Facebook – A Fresh Marketing Venue for Targeted Traffic
Facebook is a social networking website whose purpose is to connect friends, families and also business associates through photos, instant text messages, video and much more. As you might already know, it has become very popular among young people, and more recently among adults as well. Since its early beginnings, Facebook has expanded to include almost every known entity into its continually growing online community. If you look into it, you will find anything from high schools, geographic communities, individuals and of course, businesses and corporations as well.
Among the great variety of tools that Facebook offers to its users, there are some really practical ones. The most useful ones that can also be harnessed by both business owners and marketing professionals are:
Groups is the word used by Facebook users to describe any kind of interest group. The great advantages of Facebook groups are that just about anyone can create one and that there are as many as there are different interests and opinions on the web. By creating a group, your company can gather (through valuable content and constant updates) quite a considerable amount of people around it. These people will most likely be interested in the same topics you offer and will be willing to come back to your Groups page in order to participate and keep up to date with what you have to show them.
This is a great way to create value and establish lots of connections with like-minded individuals. It is also an open opportunity to convey a professional image to your followers by choosing a group name that is easy to remember as well as an image that stays in their mind (your company’s logo is great for this). It is also worth mentioning that Facebook Groups are easier to manage when they have just a few thousand members, so if you see a large potential for greater amount of followers, you might want to consider…
Facebook Fan pages
Facebook fan pages require a lot less commitment but can also fail to attain those personal and intimate connections that groups achieve. As with Groups, anyone can create a Facebook fan page and every comment you post on it will be immediately viewable on the profile page of every fan your page has. This is the perfect choice for short comments and special announcements to a broad and more general audience.
Facebook Ad program
While both of the marketing tools mentioned above come at almost no cost for any business, Facebook also integrates a paid advertising program that behaves very much like the famous Google Adwords. This has the tremendous advantage of providing almost immediate returns to the advertiser, since the ads go live instantly and target groups of users previously designated by the advertiser (that would be you). However, as with all pay-per-performance advertising methods, you will stop getting results the moment you stop paying for them.
Deep connection with other web services
Since Facebook is used by so many people around the world, the people behind the website have made sure to make it compatible with almost all media formats. This means you can showcase your products and / or services using audio, images, plain text and video from any major video-site on the web, like Youtube, Vimeo and such, with just a couple of clicks. Now, as much as people use Facebook as an interpersonal communication platform, many large and small business owners have discovered that it can also be an excellent business medium for the same reasons explained above.
And most likely, you might have already contemplated if it would be worth it for your business to have a Facebook venue as well. However, there are some basic aspects about this social networking platform that you will have to consider before either choosing to take the jump or to hold back for the time being.
First and foremost, Facebook is not a venue for direct sales. Many business owners who try to make their Facebook Groups or Pages virtual showcases or shopping carts have found themselves wasting their time. This happens because Facebook is a communication platform and as such, its users go to it only for finding and participating in relevant news or events, not for purchasing goods or services.
In this sense, Facebook starters should see this web service as a gateway and showcasing platform, whose main purpose can be to lead followers (potential customers) to their online shop or web business by offering constant updates, special time-sensitive offers and other valuable content to its members.
Another important aspect to consider is that Facebook requires constant and greater amounts of interactivity than traditional advertising methods. This said, once your business starts using this platform, you will need to constantly monitor its activity. This is because your group members (or fans) will not just wait for any update of yours, but can actively participate by leaving comments, asking questions and even making suggestions (which benefits you). In cases where the amount of members your Facebook group or page has is large enough, it might even be necessary for you to hire someone just to take care of this aspect of your business.
But in the long run, being able to leverage the traffic of millions of active users worldwide and having the chance to make your business go viral, is definitely worth the time, effort and any other kind of investment that it might require.