It’s no secret Facebook can be a great platform in which to continually engage customers, but many small businesses struggle to build Facebook fan bases large enough to make posting worthwhile. Likes are easier to come by for the local ice cream shop than for the local plumber, after all, so what can “less popular” businesses do to encourage customers to follow them on Facebook? There are many strategies, beginning with what type of content small businesses post, but one strategy that’s often overlooked – or done incorrectly – is direct-mail postcard marketing campaigns. The following details how to use postcards to fuel Facebook fandom.
STEP 1: Develop a Facebook-only discount
Whether you sell ice cream cones or fix clogged drains, your customers will appreciate discounts. Develop a Facebook-only discount available only to those who receive your postcard and like your page (new likes). Send a postcard that tells customers how to find your business page on Facebook, like it, then print off a coupon for a discount off your products or services.
For service companies whose demand is based on timing, make sure you’re offering an evergreen item at discount. For example, let’s say a plumbing and heating service wants to use postcards to promote likes. Getting the coupon is nice, but most people aren’t going to have a glaring plumbing or heating need during the time of the promotion. Thus, you might make the coupon good for a free preventive maintenance inspection with an additional discount coupon good for anything that breaks over the next year. This way, you’re still able to offer a timely and relevant service regardless of the season or the state of your customers’ plumbing and heating systems.
STEP 2: Develop your postcard
Design and print a postcard that promotes your offer, and send it to a highly targeted mailing list comprised of people who match your best customer demographics. The better your mailing list is targeted, the greater your response rate. Employ professional copy that emphasizes the benefits of your product and service and incorporates a powerful call to action to motivate immediate response – via mobile phone, if possible, since many people have the Facebook app on their smartphones. Your design should be attention-getting, and your special offer time-limited to get the greatest response in a short period of time.
STEP 3: Follow-up Facebook promotion
Here’s where you can make it interesting: when customers buy from you, offer them a “second tier” discount if they’re willing to take a picture on their mobile phones featuring them enjoying your products or services, offer a good review, and share it with their friends. You’ll have to verify that they do it, but if they do you can gain exposure to hundreds or even thousands of potential customers in seconds – along with a trusted “friend” recommendation for your business. Those who follow through will receive an additional freebie, discount, or other incentive. Try to do it right on the spot: when customers are eating their ice cream or right after you’ve installed that new air conditioner.
STEP 4: Tier 3 Facebook promotion
Finally, make sure customers who follow-up by sharing their photos tell their Facebook friends that anyone new who likes your page will get a similar discount. Again, you’re gaining more traction and earning more followers the entire time – not just past customers, but people you don’t even know. Now, you can continually market to them for free on Facebook – all from a single direct-mail postcard marketing campaign.
Companies often think of postcards as one-shot deal sales, but by harnessing the power of social media you can turn a single postcard marketing campaign into a campaign that reaches tens of thousands of potential customers. Now, it’s up to you to keep them there with great Facebook posts.