Dear Fellow Blog Farmers,
You might think this to be stupid or strange, but I want to share my business plan with you. Why? Well, have a read through this article and you'll have a better understanding of the size of the market:
I'll sum up what the article says:
(1) Local businesses have little time or budget to devote to marketing.
(2) Social media are now the top marketing strategy for local businesses.
(3) Tried-and-true online methods trump new, unproven approaches.
(4) Use of traditional offline marketing methods continues to decline.
(5) Online marketing services companies are aggressively targeting local businesses.
Here's the critical statistic that made my head snap...
"70 percent [local businesses] are using the social network [Facebook] for marketing..."
This got me thinking. Why not build a WPMU service just for Facebook Pages? Let me explain.
Unless you've been living in a cave without WiFi, you probably got the word that Facebook axed FBML last year. That means millions of business that would like to have a Facebook Page must use an external iFrame solution. That's way beyond what most local businesses can do themselves.
There are plenty of WordPress solutions available already, like WP Fan Pro, WP Face Pages, WordPress for Fan Pages, etc. Have you ever tried to use one of these templates or plugins? They are not for the novice, I can tell you that. Plus, all of these solutions have an "affiliate marketer" feel to them that will instantly turn-off local business owners.
This means there is a fantastic opportunity to offer a complete social media marketing solution to local business owners at a price they can afford that's also profitable to the WPMU blog farmer. Here's what you need:
1. WPMU network with Pro Sites, Domain Mapping, Ultimate Facebook and New Blog Templates
2. Facebook compatible WP templates
3. Facebook Fan Gate graphic templates
Okay, here's the basic business. You're selling a fully integrated Facebook Page setup and monthly service. The Facebook Page can display ANYTHING you can publish on WordPress. They can be:
- Information pages
- Sales pages
- Product pages
- Survey/poll pages
- Contest pages
You name it... So, the more template examples you have setup, the better you will do.
Your service is more than just a Facebook Page, it's full integration. Remember bullet #1 above from the article "Local businesses have little time or budget to devote to marketing."? That means the more you do to integrate everything (e.g., blog, Facebook, Twitter...) the easier it is to prove your value. The business owner does not have the time to post to their blog, and to Facebook, and to Twitter, and to LinkedIn. BUT, if they can post to one place and have it go to all, that would be a huge value.
This is EXACTLY what I'm rolling out with my first WPMU blog farm. I'm calling my service Faceblogr, and it's based on a series of themes I'm developing that are both mobile responsive and "Facebook Responsive." What this means for my clients is that they can have a single blog that also drives their Facebook Page. Now, all of the goodness brought to us by WPMU Pro Sites, Ultimate Facebook, etc. can be put to amazing use for local businesses that need to market on Facebook with a limited budget.
Here's an example of one of my Facebook Responsive themes:
Here it is on Facebook:
It's not prime-time yet, but I'm getting close.
How does it work? Simple. Stretch and collapse your browser width while viewing http://lecafe.faceblogr.com/ and see what happens.
The ability to make your blog your Facebook Page is a trump card. The "other guys" don't have it. It's an idea this community should embrace so we can all go kill the Facebook market.
Let's discuss how we can actively work together to further this concept to bring more business to WPMU blog farmers with Facebook Pages.
P.S., if you're wondering how I also get out to Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites when posting on the blog, I use a plugin that hits Ping.fm. Now you have the secret to a fully connected blog.