What You Need To Know About Facebook Marketing
Be Aware of Facebook Statistics and Learn How the Facts Can Benefit Your Business
Do you what Facebook is and what this mammoth marketing vehicle brings to the table for business owners?
First of all, Facebook is a social network where people of various interests meet to discuss and share information about those interests. What Facebook brings to the world of social networking is access and flexibility. Instead of reaching perhaps a few dozen or a few hundred people at our local social networking events, you now have the ability to reach thousands of people with strategic marketing on Facebook that costs only a fraction of what traditional marketing can cost.
Facebook is considered by most marketing experts as the most powerful social network in the world. Now that’s a big claim but it is supported by statistics.
From Facebook newsroom (https://newsroom.fb.com/key-Facts):
– 945 million monthly active users who used Facebook mobile products as of December 31, 2013.
– 757 million daily active users on average in December 2013.
– Approximately 81% of our daily active users are outside the U.S. and Canada.
– 1.23 billion monthly active users as of December 31, 2013.
Just think about 760 million people a day browsing through Facebook, chatting with friends, sharing birthday greetings with families and learning more about the products and services they need by visiting business pages…like the one you will be developing for your business (if you so decide that it’s worthwhile to adopt this marketing platform).
What is even more interesting is that with the increased use of smart phones and phone networks that allow users to carry Internet access with them practically wherever they go throughout the day, statistics are showing that users are connecting to Facebook more frequently than ever. In fact, Facebook reports that more than 900 million active users access Facebook directly through their mobile devices each month!
Statistics actually now verify that Facebook users on mobile devices are twice as active on Facebook as non-mobile users. Now do you see how incredibly important it is for you to be on Facebook? The likelihood of your particular customer being on Facebook is now higher than ever. With the recent USD 16 billion acquisition of What’s App, it goes to show the desire and ambition of Facebook in further exploring the mobile market.
But are Facebook users coughing out money to buy things? Certainly Facebook is the network that many people enjoy for leisure purposes. For the longest time many big businesses dismissed Facebook as a big playground but not the place where sales happened. But now, just about every big business is now on Facebook which in itself answers the question about the profitability of marketing on Facebook. For example, Heineken has recently announced that it will spend more on social media platform (of which Facebook is one of the avenues) compared to traditional marketing media.
Interesting, Facebook did an analysis of over 60 Facebook marketing campaigns launched by businesses and found that 49 percent of those campaigns realized a return on investment that was 5 times greater than what they spent on the campaign. A similarly impressive statistic is that 70 percent of those campaigns realized a return on investment that was at 3 times greater than the original campaign investment.
So, who are the users on Facebook? Facebook still skews young. In the U.S., 83% of 18 to 29-year-olds who use the Internet are on it, but the proportion is only 67% across all age brackets. However, the 45- to 54-year-old age bracket has seen 46% growth since year-end 2012. (Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/a-primer-on-facebook-demographics-2013-10?IR=T&).
There you go…..young adults and those in the 45 plus age group are the largest segment of users on Facebook and it appears that these folks use Facebook on a daily basis and will most likely be accessing their favorite pages and profiles using their mobile devices.
Most importantly, these folks are purchasing products and services and they are being influenced by the campaigns they are viewing and participating on Facebook.
These are valuable statistics that provide you with basic initial research into the viability of Facebook as an option to reach your target market.
Pros and Cons of Using Facebook
While examining general statistics about Facebook is important, you can definitely do more by drilling down and understanding the interests and priorities of your particular target market in order to develop your marketing strategy. But beyond the research, there are some other considerations that could also impact your decision.
Facebook is first and foremost an option for marketing; it is not your business. You need to carefully address the benefits and cons of this marketing tool before embarking and ensuring that this approach is the right one for you.
Benefits of Using Facebook:
Cost: Creating a basic presence in Facebook cost next to nothing. However, if you would like to have a more professional look or feel, then you might need to engage the services of a graphic designer to spice up the page (e.g. creating a professionally looking logo, other branding visuals, etc.). Of course, you will also need to invest your time and energy but in comparison with other marketing tools and the potential reach to a billion people; Facebook is perhaps the most affordable marketing platform available.
Ease of Learning: It is the fact that it is fairly easy to learn how to navigate Facebook and utilize its resources, especially, if you already have a personal Facebook profile. Furthermore, there are help links and portals throughout the Facebook site and various external learning resources to assist people to obtain the most out of Facebook.
Your Target Market: One of the biggest reasons for using Facebook is the high likelihood that a significant percentage of your customers or clients are participating in this social network. If your business does not have a presence on Facebook, you could be losing quite a bit of sales revenue and market share to the competition that is already on Facebook.
The Leading Social Media Platform: Among the social networking platforms out there (including Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+) Facebook is the most popular, at least for now. That’s a big benefit as it makes it easier to connect with your market.
Flexibility: Unlike Twitter which has a 140 characters limit (though links can be included to other content), Facebook offers plenty of space for posts/updates and these updates can include videos and pictures. This kind of flexibility helps to engage your audience. Engagement is crucial to realizing any return on investment on the Facebook platform. Also, the tone / voice on Facebook could be a little less formal (unlike a business website) and this will definitely enhance engagement.
Cons of Using Facebook
Distractions: Facebook is perhaps the most wonderful place for interesting and stimulating ideas and activities. However, this is precisely why it can also be very distracting that can waste one of your most valuable commodities – TIME!
A plan has to be followed when using Facebook to ensure that there will be no distractions but instead staying on track regarding the marketing of your business.
Overwhelm: There are so many ways that you can use Facebook to grow your business that at times it can seem overwhelming. With new apps or applications (programs that allow you to do any number things online, quickly and efficiently) being launched all the time, and experts recommending dozens of new strategies on an almost daily basis, one can definitely feel overwhelmed at the options to consider.
Sometimes overwhelm can lead to inaction and you’ll need to be careful not to fall into that trap (following a well thought out plan can help)
Don’t put your eggs all in one basket: Right now Facebook can seem like a marketing panacea for small businesses but you’ve got to remember that successful marketers always use a variety of tools to reach their target market. If something was to happen to Facebook down the road you’d be stuck if your entire marketing strategy relied only on Facebook. Even though you may direct a sizeable percentage of your marketing effort to Facebook (given it’s immense ability to reach markets) you should still ensure that you continue to use other marketing tactics like traditional media promotions, in-person networking, your own website marketing, blogging, other social media platforms, etc.
Time not enough: Even if you have a targeted approach to using Facebook and are very disciplined, depending on the comprehensiveness of your Facebook marketing campaign, it is quite time consuming managing Facebook activities. Think carefully about how your time is used and explore outsourcing options.
Washing dirty linen in the public: One of the greatest things about Facebook is that it facilitates engagement with your target audience. It achieves this because communication is transparent and fast-paced when managed well. Customers like transparency and they like the fact that they can read recommendations from happy customers via comments on your business page or on the profiles of their friends.
The flipside of this is that not all customers are happy all the time and when you do have an unhappy customer, that customer may in fact make her problems with your product/service very public. By deciding to post on her / his own profile that is made public to the world (if she / he chooses) or by posting on your company’s Facebook business page (if you allow fans to post), an unhappy customer can let everyone in her circles and yours know about the issue.
But do not let this dissuade or frighten you from using this wonderful marketing platform. You can always counter this with great customer service and an immediate reply to any concerns made known. This will mean that you or your community manager will need to monitor mentions of your brand on Facebook and throughout social media. Also, don’t only reply to negative comments. Facebook is all about engagement. Do say a “thank you” to all your fans whom have left positive comments / feedback.
If your objectives or goals are to increase brand awareness, generate leads, engage your customers and grow sales, then perhaps, Facebook marketing is one option you can seriously consider. Looking around, all the big brands are already on Facebook and even politicians have caught on the wings of this platform. If you are not on Facebook and your competitors are, then you could be at the losing end of the battle.
However, adopting this platform would mean that you will spend time, resources and commitment to grow this marketing avenue and should not be taken lightly. Otherwise, instead of promoting your business, you will be doing more harm than good!
Still undecided? Fret not as you can always contact us for a confidential discussion on Facebook marketing.
All the very best in your evaluation of whether Facebook marketing is for your business!