eTourism Session Summary #1: How to build a Quality Base of Facebook Fans.

This is the first in a series of “E-Tourism Summit “Session Summaries”   in which noted travel industry journalist Judy Jacobs encapsulates select presentations that may be of interest to readers.  E-Tourism would like to thank the 53 presenters who made the event so valuable for attendees as well as our sponsors. 

The 13the annual eTourism Summit kicked off on Thursday Sept. 29, with a record 175 attendees, a 50 percent increase over last year’s number.The dramatic changes at Facebook and Google in recent months and the challenges of dealing with the ever-changing world of ecommerce brought attendees from around the nation. Representatives of CVBs, attractions, hotels and marketing companies came to San Francisco’s Nikko Hotel to learn first hand from those who know best – the movers and shakers of social media, e-commerce and digital marketing.

 On the summit’s first day, three tracks – Socialize, Monetize and Mobilize – with six workshops each brought attendees up to date on recent developments and gave them a look into the future.

 In one of the morning’s first presentations, Best Approach to Build Quality Fans and Followers, Derek Draper, vice present of sales and client service of Wildfire Interactive – the Redwood City, Calif. creator of tools to help companies engage social network site users – enlightened workshop attendees on the successful use of Facebook.

 First the facts (according to the Pew Internet and American life study):

  •  There are 800 million people on Facebook
  • 500 million log in every day
  • The average user spends 55 minutes per day on the site
  • Users create an average of 90 pieces of content per month

 Why are people on Facebook?

  •  49 percent go on to have fun
  • 32 percent to connect with friends
  • 16 percent to get information.

 What are they looking for in terms of products?

  •  62 percent go on Facebook to get latest news about the brand
  • 61 percent to get product information
  • 58 percent for contests and giveaways,
  • 47 percent for sales, discounts and coupons.

Companies need to attract Facebook users as fans, according to Draper. Why? Because 36 percent of people say that once they become a fan they’re more likely to buy the product. And 92 percent say that after becoming a fan of a given brand they are more likely to recommend that brand to their friends. This is promotion you don’t have to pay for.

 How to Grow Your Facebook Audience:

You can use Facebook to grow, using your existing audience. If you have a business you have some assets. Contact your email newsletter readers and tell them to like you on Facebook. Do the same for people who go to your website. Reach out to your fans and tell them to spread the word. You can acquire fans with Facebook ads, especially if you’re starting from scratch. You can get fans very quickly this way and can attract fans from the exact market you’re looking for, Draper says.

 How to run effective Facebook ads:

  •  Give them a reason to click. Provide good contact.
  • In your ad copy, ask people to click the “Like” button. If you tell people what to do they’ll often do it.
  • Advertise to friends of your fans with an ad saying that a certain person ‘Likes” your business. Those conversion rates are 70% higher than normal ads.
  • Run a contest or promotion. Companies that do so have twice as many fans as those that don’t.
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