Thursday, November 3, 2011

Diving Deep INto Facebook Marketing

Facebook marketers can go beyond just keyword searches; they can bid on clicks based on the actual behavior, demographics, and attitudes of the consumers themselves. This has allowed businesses to micro-target consumers like never before and make advertising more relevant than ever before.

But in the end, advertising will more or less always be advertising: A form of push marketing that tries to get a commercial message in front of people who generally are not seeking that kind of distraction. However, the proliferation and availability of different tools available to marketers on Facebook can sometimes be overlooked. Indeed, there are sixty unique ways to utilize Facebook’s platform to engage consumers and often in a less interruptive way than push advertising:

Fans: When users sign up as fans of a company’s page, it not only gives the company a very easy way to interact with interested and loyal consumers, but it also allows the company to monitor and leverage data on its customers.

Events: From a marketing standpoint, Facebook Events are a great way to invite users to engage with a company in a structured manner. This can include anything from a product launch to hosting a webinar about a consumer related issue.

  • ·      Insight: People love getting invited to events and to be “in the know”

Contests: There is an abundance of talent and competitiveness in the social world and companies can use this for two distinct purposes: 1) Hold a contest where the idea is to give away prizes in return for fan engagement 2) Use fans for a crowdsourcing contest to help the company innovate better than it could internally.

Sharing: The sharing functions on Facebook are perhaps the most powerful tool for marketers who can generate and distribute high quality content. Though sharing between users is out of the direct control of marketers, content can still be optimized to allow for easy sharing and distributed widely to maximize social sharing.

  • ·      Insight: Everyone wants to be the first of their friends to find something cool and share it

QR Codes: A relatively new way for customers to interact, QR codes were spawned from the boom in smartphones. By placing them in offline locations and even on product packages, QR codes serve as a direct link between the offline and online worlds.

Collaboration: One thing that often gets overlooked in the social media world is the power of collaboration. Not only can companies achieve greater results by leveraging the help of their fanbase, but also giving customers ownership over what the company does is a powerful way of creating lasting loyalty and engagement with the brand.

  • ·       Insight: You can get people to take pride in the results and thus, the company

Ongoing: Besides one-off Facebook marketing efforts, companies have numerous ways to continuously drive value to their customers on Facebook.

One of the most common ways of doing this is to offer exclusive deals and information to fans and offer recurring monthly giveaways. Any of the previously discussed channels could be made ongoing and it is important that this is the case.

Ads: Advertising is still the most direct and perhaps predictable way of driving marketing efforts on Facebook. The key to success in this channel is constantly test different targeting criteria, evaluating conversions, and monitoring bids per click. Different ad copy and graphics should also be tested along with different segmentation strategies. For companies with highly niche products and services, this channel can drive significant profits because the conversions will be high enough to make Facebook ads an ongoing effort.

Conclusion: For the right business and marketing model, Facebook advertising can be tremendously effective in driving bottom line profits. No other advertising platform benefits from having so much user data and Facebook Ads can be targeted at unprecedented scales. However, most companies will notice that by utilizing all of the communication and marketing channels on Facebook, the value of the whole will be greater than the sum of parts and there is enormous value to be unlocked by leveraging one Facebook platform with others.

 Luke Liu - Undergraduate - @LuketLiu


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