For a business, making the decision to join Facebook may seem easy. Social media is an important part of an effective marketing strategy, one that should include SEO, email, and even print or other traditional media. Many businesses make the mistake of relying on just one marketing channel to promote their product or service. While this strategy may produce some positive results, combining marketing efforts can increase the effect of those efforts exponentially. This is especially true for social media and, specifically, Facebook. Before you decide to use Facebook as an advertising tool, ask yourself these questions:
- What other marketing efforts does your business employ?
- Will Facebook be your only marketing effort?
- What are your expectations?
Relying on Facebook to be your only marketing channel can be tempting, especially because it’s free. However, when calculating an accurate ROI, it’s important to factor in your investment. If that number is zero, then you’re likely to receive a proportionate return. Of course, we’ve all heard about organic marketing campaigns on platforms like Facebook that went viral. It’s important to remember that these results are not typical, nor should they be expected in a realistic marketing strategy.
Once you’ve developed a set of realistic expectations for your marketing efforts on Facebook, it’s time to be brave.
Many businesses approach Facebook marketing with some trepidation. This is due, in large part, to the public forum that Facebook creates. However, that’s part of what makes Facebook such an exciting place to market, because it creates a conversation between a brand and a consumer. The fear is that a consumer will begin a conversation that speaks ill of a given brand. That’s a very realistic fear, if a consumer has a problem with your brand, they are very likely to express their views on your Facebook wall. Sounds scary, right?
The truth is, if a consumer has a negative view of your brand, they will talk about it online regardless of your brand’s online presence. Being brave enough to take an active voice on Facebook gives your brand the ability to respond directly to any negative posts. That’s an advantage.
The great thing about Facebook is that it gives your business a human touch. You’re able to converse, engage, and react to other Facebook users. Not only are you creating a conversation between your brand and your consumers, but you’re also interacting with your consumers in the same space where they interact with their real-life friends.
If we look at it from a psychological perspective, this means that marketing on Facebook gives a business the opportunity to connect with a consumer in the same way a consumer connects with another person. In other words, you have the ability to create bonds between your brand and your audience. This is invaluable.
When making the decision to put your business on Facebook, remember to be realistic. Don’t have unrealistic expectations and don’t rely on Facebook for the totality of your marketing efforts. Remember to be brave. Social media is new and exciting, and if history has taught us anything, it’s that fate favors the bold.
Finally, figure out if being human is important for your brand. I’ll be honest, if your business is B2B, then perhaps being human isn’t the most important thing you can be. Your investments might better be spent on Twitter or Google+. Instead, if you’re interested with connecting with consumers directly, then being human will always be a good move.
→ David Pemberton, Editor, Social Media, AREA203 Digital; follow… @Dave_Your_Fave