Face To Face(book)

In these articles, I try to show you the realities of building and conducting effective marketing campaigns. From Web sites to brochures and videos, I have featured about every kind of marketing material out there.

I did an overview article on social media marketing, where I wrote of some of the electronic alternatives to traditional marketing materials, but the use of social membership sites have grown so quickly in the last six months I decided to take a closer look at the most influential social sites out there. I’ll also look at how you can use these to open up new avenues of marketing.

I’ll start this marketing mini-series with one of the most popular sites online right now: Facebook.

The Number-One Reason To Try Facebook

For many businesses and entrepreneurs, the single most attractive aspect of using a social networking site like Facebook is simple–it’s free. And today, free is an attractive word (actually, free is always a good word). Some companies are even forgoing their standard Web sites and building a large part of their Web presence on FaceBook.

But besides being free, Facebook is extremely popular with your “ideal customers”–kids. Kids are all over Facebook, and they are the ones to attract first. Even though parents are writing the checks, in this modern world the kids are likely to be making the decisions about where to spend summer camp.

How To Effectively Use Facebook

Let’s note something right now so there’s no confusion later–using Facebook, or any other social networking site, is different than using regular marketing methods. In regular marketing, you set up a message in a brochure and Web site, and drive people to the site or send them a brochure. The idea is to sell them on how great the camp is so they’ll make the decision to send their kids there for the summer.

But this is social marketing–emphasis on the social.

It’s all about being social, about entering the prospects’ world orbits … and going along with it, not trying to influence it. You want to be seen as someone who can add value to their lives, not someone trying to sell them something. This is a social game, not a sales game.

Now, summer camps, by their nature, seem perfectly suited to this kind of social networking environment–more so, say, than the local used-car dealer. This is because perceptions and experiences are different with a summer camp (hopefully) than with the used-car dealer. Camps are naturally social organizations, so using social media to bring in more campers is a logical fit. Summer camps are about building and establishing relationships with young campers, their parents and siblings. To keep that relationship going across generations, using Facebook can be the perfect fit. So let’s take a look at the available options with Facebook, and how to use it to build a network of potential campers.

Starting With Facebook

One of the nice things about Facebook is that it’s fairly simple.

When first going to Facebook, you simply sign up. In this instance, start with the name of the camp.

You will then be asked to build a profile. You’ll have the opportunity to tell everyone about the camp, who you are, and what you represent. And because of the nature of the medium, I encourage you to speak about the camp the way you would talk to a friend. Try to lose the more formal tone that you might use in a brochure, or in a presentation.

Once you’ve filled out the profile, you can post photos … as many as you like. Photos from the previous summer, your favorite photos, camp staffers, etc. (be sure you have permission to post pics of real people before doing so).

From there, you can start the most important part of the process–building a list of friends. The simplest and most effective way is to just go through the list of campers–past, present and future.

Page 1 of 2 | Next page

Related posts:

  1. Expand The Marketing Potential Horizon
  2. Facebook Made Me A Bad Friend
  3. Social Media Smarts
  4. Safer Online Interaction
  5. Come Follow Us And Be Our Friend!
  • Columns & Features
  • Departments
  • Writers