When Bonnie Raitt belted out, “Let’s give ‘em something to talk about” with her hit song in 1991, she had no idea she was preaching the Facebook marketing gospel. I exaggerate, but the message is clear, and it was the focus of Brian Solis’ keynote on Wednesday’s opening session of the Facebook Success Summit.

Solis made the case for Facebook’s status as the premier social-media-marketing platform in his session, “The case for Facebook and What Your Business Needs to Know.” Size-wise, Facebook is unbeatable, with more than 500 million members spending a combined 700 billion-plus minutes on the site each month. Beyond size, however, Facebook has the “special sauce” of social marketing — the opportunity to keep the consumer’s attention. Unlike Twitter, Facebook is sticky, and the content people share (at a rate of 30 billion per month) has staying power, unlike the constantly moving streams of Twitter.

While Facebook is a good platform for putting up ads and/or creating sweepstakes, this opportunity is about finding ways to integrate, create and stimulate interaction with your customer (and potential customer) base.

So, what are marketers to do to get and retain customer’s attention?

  • Realize your brand is not an island. Customers are half as likely to visit a company’s website as they used to be because they are spending time online differently. Thus, establishing a presence on Facebook is the first step to reaching your audience where they already are.
  • Create a content plan. Provide customers with relevant and interesting information that gets their attention and is worth sharing. As Solis pointed out, “Attention [is] the major currency in content commerce.”
  • Focus on the wall. The wall is already a Facebook user’s center of attention. Getting a user to share your content via their Facebook wall and earning comments from their network is the ultimate in social branding.

If you have been reading your Facebook news feed this week, you might have noticed the new campaign that is succeeding on every one of Solis’ points. The “I like it on the (location)” campaign, created to raise awareness for breast cancer, has women (and some men) the world over making the provocative statement their Facebook status.

What are you doing that is giving your customers “something to talk about?”

To learn more key tips and actionable steps for Facebook marketing from social-media leaders Brian Solis, Jay Baer, Mari Smith, and major brands such as Cisco, Xbox, SAP, and the Washington Redskins, sign up for the monthlong online Facebook Success Summit today! (SmartBrief is a partner in this event.)

Image credit: pixdeluxe, iStockPhoto

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6 Responses to “Brian Solis on giving your customers something to talk about”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by DebbieZachry, Ana Lucia Novak, SocialWize, Ana Hoffman, Santi Chacon and others. Santi Chacon said: Live from FBSS: Brian Solis on giving your customers something to talk about: When Bonnie Raitt belted out, “Let’s… http://bit.ly/aVkkN0 [...]

  2. katie says:

    Well, duh. Every time I read these articles it's the same stuff: focus on content, grab attention, blah, blah,blah. You should provide more than just the Breast Cancer example.

    • guest says:

      obvious stuff right

    • EmilyMolitor says:

      Hi Katie, sorry that you did not find this more valuable. Another great example of this, in my opinion, is the IKEA campaign a few years ago. IKEA put their entire catalogue online and the first person who tagged themselves as each piece of furniture got it sent to them. Thus, IKEA customers were aligning themselves publicly to the coffee table, bed, or lounge chair that they liked best, and in turn, IKEA got a lot of free advertising. What is your favorite example?

  3. Sjkato says:

    There are a lot of articles like these and yes, there are many who are thinking that its something which is last weeks news. But there still are many who have not understood the possibilities of facebook and so the authors try to increase ones awareness so that people do start to take notice.
    Thank you for the article, it was a good read.