A (Sort of ) Book Review of Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day

I started reading Mari Smith and Chris Treadaway’s new book, Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day and it is slow going.

It is NOT slow reading because it is poorly written or dull.

I'm reading it slowly because I am literally using up my highlighter marking important passages. Then I have to pause to write little margin notes. And then of course I must put those little sticker bookmarks on pages I know I’ll want to refer back to again and again.

Not to mention that I have to jot down ideas gleaned from Smith and Treadway in a little notebook I keep with me at all times.

And all that doesn't include the time I spend being envious of these two and their brilliant ideas. I just wish I had written this book instead.

Treadaway and Smith have written that rare book that balances in-depth, expert advice without leaving the newbe behind in the dust. It is just packed with actionable ideas any marketer can use to take advantage of the breathtaking potential of Facebook to promote their business.

One of the ways I measure a great book is the extent to which it launches me off into new trains of thought or sends my mind racing off in new directions. You know what I mean. One new idea can triggers a whole chain of new thoughts and ideas that take on lives of their own.

Here’s an example:

The authors explain that a Facebook Page is not the personal Profile that most users begin with, in which they share photos, connect with friends and talk about what is going on in their lives.

In contrast, a Page is set up by a business, organization or an artist to promote what they do. (Pages were originally called “Fan Pages” because their original users were celebrities, musical groups and solo artists). This means that Suzy Smith might have a profile, whereas Ford Motor Company has a Page.

But the idea that has spurred me onto a whole new direction of thoughts and ideas was a passing mention that many Page owners create their own “online magazines” with their pages.

This really intrigued me because I have been reading a lot of Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett's brilliant blogs about content marketing.

Both Pulizzi and Barrett have written case studies of companies that have launched their own magazines that target the interests of their customers. These magazines are not merely glorified sales pieces that constantly talk about their products and services.

Instead, these magazines focus on the audience and provides information that appeals to that audience's interests. Some of these interests are obviously related to what the companies sell, but generally only a small portion. They are perfect soft sell vehicles because they are primarily about giving the reader information they want and need.

How many marketers could connect to their customers better if they had their own “lifestyle magazines” ? For example:
  • A financial services company could have a lifestyle magazine devoted to retirees.

    Instead of promoting financial products, this Facebook page could talk about reduced-price vacation ideas for active seniors, health and fitness topics, or how the marriage dynamics change when two formerly employed people suddenly find themselves spending a lot more time together.
  • A business that markets to young couples could have a lifestyle magazine Facebook page that deals with raising small children.

    Topics could include how to keep children safe, how to keep them entertained while traveling, their first day at school, how to deal with a small child when a newborn sibling enters the household, etc.

  • Other businesses could create magazines devoted to specific communities or geographic locations. These magazines could features local businesses, schools, events, charities and public awareness.

Other uses of the lifestyle magazine format could include the lifestyle issues of small business owner, golfers, minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, or college students, etc.

The ways to connect with potential customers through a lifestyle magazine on Facebook are endless. It is simply a matter of connecting with prospects on the level of what they want to read about and what problems they want to find solutions for, rather than focusing on churning out product information on the things we want to sell to these people.

So where do you get all this content for your Lifestyle Magazine Facebook Page?

Simple, think Readers’ Digest. Gather content from all over the web and link to these articles on your page’s wall.

Facebook even does you the favor of allowing you to include an image from the article or uploading your own.

As marketers, our past education and experience generally taught us various ways to “interrupt” a prospect and divert his or her attention to what we wanted to talk to them about. Seth Godin calls this “Interruption Marketing.”

Creating a lifestyle magazine in which a small part of the content is related to what you want to sell is what I call “Conversation Marketing” because it looks to what the prospect is already thinking about and talking about and simply adds value to those areas of a person's personal or business life.

Believe it or not, your very best prospects probably do not wake up each morning thinking about your widgets. Perhaps they will get around to thinking about widgets sometime during the day, but they have other problems they want to solve in the meantime.

Become an expert on solving 10 or so problems your best customers are concerned with, that are unrelated to what you want to sell to them. If you can offer solutions in these other areas of their lives, they will listen to you when you offer solutions related to what you sell.

A lifestyle magazine / Facebook Page approach earns you the right to talk to them about your widgets.

Thank you Chris and Mari. Sorry I ran off with this book review in a different direction but you gave me the original idea.

Want to learn more about how to engage in conversation marketing? Be sure to download a free copy of my ebook, 101 Ways to Promote Your Brand With Social Media Marketing. If you like it, be sure to forward a copy to someone else you think could benefit from it

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July 8, 2010 at 8:44 AM irishis said...

Thanks Charlie I'm taking your word for it and downloaded it to my Kindle.