March 12, 2015 Michael Bickerton
It’s a good question for sure. Why use Facebook? Especially given the time required to maintain and communicate with the fans and followers. Yet, we’d recommend that every small business create a Facebook page and engage with the fan base. In addition, we’d recommend you also include social spending as part of your marketing budget.
Here’s why. Over time people have used traditional marketing forms such as radio, television, newspaper & magazines as well as commercial print in the form of coupons or flyers. These traditional tactics are still in use, however much of their effectiveness has been lost to digital (or internet) based technologies such as paid search and display ads on websites and digital properties, Google & Bing search ads, and most notability email marketing and tactics such as contest marketing. In addition, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Slideshare and additions such as Pinterest provide engaged users in the range of billions
There are the STATS.
It’s a given that the way we communicate today is different; mobile has changed the communication streams at an unprecedented rate. Social media, more prominently Facebook, has changed our communication from one-way (traditional) to two-way (social media). The number of users and the users time on site has had a significant impact in the way we communicate. What makes Facebook, as an example, so effective, is that users engage, share and interact with brands online.
This change facilitates interaction among people, and it contributes to making information flow, and become more global and influential in the real world. This also impacts the timeliness of the communications as well as the ability to target a specific set of users.
Facebook allows companies to move quickly and make use of social media as a platform to promote themselves using organic and paid tactics. Creating a profile is inexpensive and companies can engage and interact for very little cost (just some time), but from a marketing perspective the opportunities are endless. Facebook provides companies the ability to create fans, engage those fans and promote and or involve those fans.
Marketers have lots to learn from Facebook. Facebook provides information on users such as location, age, gender, likes, dislikes etc. there is an expansive list of targeting and re targeting options. Naturally you can then tailor your message and creative to your potential consumers and assist in building your page followers and therefore a successful social experience for your fans and your company.
A recent study by the University of Florida shows that most students are okay with seeing information from business pages, but they are annoyed by straight advertisements. Knowing this, businesses need to focus their messages more on their branding and engagement strategies.
Marketers may also consider evaluating some of the impact of their social activities. As with other marketing initiatives, there is no single value of a social fan or Facebook fan, it would be prudent to evaluate the impact.
We’ve found that Syncapse has evaluated the value of a fan and naturally it varies depending on the value of your product, or the lifetime value of a consumer. Syncapse shows that values can range anywhere from $1,613 per fan for a brand like BMW, to $177 for Starbucks and $70 for Coca-Cola.
There are plenty of reasons for brands to treat Facebook fans as “vanity metrics”. For example, companies reaching 1 million fans before their competitors do, having goals like these are non-economic, but Social Times says that they have value from a brand strategy perspective, and therefore are just as valid as economic goals. What’s important here, though, is that in forming these types of goals brand marketers are making a considered decision that factors in the relationship between quantity and quality.
Branding and Awareness are still very important marketing metrics, and although very difficult to measure, they provide value. Facebook is very valuable from the perspective of branding.
Marketers want fans that are genuinely interested in our product and services. As such, fan building takes time and effort. Contest marketing is a feature that can be utilized to increase social fan bases. There are a variety of engagement strategies that will provide marketers with fan development and branding using the same tactic. The true value of a fan will never have an exact value, yet branding and brand engagement has never been a true marketing metric.
Facebook provides marketers and small business owners with many opportunities; the targeting and engagement opportunities are endless. In today’s digital landscape, Facebook marketing is a must.
Need more convincing? Check out some more facts here, Social Media Knock Out.
Michael Bickerton, Raven5 Ltd. March 2015