Facebook is a now essential tool in brand and services marketing today. The main attraction for employing a Facebook marketing strategy is
a) The massive amount of users. To date, there are over 800 million users across the world.
b) The fact that advertising or marketing within Facebook can be free! Paid for banner advertisements and key product placement strategies will cost you, however, the making of fan pages and application software is free and can lead to very profitable results.
How Does Facebook Marketing Work ?
As mentioned earlier, two of the main marketing strategies on Facebook are free.
Firstly, Facebook fan pages are pages that contain information and social networking opportunities for their fans. Users become fans by liking the page, and the more likes a page has, the more popular it is.
By becoming a fan, you invite the newsfeed of the fan page into your newsfeed. If you write or contribute to any discussion on the fan page, your networks will be alerted to this fact and may indeed click on the link and finish up following the page themselves! This is what fan pages rise on; they need fan communication to spread the word about their page, so it is necessary that their page can draw in the masses. This include:
- Keeping content fresh and updated.
- Encouraging discussion and fan interaction.
- Not bombarding followers with links, slogans, and one-way promotion.
- Providing incentives such as competitions, rewards, and discounts with your brand.
- Being convinced and responding to fans feedback/ questions.
- Facebook apps are another example of Facebook marketing potential. By designing an app that agrees with your company awareness you can provide a substantial promotion.
Another way of generating revenue within the app sphere is through in-app advertising. This involves advertisers paying your app for advertising space only within your app. This is advantageous to both your company as well as the advertisers as they can target a more specific audience
The Future of Facebook Marketing
The future of Facebook marketing lies within the rise of the social network. A concept that seems to be gaining speed and popularity, one that businesses are wise to get involved with.
The 800 million strong community of Facebook International suggests the phenomenal power of Facebook marketing, harnessing some of this audience will do wonders for your awareness and as its free, you haven’t got anything loose.
Facebook is a leading source of user-generated content on the web, and that in itself makes the social network very valuable for business through:
Ratings and Reviews
A simple ‘Like’ might not be an explicit recommendation, but for people who have a friend on Facebook that Likes something, they can easily see and feel the positive reinforcement it brings to whatever item or content was liked. And then, of course, there are actual comments. This facet of Facebook that provides multiple ways to rate or review items, Fan pages, or content is quite invaluable to businesses.
Conversations and Word-of-Mouth
Consumer engagement can potentially increase conversion by a whopping 177% – add to that the value of word-of-mouth marketing and voila: instant social advertising success via Facebook marketing. Better still is that word of mouth spreads tenfold as fast in social networks than in the real world. Conversations also help businesses monitor how much they influence their niche in the online social graph. Facebook offers a simplified tracking metric in the form of an index that announces: ‘X people are talking about this.’ There are, of course, more reliable and exact methods of knowing.
Increased Time Spent and Return Visits
Ever have Fans who like your page then never look back? The effort is lost because of superficial appreciation – the direct opposite of what you want to instill within your Fanbase: customer loyalty. In fact, your fans are not customers yet; they might not even be viable leads.
This is what a longer time spent, and return visits can change: they can turn Fans into actual leads and leads into actual customers. With great social content and effective campaigns , you can increase the time people spend on your social outlets and likewise increase return visits.
We already mentioned the significant 177% conversion rate increase when consumers engage with social content. Along with more conversions, however, come better customer trust. Establishing customer trust and brand loyalty is a very lengthy and in-depth process of branding. Luckily, this process can be bolstered by a sale – a conversion.
Trust and loyalty increases repeat business or sales and repeat sales make up the majority of business revenue for B2C companies. Evidently, the improved conversion and trust that Facebook marketing can potentially bring are quite substantial for your branding effort.
User-Generated Content and Authenticity
User-generated content in the form of customer reviews or comments and recommendations are important because they influence purchase decisions of their peer circles more than other media of marketing such as sales assistants, online and offline newspapers and magazines, and even direct advertising efforts. Directly related to this is the significance of authenticity: the positive impact of user-generated content is derived from how consumers trust what they read. Genuine and authentic content from actual users are very powerful, and as such are invaluable in Facebook marketing.
With millions of brands on Facebook, how can you obtain yours stand out? Below is an example of a company ( that you’ve probably all heard of ) that take their Facebook marketing to the subsequent level. An essential thing to note is that the strategies used by this major player can be employed by any corporation out there. You don’t have to be Nike or Microsoft to be successful.
Number of Likes: 22.6 million
Nike is one of the biggest names out there. They have a marketing budget that a lot of companies can barely begin to fathom. When it comes to their Facebook appearance, they don’t over-emphasize the need to buy their products.
Even though Nike is so a household name, they still have competitors. Adidas and Under Armour aren’t just going to sit back and let them control the majority of the market share. You would think the aggressive nature of the industry would support them to step up their advertisements.
But they don’t have to. They have authorized and continue to maintain a powerful brand image, which resonates throughout their Facebook page. They have quite probably the most memorable slogan out there, so they grab onto that prevalence and incorporate it in their photos shared, cover photo, and through a stigmatized Hashtag.
Nike’s Facebook page is a stability of new products, science, charitable initiatives, and encouragement. One way they separate themselves from their major opponents is by highlighting the research and development that goes into each design. Their products are recognized as the result of great engineering or science experiments, which evoke the sense that these items are cutting-edge and high quality.
Another powerful strategy for Nike is that they have established separate pages for each of their product lines to target their different markets better. From basketball to golf to snowboarding to women’s products, Nike likely has a page that will aim your interests. Their expertise to manage an “umbrella” account on the leader of many others and maintain a consistent image is remarkable. It speaks to how well they not only know their public but what their brand is all about.