How to Use Facebook to Showcase Your Brand

DIY Home Decorating

By Ivan Serrano

The question on the minds of Publicity Hounds and marketers minds is, “How do we keep up with all the changes in social media?”

Facebook, in particular, is notorious for making changes, without warning, that cause previously successful social media tactics to tank.

Regardless, this is part of the social media game. Social networks are going to do what makes the best business sense for them. You must be willing to accept this reality when you create your account.

That said, social media can be an incredibly effective way to promote your brand. The key is to make sure your brand delivers real value before trying to promote it.

Do the Work First

If your brand is basing its business model on a social media marketing tactic or even a social network per se, you are already skating on thin ice. Brands that don’t demonstrate solid expertise or offer great products are putting the cart before the horse.

Focusing on building an online or social media brand without first building a foundation for that brand looks like smoke with no fire.

A brand isn’t something you build with social media posts. It’s something you build because you’ve got a great product that delivers experiences that customers love. Make sure you’ve got something customers want.

If you do, and you know that your audience is on Facebook, you can use several effective strategies to gain traction with your target market without spending money on an ad.

Post What People Like to See

Images get more attention than text.

Scroll through your Facebook feed for a minute and then write down what you clicked on. If you didn’t click on anything, write down what you remember. Chances are, it was a post that had an image associated with it. Or, it was a post by someone with whom you have a strong personal relationship.



Those are the two things people want from their social media experiences: images and strong personal relationships. Of the two, images are easier, and, with the right content, can lead to stronger online relationships.

It’s Not About You

How many times has someone asked you to like their Facebook page? If you’re online even a little bit, you’ll get at least one such request every day.

The people and brands who take this approach, basically begging for likes, simply don’t get it. It isn’t about them and what they want. Building a brand is about delivering value to your audience.

The best way to deliver value is to provide memorable experiences that are more about value for the receiver than the provider. Here are some ways Facebook can be used to build a brand.

Help Others

If you have special expertise, sharing that expertise is a great way to build brand presence. If that expertise translates well into short video clips or static images, this may be your best brand-building strategy. DIY Home Decorating is a case in point.

With almost 3.5 million likes, this page is definitely a go-to source for many do-it-yourselfers. It uses its Facebook page to direct traffic to its website where it earns revenue from sponsored links.



Answer Questions

Brands are increasingly using Facebook as a platform for customer service. While about 20 percent of brands just use their Facebook pages for “push” style posts, the remaining 80 percent vary widely in the degree of engagement they promote with their audiences.

Socialbakers, a firm that measures a variety of social network activities, found in a 2014 study that brands that responded to at least 65 percent of questions from customers had audiences that were 3.4 times as engaged as brands that didn’t answer questions to that degree.

If audience engagement is one of your brand’s metrics, be open to answering questions on Facebook.

Make People Laugh

Humor is a great way to increase brand awareness without selling anything.

When you follow the 80/20 rule of social media—only 20 percent or less of social media posts should be sales oriented and 80 percent or more should be value-added and experiential—factoring humor into the mix seems like an obvious choice.

The Dollar Shave Club used humor on social media, including Facebook, to launch itself from an obscure startup to competing head-to-head with Gillette and Bic in the shaving space. 


Whether you are using video, cartoons, GIFs or other media to present humor, it’s a safe be that most folks will take a minute or two out of their day for a quick laugh.

Inspire People

Another popular visual element on Facebook is the inspirational quote. Regularly post inspirational quotes that resonate with your audience and your audience will look forward to them.

Don’t necessarily look to famous people or dead authors for your inspirational quotes. While these are great sources of material, and regardless of their universal appeal, much of what goes on in today’s world would seem foreign to the thinkers of yore.

Gold’s Gym does a great job of finding quotes that resonate with its audience. It’s Facebook post featuring a quote by Jean Paul, “No rest is worth anything except the rest that is earned,” was one of its most popular. Here’s another:




Provoke Thought

In addition to answering questions, this another great way engage with your audience. Whether you use a multiple choice vote, a fill in the blank, or ask an open-ended question, you’ll be surprised at the number of responses this method will generate.

Skittles asked a simple question: “What do you call the moment when you open a pack of Skittles?” This one post garnered over 5,000 responses. Can you really ask for more from a social media post?

Don’t Forget the Relationship

Regardless of how superficial Facebook may seem at times, people are really looking for relationships they can count on. To build an effective following on Facebook, a brand must walk a thin line between personal and professional personas. Doing this consistently by sharing content that involves and entertains them will, over time, build a solid and sustainable Facebook community.

The beauty of these techniques is that they are based on principles of social interaction, and are substantially independent of the technologies that Facebook may or may not change. While there no guarantees with social media, building communities based on proven social dynamics is the best way to avoid the ups-and-downs of this rapidly changing landscape.


Ivan SerranoIvan Serrano is a social media, business and finance journalist who lives in the Bay Area of California. Follow him on Google+.

Book publicity tip: Share testimonial photos on your Facebook page

When author Gail Mencini wrote her fiction novel To Tuscany with Love, she included a character who must deal with breast cancer. The novel follows the adventures of Bella Rossini, a vivacious college junior, who is suddenly thrust into living in Tuscany with seven strangers during one life-altering summer. 

Gail, a breast cancer survivor, hoped that writing about the struggles with breast cancer would remind women of the importance of mammograms.

She was thrilled when, this week, reader Toni Daylor emailed to tell her that the novel nudged her to make a long overdue appointment for a mammogram. Toni also included a selfie of her and her Xray tehnician, holding a copy of Gail’s book. Gail asked for permission to post it to her Facebook page, and from there, word is spreading.



“Little did I know that the book would actually have this type of effect, even though that was my hope,” Gail said. “And, by the way, it’s also good publicity.”



Jump on testimonial photos like this one. It’s a feel-good story that your friends, followers and fans will love to share and, often, it can be just as powerful as getting a great book review. 


Other Tools That Can Help You with Book Publicity:

Where to Find Millions of Readers Online to Review, Recommend and Buy Your Books

How to Launch a Book, Promote It and Sell a Truckload, Without an Expensive Publicist 

Crowdfunding: How to Use Other People’s Money for Your Book or Project

How much is an email address from Facebook really worth?

Facebook Like button on cash


Here’s a startling statistic that will force you to really think about how much money you’re probably leaving on the table on Facebook.

Studies show that the average Facebook “Like” is worth about $10 a year. Some of those people will buy from you when they see you promoting things, but most won’t.

If that same person who “Likes” you, however, also gives you their name and email address, that fan is worth a whopping $120 a year!

In other words, convince them to opt in on Facebook and they are now worth 11 times more than if they had simply “Liked” you.


Why a Facebook Opt-in Is Worth That Much


Once they opt in, you can email them valuable content like tips and advice on how to solve a business problem and really promote your expertise.

If they’ve been with you for awhile and love your content, chances are far greater that they’ll buy from you if you send them an email promotion instead of asking for the order on Facebook where most people hate blatant promotions.

That’s why selling on Facebook is usually ineffective. You need to get your fans onto an email list. Right now!


Learn How to Gather Email Addresses, Step by Step


Internet marketer Don CrowtherMy friend Don Crowther will give you step-by-step directions on how to do that, for free, when he’s my guest on a webinar from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12. He’ll also teach you how to use Pinterest and your own blog to build a valuable email list of people who will let you market to them over and over again.

Register for the free webinar “Turn Your Social Media Into a List-building Machine.” 

You can access the free step-by-step directions after the webinar.


Do the Math. How Much Money are You Leaving on the Table? 


If an email address you’ve harvested from Facebook is worth $120, multiply that by the number of fans you have. Now do you see why you’re leaving money on the table?

Register for my webinar with Don right now.

6 Common Problems with Opt-in Boxes on Facebook

Facebook is digging into its back of tricks, yet again, and making it more difficult for users to create a buzz without buying an ad.

Remember the big ruckus last year when people discovered that only a small percentage of fans were seeing status updates posted to a page? Back then, it was something like only 11 percent.

That number is shrinking even more. 

Advertising Age got its hands on a document that Facebook sent to its partners recently. In it, Facebook admits that the main reason for you to acquire fans isn’t to build a free distribution channel for your valuable content. It’s to make sure Facebook ads work better. Bottom Line: The vast majority of fans will NOT see your content unless you buy an ad.

Lost of people saw this one coming.


What If You Don’t Have Money for Ads?


As Facebook tightens the vise, that means it’s more important than ever to make sure that you’re not only providing quality content but that you’re pulling Facebook fans into your marketing funnel and making sure you keep them happy with even more content than they’ll find on your page.

One of the best ways to do that is with an opt-in box on your Facebook page. An opt-in box adds people to your email list, with their permission, and that means you can market to them over and over again. I’ve had one on my Facebook page for more than a year, but sign-ups have been stagnant recently. Until last week, I couldn’t understand why. 

Then I saw my friend, Don Crowther, demonstrate step-by-step how to add an opt-in box to a Facebook page that visitors will find absolutely irresistible. You can use his method, for free, and watch him demonstrate it during a webinar I’m hosting with him from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, Dec. 12. Register here for Turn Your Social Media Into a List-building Machine.  


Why Your Opt-in Box Isn’t Working


If you already have an opt-in box on Facebook, and you’re happy with the number of email addresses you’re collecting, you probably don’t need Don’s training. But if you’re not collecting lots of email addresses and making money from them, Don says,  this could be why:

1. You’re offing the same tired freebie you’ve been offering for years, like an ebook or White Paper.

2. You’re offering the same freebie to different target audiences. Don’t assume everyone wants the same content. On Facebook, you can offer different opt-in boxes for different audiences. 

3. Lack of a compelling thumbnail that catches visitors’ attention. If visitors arrive on your Facebook page and get distracted by the many links, they might not know you’re offering great content and that they can opt in to get it. During the webinar, Don will share a great tip on how to persuade visitors immediately to opt in to your email list.

4. Using another company’s tool to create an opt-in list. Some tools cost $10 to $40 a month, Don says, and that eats into any profit you might eventually make from an email list.  

5. Not sending top-quality content to people on your list after you get their email address. What good is an email if you aren’t constantly impressing those people with great content and, periodically, asking for the order? 

6. Not using video on the opt-in page. This is very easy, Don says, and he’ll demonstrate exactly how to do it.


don crowther opt-in box on facebook

Register for Thursday’s call here. 

What other questions do you have about opt-in boxes on Facebook? List them below, and bring them to Thursday’s webinar with Don.  

Social Media 101 for authors kicks off Thursday, Feb. 28, with 3 sessions on Facebook


I’ll be the first to admit that Facebook may well be the most confusing of all the social media websites.

It changes frequently. It has apps, tabs and other tools hidden in the strangest places.

It isn’t intuitive, at least for me. But for every person who hates it, there’s another who swears it’s one of the best marketing tools around.

Chris_headshotCount Christine Buffaloe among the raving Facebook fans. She uses her profile page daily to communicate with her friends, and her page to communicate with people for business.

She teamed up with me last month to present two webinars to romance authors on how to use social media to sell books. She taught Facebook. I taught Twitter.

We learned rather quickly, from the questions they were asking, that much of what we were teaching was way over their heads. Some loved the “how to market” lessons. But others asked very basic questions like how to create a profile, how to create a page, how to configure their settings, where to find the settings, and whether they can use their book cover as their profile photo (no!).

That’s when Chris decided to recruit an all-star lineup of social media experts to help her present a 10-part series on Social Media 101 for Authors. She calls it “Social Media KISS for Authors: Keep it Simple & Serene” (affiliate link).

She kicks it off this Thursday, Feb. 28, with Part 1 on how to create a Facebook profile. She’ll present two more sessions on Facebook the following two weeks, followed by sessions from guest presenters on how to blog and how to use Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Amazon. I’m presenting a session on Thursday, March 28, on how to use Twitter to market books.

Each presentation, from 30 to 45 minutes, will be followed by a Q&A. All start at 4 p.m. Eastern Time.

You can sign up for the entire series, or pick and choose only the sessions you need.

You won’t learn strategy, how to read your statistics, or other more advanced tricks. This will be nuts-and-bolts training on how to create your accounts and take advantage of every tool available to put your best foot forward and sell more books.

Don’t miss this one. And bring ALL your questions, no matter how basic.

And no, you don’t have to be an author to participate. If you’re at all confused, frustrated or depleted because of social media, this one is for you.