The average American receives an average of 41 lbs of advertising mail in their snail mailbox every single year (according to 41lbs.org). Some of those 41 lbs of messages are more than likely furniture solicitants either from you or from other stores in your trading area. I am betting that they all probably have similar characteristics to the following message:
- PRIVATE EVENT
- 4 DAYS ONLY
- TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS SPECIAL OFFER BEFORE THE PUBLIC DOES
- BIGGEST IN OUR HISTORY
It is easy for us to rattle off this language because we make messages like this every single day. It is the norm in retail and especially furniture retail. But what if there was a medium where you didn’t have to show your offer unless the customer willingly opted into your message?
That medium has been created and it is Facebook.
Before we rattle off how to combine direct mail messages and Facebook together to create sales, let’s identify what Facebook is and how it can help your business:
- There are two types of Facebook:
- Personal Profile: A personal profile is where you as a user sign up, divulge your information as you see fit, interact with friends that you have willingly accepted and have the ability to post, comment, like and message your friends and they can do the same with you.
- Business Page: A business page is where a brand, place or business creates a sharing site that allows personal profile users of Facebook to interact, share and engage with that entity by “liking a business”. The business will be able to communicate with that personal profile only though the business page channel.
- Facebook is powered by applications:
- Most likely those reading this blog have a smart phone or know someone who has a smart phone. At it’s core smart phones are basic operating devices that can call out and receive messages over a mobile network. With the power of data connection these phones can enhance their capabilities by adding applications to the phone (games, email, news, etc).
- Facebook’s operating software is enhanced the same way. A basic Facebook page has the following features:
- As a Facebook user or business page, you can enhance your environment for you (personal profiles) or your fans (business page) by adding applications that help achieve enjoyment (personal profile) or create opportunities to capture information and sell (business page).
Remember the statement, “But what if there was a medium where you didn’t have to show your offer unless the customer willingly opted into your message?” Applications on a Facebook page have an exciting feature that will allow you to create direct mail messages that will allow you to create a captive audience. As a business page owner you can have “Non Fans” see one image on your business page while your fans see another.
So, how can this drive results to the retail level? Two Ways:
- A Facebook fan on average spends $71.84 more than non-fans. They are 41% more likely to continue using your brand and 28% more likely to recommend your brand to their friends and family(according to a July 2010 Syncapse Study). As a result create offers that push a direct mail recipient to your Facebook business page where they can receive an additional offer just for liking your page.
- Run value added offers/incentives that can only be driven through Facebook such as Room Makeovers, Ugly Sofa Contests, Fantastic Friday Deals or Deals of the Day which offer value to the customer on top of the current promotion you are already running.
With all of these great things there are some serious pitfalls that must be taken into consideration:
- If you aren’t ready to have a conversation or hire someone to have the conversation then you are wasting your time jumping into this medium. Just like when you open the doors to your store you open yourself up to customer praise and criticism with each up, the same thing applies to Facebook business pages.
- At the first sign of trouble do not crawl into a shell and forget about this new medium. One slip up is not going to equal disaster. Pick up the pieces and learn from the mistakes. I know this seems repetitive but we believe this is the future and you don’t want to be the last one looking in.