In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg, a Harvard student, worked on the idea of creating an online medium through which the members of his college could stay connected. Zuckerberg named his brainchild “The Facebook”. Thus began the journey of Facebook which created history with its fan following. Today, with several million members, Facebook is the largest social network in the world. It therefore makes sense for online marketers to promote their products via this popular social networking site.
Hartman Jules once described advertising as “another form of statistics.” The more people you reach, the greater your chances of getting your message across. With hundreds of millions of active users and thousands more joining every day, it is almost absurd for marketers and companies not to consider using the resources and contacts available within Facebook.
It links people from all over the globe, giving small and large business opportunities they would previously never have had. The most obvious link is the intentional interconnection shared between friends on Facebook, as well as those found within thousands of different Facebook groups. Because each user has access to the Facebook actions of others within selected networks, marketers can reach out to millions of people after establishing contact with only a few hundred people.
The close relationship shared on Facebook, as well as the speed of its update system means that an individual’s preference for an idea or product can be spread rapidly across the globe, almost like a social virus. This kind of powerful and speedy word-of-mouth approach is just what a company needs to boost its product sales.
Facebook marketing permits businesses to enjoy continuous visibility at absolutely no cost, unlike the conventional marketing approach where companies pay exorbitant sums for a limited media presence through television and radio ads. Such a strong 24/7 online presence in a popular social networking site that has millions of users spread across the globe, does a great job in building the brand equity of the company. With the surge of non-traditional demographics joining Facebook, the potential to reach untapped segments of the market is even greater. In order to exploit its complete potential, online marketers can keep their profile updated and active, which will increase traffic to their page and subsequently serve to market their product better among the masses of Facebook users.
Interactive sessions are one of the most promising marketing strategies, because they address the basic human need for connection. Facebook accounts provide businesses a proven method for engaging potential customers through active dialogues, posts, and responses. When a company responds to individual comments by Facebook members, it adds a personal touch to an otherwise commercial marketing campaign. This benefits both parties. The customers benefit because the company is listening to them, responding to their needs, and often offering incentives as part of the relationship. On the other hand, such an exercise helps the company win the trust of a customer, which will go a long way in retaining that customer. In addition, there is less chance of miscommunication between the consumer and the company because the customer service is provided instantaneously and allows problems to be corrected right away.
Marketers have grown quite adept at funneling traffic to their websites through their Facebook pages. Using the social appeal and approach of Facebook, it is possible for marketers to establish relationships with users who share similar interests. When this is backed with additional marketing options such as free membership registration or newsletter sign up, marketers can successfully increase the number of prescreened leads that they attract to their websites.
Companies can also build a general page that allows them to befriend others rather than simply gain “likes.” This option enables companies to seek out people to befriend based on similar interests.
Despite its brief time on the Internet scene, Facebook is making waves that cannot be ignored. It allows advertisers to reach people who were previously not easily accessible. It brings companies and customers together. It also provides a platforms for building on that relationship. There are few tools as affordable and simultaneously powerful as the social marketing darling, Facebook.