There are a growing number of social media sites being used by businesses in their company marketing efforts. The secret to using social media effectively is not to be everywhere, but instead to have an online presence where your current and prospective customers are online. Contrary to what many believe- Facebook is not just for college students or for personal use. Facebook is increasingly being used by companies in many creative ways such as to build their brand image, to drive traffic to their website and blogs, to announce or get feedback on new products, manage their online reputation, attract employees, communicate company information, and as a means to intercept potential prospects. For many companies, this increased company communication is leading to enhanced relationships with current and prospective customers. In this article, I will outline how a planned internet marketing approach can lead to positive results for your business. I will begin the article by addressing a few common misperceptions about Facebook that I hear most frequently from my clients. Next, I will detail how to use and set up the various sections of a Facebook account. I will conclude with several recommended applications that will add functionality to your company Facebook page.
Common misperception #1: Facebook is only for personal use
Each time I give presentations on using social networking sites for business there is the perception in the audience that Facebook is only useful for communicating with friends and family. Facebook started as a closed community for college students, and has not been as effective as LinkedIn at highlighting the business page and advertising features. However, Facebook continues to grow in use by companies looking to reach the more than 200 million active users, and has very powerful and targeted demographic tools that help companies to hone in on their target market.
Common misperception #2: Facebook is only for college students
According to the Facebook Press Room page, there are more than 200 million active users on Facebook and a million new members are joining each week in the U.S. alone. Contrary to what many of my audiences believe- more than two-thirds of Facebook users are not in college. According to comscore.com, more than 50% of Facebook’s users in the U.S. are over 35; the single biggest age demographic in the U.S. on Facebook is now between 35 and 44, and Facebook’s fastest growing age group is 55 and older. They also reported that Facebook ranks as the top social networking site in the majority of European countries.
Common misperception #3: I am too busy for this, and besides-it is not worth my time
Some of the reasons why social networking sites like Facebook are increasingly being used by companies is because they provide businesses the opportunity to easily and efficiently communicate regularly with the people in their network. Networks can include people with whom they are currently doing business, people whom they would like to do business, vendors, and potential business partners.
Social networking sites like Facebook are serving as an adjunct to, and in some cases, replacement for, traditional means of communication such as newsletters and direct mail. Facebook can be used to regularly announce or get feedback on new products, AvaTrade Facebook Page spotlight new employees or existing employees accomplishments or talents, reward customer loyalty, promote special events and special offers, as well as to create partnerships. According to a Forrester Research interactive marketing online research survey (March 2009): “40% of companies surveyed expect to cut direct mail budgets, while 35% will decrease newspaper spend, and 28% will slash magazine money in order to spend more in interactive media.” Some companies have reported that by using these online means of communication they have reduced their marketing budget while at the same time increasing sales.