In a recent discussion with ISA leaders regarding how to lessen the number of emails it sends members, the topic of Facebook fan pages came up. The context of this discussion was focused on how ISA could be at least as effective at marketing its publications while reducing the number of emails it sends. I was asked to explain specifically how a fan page compares with email marketing, and I came up with seven advantages:
1) “Opting In” vs. “Not Opting Out”
People must take an affirmative action to “become a fan,” which says a lot more than “I choose not to opt out.” From a marketer’s perspective, these become your top shelf, number one, gold plated prospects. And you treat them that way.
2) Marketing Upside
When someone becomes a fan, all of their friends see it. This has tremendous marketing “up side.” When someone doesn’t opt out of emails, nobody knows and there is zero additional up side.
3) Build a Community
Fans can interact with one another on the fan page, providing book reviews, answering questions, talking about their favorites, etc. This is the very essence of Web 2.0.
Facebook provides detailed statistics with regard to interactions that occur on fan pages. This makes is very easy to quantify the value of the page over time. Typical email marketing solutions provide counts of the number of times a message is read or a link is clicked. However, Facebook has additional metrics that can measure interactivity and “buzz.”
Fan pages are open to everyone on Facebook (that’s 325 million users) – not just your email database.
The fastest growing age demographic on Facebook is 35 to 45 year olds. This is a critical demographic for many organizations.
Fan pages are FREE. Enough said.
Let me know if I missed something.