Facebook – the largest social networking site presently – is a phenomenon that is hard to ignore, especially when it offers a lucrative platform to promote and advertise your business.
With millions of active users, Facebook provides the best form of social marketing exposure.
How does Facebook help?
When you have a website, you need traffic to make the website popular, right?
This is what Facebook does. With accurate search engine optimization, you can use this social networking platform to build and grow your online businesses. You get targeted traffic to your website, build your brand name and also increase your profits.
There are two ways to market on Facebook; free marketing and paid marketing. But before we go into the details, let’s check out the reasons why marketing on Facebook is so beneficial:
- With 450 million users worldwide, out of which more than 50 percent of members are actively involved on Facebook, it represents a potential market. An Internet marketer would be foolish not to tap into this market and allow your competitors get ahead of you.
- If you think Google is the best search engine ever because it receives unprecedented amounts of traffic, think again! Recently, Facebook surpassed even Google due to getting the most traffic in a single day.
- Facebook is multi-dimensional because it provides lots of profitable ways to ‘soft – sell’ your product or services. Unlike Twitter where marketing and advertisement is restricted to 140 characters or… unlike StumbleUpon where promotion is limited to bookmarking or showing ‘thumbs up’ or thumbs down’, Facebook allows you to promote your business through multiple ways – creating groups, fan pages, social advertisement, adding pictures, updating profiles, uploading videos and others.
In short, Facebook gives you three things important for marketing – potentially an untapped market, lots of free traffic and multiple ways of marketing and promotion.
How successful you are in utilizing this resource optimally rests on your shoulders!
Now that we have seen why Facebook is extremely beneficial, let’s learn the differences between free marketing and paid marketing.
Free Facebook Marketing
Assuming that you have a Facebook account, you must have noticed pages and groups where the owner regularly posts updates about new products and services, and invites group members to join them.
Not all of them are business – oriented though. Some people create them for charity organizations and whatever donations are received are promptly given to the charitable organization.
Creating a Facebook ‘Group’ or ‘Fan’ page is easy and free. If you want to market any product or service as an affiliate or you want to promote your business, this is where you should start – the basic level.
What you do is go to the Facebook settings page and select either ‘create a group’ or ‘create a page’ option.
There you fill out complete details and then forward its link to your friends. Some Internet marketers use this medium only when they have thousands of people added on their “friends” list.
Suppose you have 3,050 friends. When you promote your group or page and your friends visit and ‘like’ them, those pages are published on their ‘home’ page as well.
To give you a quick idea about how creating ‘groups’ and ‘pages’ will impact your business, note the following: you create a ‘Page’ and send it out to 3,050 friends on your list.
Out of those, 2,500 show interest, visit your ‘page’ and ‘likes’ it. Now the friends listed on your friend’s profile can see the ‘like’ update and visits your original ‘page’ and if this number is 500 per friend, you receive 2500 x 500 = 1250000 visits in a matter of a few days.
Therefore, we can say that by investing 2 hours in creating a ‘fan’ page and sending it to your friends, you receive 1,250,000 free traffic visits.
Does this sound like a lot of investment?
Like this, it creates a viral page of sorts. Even if you are not making sales in the beginning, you are surely getting lots of traffic and that is a POSITIVE OUTCOME.
You can create as many ‘Groups’ and ‘Pages’ as you like!
Paid Facebook Marketing
The advertisements published and visible on the right hand side of Facebook pages are the paid advertisements.
Facebook offers paid advertisement services to any small, medium or big business enterprises. They are search engine optimized and target a particular demographic section of Facebook users.
This is the reason why not all kinds of Facebook advertisements are displayed on a user’s profile.
Facebook marketing department takes note of the user’s preferences, hobbies, tastes and interests and then decides which advertisements to display on a user’s profile page.
As an Internet marketer, you want users to click on your advertisements which can be achieved through using well researched and solid long tail keywords.
Major businesses like Honda, Coca – Cola and Budweiser have found immense success with paid Facebook advertisements in a creative manner.
The Marketing Solutions forum of Facebook gives us examples of their creative advertising campaigns. Few months back, Coca – Cola created an advertisement campaign through which they sold virtual coke bottles and promised to donate $1 from each sale to a charitable organization.
Budweiser received a viral response when they encourage social interaction between its customers when they offered them the choice to select which commercials to show during televised sports games.
Similarly, to maintain its brand name and keep its customers faith intact, Honda used Facebook advertisements to keep consumers updated after their Honda recalls.
Apart from products and services, Facebook has the functuality to advertise relevant causes, links, contests, photos, videos, business events and business USP.
You can also integrate offline advertisement campaigns with your online campaign and get real – time information from your “fansumers.”
Facebook phenomenon has led to the creation of new terminology – “fansumers,” who are people who has “become a fan” of a particular Facebook brand, according to Forrester Research.
If you want to create a fantastic list of “fansumers”, you need to make your brand page interactive.
An interactive fan page will engage a participant; otherwise, people will remain a spectator but this strategy will not yield any long term results.
When your brand “fans” endorse any product or services, it increases brand value and your popularity rises.
The paid Facebook advertisements can be ‘online’ for as long as you want. From an investment perspective, they are not that costly at all. At least, they are less expensive than other forms of mainstream advertisement.
From the lengthy discussion above, we can infer that both free and paid Facebook advertisement is beneficial to promote your business.
If you wish to optimize on the untapped Facebook market, use both options wisely.
First, optimize on the free marketing option and then when comfortable, go for paid advertisements. The cost of paid advertisements can easily be recovered when you make sufficient profits from sales through Facebook.