What is Facebook marketing ?
Facebook marketing refers to creating—and actively using—a Facebook page as a communications channel to maintain contact with and attract customers. Facebook actively provides for this, allowing users to create individual profiles or business pages for companies, organizations, or any group attempting to develop a fan base for a product, service, or brand.
Facebook pages are often linked to company web pages elsewhere on the Internet; therefore, it’s often a good idea to use some of the same information in both places, in order to maintain a familiarity. A business page can be searched for as soon as it is up, but unlike a personal profile, you cannot invite friends through it. Business pages do not get “friends,” they get “fans”—and that distinction does make a difference.
To create an initial seed for the fan base, each member of the marketing team should begin by liking the business page on their own personal profiles; all employees, in fact, should be encouraged to join in. When an individual likes a page, Facebook immediately posts this event to their profile—and this activity can be seen by every one of their friends. “max Smith likes [Shivanta IT Solutions].” The word begins to spread
Every Facebook user who likes a page will get to see any content a business posts, and be notified of posts through their news feed. If they are engaged by that content, they may comment on it, or like that item; and “Joe Smith commented on brand’s status update” appears on all of their friends’ news feeds. Additionally, they may share this content, which will post the entire content to their own profiles, and notify their friends to come look. The company's task, then, is to encourage this process as much as possible.
The most important aspect of Facebook marketing is consistency of communication. Creating a Facebook page and then leaving it alone will net a business nothing. To attract fans, a business should regularly post new content in a variety of different formats, so that more people will see and share the page. Content can announce upcoming promotions, spot-light specific products or people, share fun facts, provide incentive codes for discounts on products and services, and anything else that will catch the interest of fans.
Given the way Facebook’s news feed works, the recency of a post is a major factor in organizing what a user sees. The average user has more than 130 friends, and may be a fan of several brands, personalities, and organizations. When he or she logs in, there is no way to instantly see activity from every one of those sources.
The news feed shows them posts from the friends/etc. they interact with most, and which are more recent. Therefore, a company's post is only likely to be visible on their fans’ news feeds for about three hours after they post it. Furthermore, depending upon the time of day they post, it is likely to be seen by entirely different portions of their fan base.
In addition to varied content and formatting, posts should invite customers to interact and respond. Businesses should present consistent calls to action, which can be as simple as “watch this,” “like this,” or “share this." Additionally, businesses can invite participation through contests and polls (which are also a way to collect market research). Such low-commitment investments encourage familiarity and affinity in their customer base.
This positive relationship can be further promoted through maintaining two-way communication. In other words, when fans post a comment on content, businesses should respond. How much they respond will depend upon how many fans comment, and how much time they can commit to Facebook marketing; but the more any particular fan interacts with a page, the more likely he or she is to buy.
Why Use Facebook for Your Business?
When you start your business, many things have to be taken into account. Among the tons of seemingly more important things, you might question the need for using Facebook. Often people end up feeling that it is too trivial a task and can be accomplished at anytime. Here are some reasons why you should have your presence on a social networking giant like Facebook and take it very seriously:
Having your business on Facebook through a fanpage or a group is a great way to learn more about your customers. Through comments or posts, you get to have direct feedback and conversations with your target audience. The people who like your fanpage or join your group are only there because they want to be. They are there to know what they can about you and you can do the same thing.
Give a personal touch to your business:
Being well connected is important for any business, especially for a small one. You need to be able to communicate with people and grow your contacts. The best possible way to do that is through direct involvement. Facebook allows you to give your business an image and then you can actually have live conversations with people who matter, making it a more personal experience then what you get on a TV.
Develop a loyal fan base:
Facebook allows you to develop your very own community. All you need to do is, post links and content that is both relevant and useful. You can even have promotional campaigns and contests through your page and offer incentives as well. If done correctly, you will find that you can develop a loyal community for your business on Facebook.
Search Engine Optimization is a key aspect for anyone who wants to build a significant presence on the web. Having a Facebook page for your business can help you in your SEO efforts as well. All the links and posts on the page are indexed by search engines. So having a page flowing with continuous relevant content will definitely give you a jump in search engine rankings.
Beat your competition:
One of the biggest reasons for you to make sure that you are on Facebook is that your competition might already be there. In this cut throat environment, lagging behind will make it really hard for your business to succeed.
If someone ends up liking your page then it appears in their news feed. This makes it possible for your business to be in their eyes on a regular basis through status updates or content posting. What’s more, if they comment on your post, their friends will also see your post and this will help in viral promotion of your business.
Your business at Facebook is not just limited to a fan page or a group. Facebook also offers you a chance to put up advertising campaigns. You can build your advertisements, and as per your budget requirements, go for a campaign suitable for your business. You can also choose the set of people to whom these ads will be visible. You can target your ads on the basis of demographics, educational level, interests etc. It is also up to you to decide how often these ads will appear.
Apart from these facts, Facebook is free. You do not need to spend anything for promoting your company through a Facebook page. Facebook already has people addicted to it. This means you do not have to look for customers – they are already there.
Create Business Page On Facebook
Just having people Like your page isn't enough to provide yourself with a long-term, sustainable business. Sure you can make a good living short-term off just using your Facebook page. But what if Facebook does actually disappear one day? If you haven't made a connection with your followers outside of Facebook, then you'll be in trouble. That's why smart businesses gather leads in the form of email addresses -- so they can contact their community outside of Facebook.
Most do this through contests, giveaways and newsletters -- and it's a proven system. But you also need to be careful how you use your leads. For example, don't hammer fans with daily emails peddling affiliate products and other junk -- unless that's what they signed up for. Email them consistently once or twice a week with helpful information that also leads them to your website -- where they hopefully will become customers.
Lower Your Marketing Expenses
Starting a Facebook business page costs you exactly $0. Sure, you may pay a graphic artist to design a profile picture and cover photo -- but that's not a necessity. Simply using photographs you take of your business will work -- and in some cases that's better than a creative image from a designer.
My point is that getting rolling with a page costs you nothing until you start paying for ads to get page Likes, boosting posts and running Sponsored Stories -- all of which you should be doing with your page. Facebook ads are relatively inexpensive when compared to traditional print, radio or TV ads -- and are 1,000x more targeted.
Reach a Targeted Audience
Just because there are 1.19 billion Facebook users, it doesn't mean they all want to Like your page. In fact, I wouldn't want all of them to Like my page -- because only a small percentage of them would actually engage with my posts. As shown in my example above, I was able to get inexpensive Likes by targeting my ads. I targeted people who already had an interest in Bigfoot -- almost guaranteeing that many of them will give my page a Like. Same is true for your page and business.
If you're a local business, direct your ads to target customers within a 10-15 mile radius. The ads might cost you more, but the Likes and potential customers are laser targeted. If you run an ad on TV, during say an airing of "Seinfeld," you'd be hard pressed to know with certainty whether your ad targeted the right kinds of people for your business. With Facebook ads, you can be certain -- if you target the ad correctly.
Increase Your Web Traffic
Smart Facebook page owners use their pages to drive traffic to their websites.
If all you're doing on Facebook is getting engagement on your posts, then you're really just an entertainer -- not a marketer.
So start using link posts to drive traffic to your site.
The great thing about link posts is Facebook now generates a full-width thumbnail image if your website makes one available.
Because they draw more attention, these wider images are more likely to get clicked.