Your Profits  (Read 2303 times)

Offline Mark Austin

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Using Facebook To Increase Your Profits
« on: March 09, 2011, 12:01:04 PM »
Using Facebook To Increase Your Profits

Social networking holds the promise of being the next biggest marketing arena in town. However, the rules are far different on social networks like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter for marketers than they are for conventional formats like television ads or direct marketing campaigns. A more subtle approach is required because of the policy that many of the social networks do not allow direct solicitation of their members. Even so, you can see that making money online on a place like Facebook can be done, just not as directly as with other types of revenue-making sites.

Be sincere

One of the ways that marketing on Facebook differs tremendously than from other types of sites is that authenticity counts. You can't just put up a Facebook page and expect to gain fans or to be befriended, unless you have something to offer people in these networks. Generally, the currency is yourself and how interesting and how much you contribute to the community.

Set up a profile that shows who you are and why people would like to befriend you, and they will be more likely to associate with you. Place tons of links and spam about your commercial ventures before generating a personal relationship with your audience and you're either likely to get ignored or to lose friends. In the worst cases, the administrators of the site might suspend your account if you actively solicit people via Facebook email like you would during a regular Internet marketing campaign. There are some things you can do on these sites to make money, and there are some that are clearly against the terms of service. Spamming people's inboxes for commercial purposes is strictly forbidden.

How does one make money, then?

Obviously, you have to start by generating traffic to your profile. From there, you have a number of social strategies to gain attention from your friends and to have sales opportunities. In some cases, like the Marketplace, an application that allows you to buy and sell things to users of Facebook, you are allowed to sell something directly on Facebook. Other times, you are going to have to get creative and learn ways to make things that people on Facebook want, like applications, and use them to generate income.

There are also Social Ads, a place to buy advertising for your products and services online. You can even use them to advertise affiliate offers that you are marketing. You can use leverage from one advertising program, like Google, and combine it with Social ads to get more traffic to your offers and get some clicks too. These are just a few ways and we will discuss many more.

The marketplace

You can load this application from the main Facebook page via the toolbar at the bottom of your Facebook interface. It will allow you to add items via geographical location to the Marketplace. There are different areas in the Marketplace. There is an “Items for Sale” area, Housing, Vehicles, and Jobs. You can add your own listing to any one of these areas, but the audience will be filtered by geographical results.

Local sales

Your results and the results that others see are based on the geographical region you put in your profile. This can be changed to view a wider geographical region of sales, but for the most part, they will be local sales that you see, and you have to deliberately change this setting to see results from other geographical regions. That means that if you are a local business, it can be a great way to advertise some of your offerings. If you want buyers from all over the globe, it'll be harder to use this part of Facebook for your offerings. However, there are other ways to get people back to your sites to market to them later.

Three ways to advertise

1. Sell It -  Pretty self-explanatory. You are going to put a price on some item and try to sell it. There are multiple categories that you can choose from to keep your sales item more highly visible.

2. Give It Away -  Used for pets, but could be used to give away a freebie that is associated with your business. Just because you're not selling something doesn't mean that you shouldn't try to collect more friends or traffic back to your profile via this way.

3. Ask For It -  Generally, this is for buyers who are wanting a particular item. It isn't for selling things, but it's still in the Marketplace because people may have trouble finding what they want. You can check these ads to see if you have something someone else wants and then sell it to him/her.

Ways to use the marketplace

Even if you are selling real estate, you can go and post a ad in housing. If you are a car dealer, you could use the vehicles area to sell a car. Any other type of item will most likely go in the “Items For Sale” area. Try to stick to the terms of service and only offer products that don't get your account banned.

Social ads

Advertising is a viable way to get traffic to your sites and offers, and Facebook has its own version of advertising called Social Ads. These advertisements can be very finely tuned due to the demographic data that Facebook collects on all of its users. You can use social ads to advertise your own offerings or applications on Facebook that you create. There is no restriction to advertising your own offerings even though it's a social network site. You do have to pay for the service, and it is one of the ways in which Facebook generates income, but it also can generate income for you too if properly used.

CPC and CPM

All you have to do is to set up a campaign, either a CPC (cost-per-click) or CPM (cost-per-impression) model. In the CPC model, you will pay an agreed upon price for each click that is generated from your advertising. In the CPM model, you will pay per every 1000 impressions, which is how many times your ad was loaded onto a Web page. Either way, you can set up great advertisements within a budget that is suitable for you.

Utilize Facebook’s demographic data

Next, you will want to figure out who you will target with your campaign. You can set various demographic restrictions on your ad, which would be nearly impossible to do elsewhere. That's because Facebook collects all of this data and serves up ads based on who you tell it to serve, not based on keywords or large groups of undefined or unknown people. When you create an ad campaign in Facebook, you can be assured that it is being served up to people in the demographic you have targeted, thereby increasing the potential for income.

Make money advertising with Facebook

In addition to advertising your website, your links, and your affiliate offers, you can also advertise your events and applications within Facebook. This will generate a lot more attention for these areas and can produce income if more people attend your event or if your application goes viral. At some point, you can sell the application and generate income that way too.

Social ads appear to the left of everyone's profile. They show up exactly how you tell Facebook to post them, and they are very popular with users. As long as you only advertise things that are in accordance with Facebook's policies, it is an ethical way to promote your offerings on Facebook without offending anyone by spamming.

Create an application

Applications are third party software applications created by programmers that can be selected and downloaded by users of Facebook to perform some function or to entertain them. It may come as a surprise to know that YouTube was once just an application embedded within MySpace and it grew so popular that it eventually got its own website, and the rest is history. There is big money in applications, and creating them is not that hard, even if you're not a programmer. You just need a good idea.

Outsource creation

You can hire programmers on Elance.com or RentACoder.com who would be willing to create an application for you if it is really complicated. Some applications like L'il Green are very popular with users and are just galleries of graphic flowers to add to your garden. When you get sent a flower or a plant, it plants it in your garden. You can see other people's gardens and water and care for them too. By doing so, you can earn Greenbucks, with which you can buy other things on L'il Green. However, there are ways to buy plants using real money too. You can promote specific offers on your application since you put in the advertising too. It can lead to offers that make you a lot of money through referrals or commissions. The more popular an application becomes, the more people will tell their friends about it and get them to join. This can really increase the exposure of your audience.

Match the application to your demographic

L'il Green works because it targets people who like gardening. Other offers that you can get will be related to this niche. Similarly, if most of your offers are about dating, you application should be related to personality profiles, matching interests, and so on. Always match the application to whom you plan to market with it later. You won't get much money initially just from rolling out an application as people subscribe to it for free. You have to lay the groundwork for further income or for selling it to someone within that niche from the start. Otherwise, you risk spending money to outsource the creation and making none back.

Create your own for a test

If you want to test an idea, and your application is mostly just images and nothing fancy, you can create your own application within Facebook fairly easily. Just fill the gallery of images and see if you attract people to install the application and what happens next. It's a fairly easy way to break into application creation without investing too much money into programmers.

Become a celebrity

Facebook and MySpace are two great social networking sites for artists and musicians. If your aim is to become a celebrity, you can build up a fan base online with Facebook very easily by adding a Facebook page and inviting people to become a fan of yours. In a way, it is like a website within Facebook that doesn't have the same restrictions for solicitation that other areas of Facebook have to follow. Here, you can self-promote and add whatever links you want to add to your Facebook page. It's expected that that's why you put up a Facebook page instead of adding a profile.

You can even add a Facebook page for your business instead of just your profile and try to gain fame and attention that way. Whatever you put on your Facebook page, you will attract people to your group and be able to engage them more personally without having to do it via your profile. You can send out mass emails this way and even set up discussion groups. You can advertise new music or art creations when they first come out and generate excitement for your products immediately. Being a celebrity online is easy.

Nothing attracts attention like fame

When people gather into a crowd, it seems to grow exponentially. Everyone wants to know what's so interesting. The same is true of your Facebook page. If you gain a core group of followers, other people might think that you're worth knowing and will become a fan or befriend you too. In addition, Facebook has a policy of showing the friends of friends who people are becoming fans of or are adding to their groups on the status feeds. The more people you add, the more people you have the potential to add. That's why your first order of the day is to make sure that you add significant numbers to your Facebook page.

Invite people on your own contact list to become a fan of your page if you have one. That's the basis for a good start. Put in a Social Ad to advertise your Facebook page to reach people outside of your friends list and their friends lists too.  Add your direct link to your email signatures and other correspondence so people know that they can add you to their Facebook page.

Send out notices of new creations

As a musician, you can even dedicate songs to people on your friends list. This is a great way to advertise your offerings because these people are sure to be curious. You can add images of gallery offerings online and promote specials that you are offering. Like any gallery affair, always advertise if you've sold something. This way, other people know that you are selling to others, and that makes you appear even more valuable.

Host an event

It may seem like you can't get people offline from Facebook, but that's far from the truth. You can use Facebook to help advertise local events and some online events too. When you host an event on Facebook, you can advertise the entrance fee if it is somewhere offline. Most other events are free, and money is made by soliciting people onto an email list via the event announcement and marketing to them offline or through a website after that.

Get a team of experts together

If you have a number of friends in the same industry who all are looking to make some extra money, you can offer an online event where they share their expertise via interviews on a set date and time. People have to sign up to your event that has been publicized on Facebook; they are then sent an email telling them what website will be hosting the virtual meetup. Once they get there, you now have the opportunity to get an offline email address. This is essential to maintaining an ethical way to market to them later. You want permission to contact them and to solicit them for your products and services, and you can't really do that very well on Facebook. You have to take them offline to your website and get their email address. Hosting an event on Facebook that is taking place somewhere else online is a perfect way to gain trust and to get people to sign up and identify themselves outside of Facebook.

Provide some value back to the people who sign up and make sure you do the event. You can offer freebies for people signing up, like ebooks and videos to help wet their appetites. You can allow the experts to self-promote via their products and services during the interview. In the end, you will have the email address, and you'll be the one in a position to market to them offline through an email campaign, completely unrelated to Facebook and, thus, not subject to their restrictions. However, the magic did start with Facebook.

Advertise your local events too

Maybe you want to know approximately how many people might attend an offline event, but don't know how. Add it to your Facebook event page and then notify people of the event via email. There is an option for people to RSVP, and that will give you some idea of which of your online friends is expecting to attend the event. It's also a good idea because, if your friend clicks that he/she is attending or may be attending, it shows up in his/her status feed, and their friends see it too. Thus, you automatically notify more people through advertising it on Facebook via an events page. It's also a great way to spell out the details of the event and to keep everyone updated. Is there an entrance fee or is it free? Will you be giving away prizes? Anything you can add to the event to bring people in is a good idea.

Sell your social media expertise

If you've been on Facebook for a while, you have an advantage over others who may just be starting to figure out this social networking platform. You can use that expertise to help others gain more exposure for themselves and for their businesses, and it's not hard to locate such folks. If this is something that interests you, you can set yourself up as a coach for other newbie Facebook entrepreneurs and get paid to help others succeed.

Your own profile will sell your skills

Have hundreds of friends? Have a Facebook page with hundreds of friends? The more people you've attracted to your own page, the more likely that people will believe that you are a Facebook guru. However, it's not hard to get people to link to you. Just send out multiple friend requests every day until you build up your list. It's a very common practice to start with your friends and then open their friends’ pages. Request to befriend the friend of your friends. Usually, they will let you in because they will see that you are a mutual friend. If you keep doing this repeatedly, but not in the hundreds each day (since Facebook will kick you out for spamming), you will eventually build up a big list of people who can vouch for you, even if they've never met you.

Offer to help people build their Facebook profiles

You can get work by offering to set up people's Facebook profiles, especially business owners who may not want to spend too much time online. You can set up a Facebook page too for someone else and just give him/her the reigns when you're done. This way, they can start out on a good foot and gain ground much faster.

Sell infoproducts on how to market Facebook

Along with acting like a coach or consultant, you can also sell infoproducts to help people understand how to best use Facebook and how to make cash from it too. If you've found some interesting ways to market on Facebook, and it makes money for other people, you can bet that people will pay money for the information.

As long as you are offering these infoproducts in areas within Facebook that allow you to market these products, you are fine. You can put up a link in a status update to show people when you have a new offering, but that is close to spamming. The best way to promote your infoproducts on Facebook is to have a Facebook page where you add links to your offerings so you don't violate the terms of service.

Blog your way to success on Facebook

Blogging is a great way to start getting noticed on the Internet. Once you set up a blog, you can use it to advertise your affiliate offers, promote your own products, generate a subscribers’ list, and gain money through advertising. There is no blog feature within Facebook, but it is an excellent place to network with other bloggers to increase traffic to your Web log. Once you understand the dynamics of how this can increase your friends, this will give you more opportunities to create venture partnerships.

Join networkedblogs on Facebook

NetworkedBlogs is an application that allows people on Facebook to promote and advertise their blogs within the Facebook community. By adding NetworkedBlogs to your Facebook account, you can then put up your own blog and invite people within Facebook to join it. You can categorize your blog to make it easy for people to find it. For instance, if you have a blog about finances and your products and services are in this niche, then make sure you include that category for your blog.

Try to get people to rate your blog on NetworkedBlogs, as it will make other people more interested in checking you out. Put in a description that entices people to check you out and to invite friends on your profile to join your networked blog.

To gain massive exposure, try this

Here is the main way you're going to leverage Facebook to get massive exposure and traffic back to your website: Network with other bloggers in your niche. All you have to do is to use the NetworkedBlogs application to go and join the blogs of other good bloggers within your niche. They will often reciprocate by checking out and joining your blog too. This gives you more credibility and helps you to attract more attention from people within Facebook who are in your targeted demographic.

Use the status updates to promote your blog

You can use NetworkedBlogs to publish your new postings to your profiles as a link within your status update box. You should do this several times for each post during the day. Once is not enough, as people log in at different times throughout the day. If people comment on the post, the people within the commentator’s friends circle will see your posting too and will give you optimal exposure to gain new subscribers within your target demographic.

Promote your other pay-per-view content

If you are a writer and have a way with words, you've probably noticed that some sites are willing to pay you based on the number of people who view your content. AssociatedContent is one such site, and you can gain many more views if you know how to promote your information on different social networking sites, not just on Facebook. It is perfectly ethical to do, as you are not soliciting people to buy your content; you are being paid for the traffic that goes to that site.

This doesn't just work with writing sites; it also works for YouTube.com. If you want to get more people to visit your video, just promote it on your social network via your profile and relevant groups. You will see a large increase in your traffic, and subsequently, in the performance pay that you get from Google Partners programs. Even places like Squidoo.com and Hubpages.com offer performance pay that can be increased with the proper promotion on your social networking profile. Here's how to do it.

Use the status update wisely

Once you publish anything on these performance sites, go to your Facebook account and publish the link in your status update. This will promote it to your friends. Give it a while and see if anyone comments; if not, post it again. If they do comment, always answer each comment, no matter how trivial. The reason for this is that every time someone comments, it shows up on the left for people within your friends group and the commentator's friends group too. Thus, every time someone comments or you comment, it gets promoted once again.

Use groups to promote your pay-per-view content

You can also join groups on Facebook that are relevant to the pay-per-view content that you are trying to promote. It's always good to have just a few niches; that way, you won't have to constantly find a new group to join. Go in, contribute to the conversation, and then add your link to your pay-per-view content. As long as you aren't soliciting people to buy from you, this is perfectly permissible. If it so happens that someone else is paying you to get viewers to read your stuff, that's just icing on the cake for you. You are contributing to the conversation, people are talking about your content, and you are getting paid. What's nice is that no one is upset, no one is spamming, and no one is violating the terms of service posted by Facebook.

Automate as much as you can

All these strategies have one thing in common: They take time and work. What if you don't want to do all that or find that it takes up so much time that you don't have time to figure out how to develop products, get affiliate offers, or even consult? Frankly, it is a lot of work, but the workload can be reduced so that when you do things in one area of the Internet, Facebook gets updated without much intervention from you.

Selective Twitter

One other social network that is particularly powerful to combine with Facebook is Twitter. Twitter can be a way to add thousands of people to your profile very quickly, and you can send status updates directly from Twitter to Facebook by downloading the Selective Twitter application. Now, when you are promoting stuff on Twitter via their 140-character update, you can add the hash tag #fb to the end and it will also automatically post your update to Facebook. Now, both audiences are informed.

When you have stuff all over

What if you have stuff on Twitter and you want to also promote to Delicious.com or StumbleUpon, as well as Facebook? Now you need to centralize your promotional activities by getting a URL shortener like Ping.fm. This serves two purposes. It keeps your URLs short enough for people not to be overwhelmed. More importantly, it allows you to track the performance of the short links and allows you to post to multiple social networking sites all over the Internet, including Facebook.

Track performance
 
In order to tweak your marketing efforts with Facebook, you need to know what is working and what isn't. For that, the URL shortener is indispensable. Some URL shorteners will tell you how many people clicked on a link and when. It will tell you what country they are from. It will tell you if the link was emailed or shared. This type of information is invaluable to network marketers who are trying to determine where their efforts are best spent.

If you try one set of activities in this report and you're not getting much response, check if people are even seeing your offers. If they don't see them, they can't respond to them. It's as simple as that. Once you know that you've got traffic, then you can start to decide why some things sell and why other things don't. Until then, it's probably a traffic issue, and you need to concentrate on getting the word out where it gives you the most exposure.

Facebook is an excellent tool for networking and for getting different types of work, but it's not a panacea for poor marketing practices. If anything is true, it's that you do have to have more understanding of how to market a product or service than you would in a regular retail environment. You have to use a casual and friendly tone, and you're never allowed to spam anyone. Learning how to make money while contributing value is the key. From there, you can definitely find numerous, ethical ways to make money on Facebook.


“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that,
but the really great makes you feel that you, too, can become great.”
~ Mark Twain