January 13, 2011
Facebook is NOT welcoming of the marketing efforts of its users; and often, family and friends on Facebook are ANNOYED by marketing efforts. Both of those statements are undeniable. So trying to “market on Facebook” requires good sense, strict moderation, and an understanding of how Facebook might work for marketing purposes.
Personally, I rarely post any marketing messages on Facebook. I post them on Twitter frequently, but I also try to make sure that 75 – 90% of what I post on Twitter is either personal interaction, plugging good free content, or plugging other people’s stuff. I do think, however, that monetizing my content on even free social media platforms is perfectly acceptable. Why? It’s simple. Even though the platforms are provided to me for free, I’m also providing the content that allows the network to exist. If nobody posted on Twitter, they’d be broke.
So again, in moderation, with good sense, and with a priority on relationships over sales, marketing across these platforms should be an acceptable thing. Now about the good sense part.
Why is it That Social Platforms Are So Effective for Marketing?
People are social, by nature, so they love recommending stuff they like. Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms have a rapidly expanding user base. Authenticity is demanded as people will give honest and public feedback. The platforms are accessible and easy to use by design, even by people with few technical skills.
For the most part, marketing across social platforms is free, but doing it badly can cost dearly.
Why Is Facebook So Important to Messaging and Marketing?
With 500 million (and growing) unique users worldwide, Facebook is the number one social networking site in terms of activity and subscriptions. What started as a garage initiative by Mark Zuckerberg has now become the biggest phenomenon on the internet.
A user interface that allows for quick communication and the ability to create fan pages and groups at the click of a button are what make Facebook extremely popular. Another important reason for its immense popularity is the wide variety of social applications that have been developed and made available within the Facebook environment.
Facebook provides a wide variety of avenues to communicate with the audience, which opens up an entirely different world of possibilities to have a fruitful dialogue with customers. Some of these methods used popularly by marketers are:
Advertising: The first opportunity, which is the most obvious one, is advertising on Facebook. The difference, however, is the fact that you can create your own advertisement in a matter of minutes and also specify the details of your target group in terms of demographics and types of discussions where you want your advertisement to appear.
Fan Pages: Facebook allows every brand, as well as individual users, to create fan pages for their favorite celebrities and their own homegrown businesses. Large brands have also created their official pages on Facebook that have a huge, immediate fan following around the world. The fan page has immense utility to convey first hand information about the brand and also to collect immediate and frank feedback from your customers.
Branded Applications: One of the most effective ways to engage a user toward your brand is by creating an application; this could be a game or a contest, with your branding coming across subtly through it.
What makes Facebook even more exciting is the way it allows you to target your communication sharply just to the customer segment you want to attract. It also provides analytics and page insights that give good feedback and measurement on the activity done.
Facebook is envied by other platforms and internet companies because, at least for now, they own the social graph. If Google has mapped the Internet’s URLs, Facebook has mapped the Internet’s personal relationships and connections, and that’s extremely valuable. Why else would a company with virtually no physical assets to speak of (other than offices, servers, and datacenters) be worth billions of dollars?
9 Tips for Using Facebook to Market a Message
If you’re thinking about jumping into the idea of marketing (or messaging even without the goal of profit), here are some tips to keep in mind:
2. Facebook is about relationships. You don’t have a “relationship” with a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman – so
don’t be one on Facebook.
3. Being personal is everything. Successful Facebook marketing campaigns revolve around personality.
4. There isn’t a magic formula for making any message “go viral.” You can’t control a virus – that’s what makes them viral.
5. People like Facebook for entertaining stuff. In fact, entertainment is defined as “holding one’s attention.” Remember
6. Facebook ads are more personally targeted than ads anywhere else.
7. Being “liked” can work very, very well for your message. Being “unliked” (no, there’s not a button, but it can happen) can bury you.
8. Facebook is in control. Always remember this and never, never assume its available tools won’t change. They have and they will.
9. Don’t build a business on Facebook marketing – or Twitter marketing – or newspaper ads, radio ads, TV ads, or leaflets
dropped from hot air balloons. Build your business on a great product, a great message, and great relationships.
What did I miss?
Brandon Cox is a Communications nut, a blogger, designer, web entrepreneur, and a Pastor at one of America’s largest churches, Saddleback Church. And he loves helping people blog for income.