Facebook as Part of Your Influence Strategy

by Daniel Offer · 15 comments

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It’s funny Daniel came to me with guest posts on the topic of Facebook, as I’m currently in the middle of creating a PLR report on that very topic. lol But Daniel’s post is great because influence does indeed play a huge role in the success of a business.

If you’ve thoughts or comments, please don’t hesitate to drop them in the comments area below, and as always share this post if you find it useful! (You know, via those handy little share buttons I’ve got sprinkled liberally about!) 😉

Influence is defined as “the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others.”  Influence plays a huge role in marketing so it’s crucial you understand how to use influence to affect the actions of others.

As part of your marketing strategy you must also have a clear influence strategy in order to gain and keep customers.  A key component of your influence strategy should be social networking giant Facebook.  Since its launch in 2004, Facebook has gained popularity worldwide and has over 500 million members.

It’s the perfect place to reach current and prospective customers and best of all, it’s free.  Influence can be broken into any number of elements; below are a few basic strategies that can be easily applied to a Facebook marketing campaign.

Reward/Punishment

Your potential customers will be rewarded if they do what you want.  If your product is an e-book, offer customers bonus materials like business plan templates if they purchase your book.  A Facebook wall post telling fans that these bonus materials are available with the purchase of your book will encourage them to go to your website and buy.

You could also offer a two-for-one deal.  “Buy one widget, get one free. Visit our website now.”  Conversely, you can warn customers that they will be punished if they do not act right away.  If you don’t buy my product now, the price will go up.  This product is only offered for a limited time so buy it now.

Disney does this very effectively with their video products, warning customers that they will be punished by not purchasing videos before they’re put back in the vault forever.  Reminding your Facebook fans that your sale ends Friday or even putting a countdown clock on your page will give them an incentive to buy now.

Pre-Giving

Offer your customers something before they make a purchase.  Giving away a free product download via a link on your Facebook page directs potential customers to your website.  Now, not only are they exposed all of the products you are selling, but having them enter their personal information into your database before download gives you the opportunity to contact them in the future.

Since businesses are not allowed to send friend requests on Facebook, having customers’ email addresses allows you to send emails asking them to become fans of your Facebook page.  Pre-giving also gives your potential customers something for free which increases the emotional tie they have to your business.

Debt

This strategy implies that potential customers owe you something.  You can see a great example of using debt as an influence strategy when watching or listening to a pledge drive.  PBS is very successful with this strategy as they ask viewers to give money because they “owe” the station for the wonderful programming that is viewer-supported.

If you don’t give us money (what we want), we cannot give you programming (what you want).  Debt can be used in combination with pre-giving where customers who have gotten something for free feel like they now owe the business a favor and will purchase another product to alleviate their perceived guilt.

Remind customers who have gotten something for nothing that there are other products they should be aware of.  If you’ve gained them as Facebook fans (using email to attract them to your fan page), a wall post directed at them will serve as a reminder that you gave them something and now it’s their turn to give you something, i.e. money for another product.

Positive Self-Feeling/Negative Self-Feeling

This influence strategy works really well with a fitness product but can be applied to other products as well.  If your product is a fitness membership site, tell your Facebook fans they will feel better about themselves if they subscribe to your site.  Explain that not only will they become more fit, they will have access to member forums, instructional videos and e-books.

Posting a sample video or an excerpt from a book on your Facebook page will show potential customers the value of your site.  This strategy can be used just as effectively if your product is not fitness related.  For example, if you’re selling an e-book on medical transcription, you can offer positive self-feeling related to quality of life.

Having a successful career working from home while being able to care for your children will make you feel good about yourself.  On the other hand, negative self-feeling can be used to remind potential customers that they will feel bad about themselves (physically and/or mentally) if they do not purchase your product.  Allowing fans to post testimonials about your product will show potential customers how your product can improve their self-feeling.

Whether your product is software, an e-book, a physical product or service, you can use various influence strategies to encourage people to buy from you.  Facebook can be a powerful tool in your marketing efforts.  Telling fans to buy now in order to get a bonus or because they owe you something persuades them to make a decision quickly.

Building personal relationships by letting fans tell others how good they’ll feel after buying from you gives potential customers the emotional connection to your product or service that is essential in a successful marketing campaign.

Stay tuned for tomorrow where Daniel will share a couple of smart ways to use Facebook for what’s commonly referred to as “relationship” marketing. Ta-ta for now!

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