Hot Topics:

Innovative Facebook Marketing Techniques

How some businesses are creatively promoting their brands on social media.
Innovative Facebook Marketing Techniques

If you do a Google search for “innovative uses for social media,” you end up with more than 4 million results. Lucky for you, we’ve been combing through those results to find the best social marketing techniques online sellers are using to get the word out about their online businesses.

Below, we share some of our favorite innovative Facebook marketing techniques. Hopefully, these examples will inspire you to try similar strategies or, at least, make you think differently about how you can use social marketing to promote your brand.

Innovative use No. 1: Reward fans with exclusives

Businesses have been getting creative with their Facebook content and promotions for a while now. Since you can post text, videos, photos and links, Facebook offers you a wide variety of ways to market your products.

Among businesses that have successfully leveraged Facebook to increase sales, one theme remains constant: Give your fans exclusive deals or, at least, exclusive early insights into what you will be selling.

Fans of online businesses want to feel like they are getting something in return for mixing in your business posts with their pals’ friendly updates.

Fans of businesses want to feel like they are getting something in return for mixing in your posts with their pals’ friendly updates

John “ColderICE” Lawson says he has successfully used this social marketing technique to sell products that he’s never listed on any marketplace.

“Once you find the people who are looking for your type of information, put a velvet rope around it,” Lawson says in Social Media Tips You Can Actually Use. “Tell these people, ‘Hey, look at this new inventory that hasn’t been listed yet.'”

However, use this promotion selectively, and only when you’ve got something great to share, he adds. That way, people will be more likely to seek out your business.

Innovative use No. 2: Let fans ‘unlock’ deals

Now, anyone can post a link to their items for sale on their Facebook page. But why not do something unexpected? Rather than simply posting links to your items on your wall—which should always include a photo of the item—you could also consider posting a simple “unlock a deal” post.

It’s easy to do. Simply post a photo of the item you’d like to offer a deal on. In your post, you could say something like, “50 likes unlocks this exclusive Facebook deal on [name of the item]!’

Unlock deals encourage fan interaction as well as viral sharing. It’s always a great thing when your fans are bragging about your business and products more than you are! This is essential to building up your social media credibility. The unlocked deals become available to all your Facebook fans, as well as anyone who hears about your online special.

If you do run an unlock deal on Facebook, make sure to monitor the results. Once you hit the recommended number of likes or shares, post the deal right away. Remember, this is not the type of Facebook post to do right before you head off to the post office, or leave on vacation! If your fans meet the quota for likes or shares, and they don’t immediately see the special offer code or link to their special deal in your online store, things could get ugly and backfire.

Innovative use No. 3: Hook fans with serialized content

If you want to step up your social marketing game, consider posting serialized exclusive content. Italian handbag mogul Fendi, decided to post a series of Facebook videos centered on exclusive video content, which it promoted as “X-rated.” Although, indeed exclusive, there was nothing X-rated about it. But the name, alone, generated a lot of interest and, as a result, the campaign got tons of press coverage.
List an incomplete sentence and ask your fans to fill in the blank. Be sure the statement focuses on what they think, feel or want

Fendi’s goal was to keep its Facebook fans hooked and returning to its page to get caught up on the latest and greatest Fendi behind-the-scenes video. So far, the plan has worked, and some videos are even receiving more than 1,000 likes!

If you have the time, and the drive, you could create serialized content for your business page. Perhaps you sell kitchen tools. A great video series could feature someone using the item in the kitchen. “Tune in later to see what we make next” could be a theme that generates lots of extra Facebook traffic, as well as direct traffic to your listings.

Innovative use No. 4: Promote fan participation

One of the easiest and cheapest (that is, free) ways to engage your Facebook followers is to post “fill in the blank” statuses. This is where you list an incomplete sentence and then ask your fans to fill in the blank. Be sure to make the statement focused on them and what they think, feel or want. If you sell clothing or accessories, maybe you could post “My favorite article of clothing is my [fill in the blank].”

True, your fans aren’t directed to any specific item you’re selling, but you are showing them that you value their input, and are helping to foster the Facebook relationship. Plus, having your fans’ input is always great when you’re wondering what to sell next, or are curious what’s popular with your fans. And if fans are really inspired by your question, it could go viral, giving your business even wider exposure.

ESPN has mastered the fill in the blank status model on Facebook and on Twitter. On March 6, ESPN’s fill-in-the-blank Peyton Manning status received more than 6,000 comments.

Fans love feeling heard, but avoid posting a potentially negative status. “One thing I hate about my closet is [fill in the blank]” could turn depressing, and no one wants to feel bummed out by your business!

Have you used any Facebook special offers or promotional techniques that have worked well for you and your online business? Be sure to share your social marketing hits (and misses) with us in the comments below. And if you’re still sprucing up your Facebook page for the new Timeline look, be sure to read Updating Your Facebook Business Page for a few helpful tips.

About the author

Jenny Fuller
Jenny Fuller, Auctiva’s marketing writer, loves to buy and sell online. As a former consignor, Jenny has worked alongside penny-wise moms and eBayers and knows how to wheel and deal. She has a media arts degree from Chico State and, despite never fulfilling her dream of becoming a TV weather girl, she’s happy to be part of the Auctiva team. Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

  • Jitterbugs Attic

    Hi, I was told that you cannot do a 50 likes and then open up a discount on an item on Facebook, that this was a no no policy.  I was passing this along to others and someone came back and told me this was definately not allowed…could you please comment if it is or not allowed.  Thanks

Newsletter Signup