Marketing is an integral part of any business strategy that aims at succeeding by creating a strong brand in the minds of consumers. Traditional marketing methods are losing viewership bases because they are in effect felt to be not interactive or engaging enough. These rigid structures are being eschewed for a more modern marketing method in the form of social website marketing. Facebook is a social platform that allows for engagement between different people across all demographic groups in all matters of interest. This, combined with the development of Social SEO, means that companies who intend to create profitable brand awareness must develop a strategy for social marketing.
Facebook marketing comes in three formats:
• Traditional adverts placed in the web pages of Facebook
• Social interaction aimed at marketing through status updates and other postings on news feeds of potential customers
• Content marketing.
Facebook allows for the creation of traditional adverts that can link the consumer to either a business website or their Facebook page. This is provided at a fee; however, it allows for demographical and geographical profiling of the intended consumer base. A business creating an ad is allowed to select the age, gender, location, and other related criteria that determine who views the advert created.
Social interaction marketing uses the social platform provided by the Social media website as a tool to allow interaction with the target consumer base in unfettered fashion. By updating the status on your page, adding photos and videos, conducting online polls and using apps to interact with your viewers at a deeper level, it enables the business to promote its products or services to the general population in an informal setting, which is likelier to elicit valid responses and uptake. Furthermore, it allows the business to create a brand following based on trust and loyalty created in the social setting. Its effectiveness is tied to the informal nature of the platform; because this is not a corporate website, the potential clients get the feedback they are likelier to trust from other users like themselves.
The third avenue content marketing refers to the creation and distribution of informative and entertaining content aimed at the education of the end user. This content can be in various forms from blog postings to videos, but it must be engaging, interactive and informative. While this method desists from direct sales pitches by providing the consumer with knowledge, the business creates a rapport that enables brand loyalty and trust to develop. The sheer wealth of mediums for content creation means that the business is only limited by its own imagination. However, content marketing allows the business to outsource creation to outside individuals.
For effective Facebook marketing, several factors must be considered:
• You must have a strategy. There is a tendency amongst both large and small businesses to assume that creating a page and making posts about your company and products can suffice. This results in a failure to impact uptake of products among the customer base. As a communications platform, you need a comprehensive strategy that ties in to your business’s objectives and goals. Use the platform to create momentum for your business.
• Effective Facebook marketing is not free. Traditional adverts on Facebook are paid for and the previously outlined formats need investing in for good returns. Content needs to be creative and engaging to ensure people are attracted to it. It means you need to engage services of creative professionals to design and create it. Successful undertakings are the result of proper research into the demographics and preferences of your clients. This requires you to make an investment in services of an analyst that could help you understand trends and the effectiveness of your strategy.
• Use information analytics to derive useful feedback from social activity. Avoid the mistake of face value analyses where you just check the number of likes on the page; Facebook information analytics provides an in-depth exposition on what the activity on the page means for your business. Moreover, a good marketing strategy adapts to the needs of the clients and this means you have to actively study feedback provided and market trends.
• Outsource content and postings creation while maintaining editorial control. Engage the target audience in the marketing process by encouraging the creation of slogans, pictures, and fun activities that will attract more customers. This causes the viewer to be engaged in the business at a less superficial level and uses the word of mouth marketing to boost your business. Encourage loyal customers to design memes that boost your business by creating awareness.
In summation, Facebook marketing is effective and a viable option for small businesses if done right, calling for investment especially in time for a truly rewarding experience for your targets that will build your business.