Even though Facebook started as a pure social media networking platform to help people connect with friends and family, it was a matter of time before it emerged as an effective medium for promoting brands and marketing businesses.
How did that happen?
It is because marketers are always looking to identify means to engage with potential customers. With the way Facebook started to connect people with people, and people with ideas; they were quick to identify its marketing potential.
While Facebook allowed pages to be created for businesses as well, they could have scarcely imagined the behemoth it would become in just a few years, and go on to possess monster potential for monetizing its ability to connect.
Facebook is now an important part of every business’s marketing strategy, to generate leads and convert them into loyal customers.
While Facebook is still experimenting with ways to grow its paid marketing revenues, there is no doubt that it rules the Social Media Marketing scene for both organic and paid marketing campaigns.
So, how businesses benefit from using Facebook as one of their key marketing channels?
Let’s take a look at these three important benefits that in my opinion make it stand out as a marketing platform for businesses around the world
1.) Massive Exposure on Global Scale
Facebook is undoubtedly the big daddy of Social Media, towering over rest of the social media with over 1.2 billion user accounts. That’s a huge number for a total audience. More than 1.37 billion active users visit Facebook daily
Facebook offers multiple platforms for marketing in the form of pages, groups, and ads. Facebook page for an individual or a business is the most popular way to represent an individual or a business. A group page can be opened by a business or an organization to promote activities. Users can join this group and also post comments on the group page called a wall. They can also interact through discussion threads.
Facebook ads are extremely popular & this popularity has grown phenomenally in recent years. Since Facebook has quite a significant amount of demographic data of all of its users, the ads are designed to target users with extremely specific demographics selected by the advertiser.
An apt example of the massive reach of Facebook is the “Dove Real Beauty Sketches” campaign executed back in 2013. In this campaign FBI sketch artists asked participants to describe their faces, followed by their relatives and friends being asked to do the same. The results showed that most people were overly criticizing themselves.
The campaign got shared over 6,30,000 times on Facebook within first 10 days of its release. Now that’s the kind of massive exposure we’re talking about. This campaign was run a few years ago, Facebook as an outreach platform for brands has grown by leaps and bounds since then.
2.) Low Marketing Expenses
Small businesses need not have a website, which obviously would cost money to develop, host and maintain. Instead a Facebook page for any business can be created free of cost and any content can be uploaded on this page. Even a small business can start a Facebook page and display all of the information about its products or services at virtually no cost.
Then there are Facebook ads which enable you to target your potential customers. Since Facebook collects a number of demographic attributes for all its users, these can be utilized while creating target audience for your ad.
Facebook ads are quite budget friendly too, at least so far. Ads can be charged on different bases depending upon what suits the user. CPM and CPC are the two popular charging methods. CPM (Cost Per Million) is charged per thousand impressions whereas CPC (Cost Per Click) is chargeable per click.
Two lesser-used methods are OCPM (Optimized CPM), wherein Facebook shows an ad to those people who are likely to favorably respond to it, and CPA (Cost Per Action) which expects users to take a specific action (e.g. page like) when they come across your ad.
Users can set daily limit on the amount to be spent in a day, to keep expenses within a budget. Your sales campaigns on the Facebook can be adjusted or modified real time, if the results are not on expected lines. Most Facebook ads are created for mobile devices, which currently make up about 66% of Facebook ad revenue.
3.) Ability to Target Potential Customers
Facebook ads have a unique facility which allows you to target potential customers based on their demographics and interests. For instance, if you wish to expose your ad to young business owners, you could choose demographics of age below 35, middle-class lifestyle, residing in large cities, with interest in “business” and “marketing”.
To advertise for ladies clothing, you could target women, aged 20 to 45, with interest in “shopping” and “fashion”. You can also have your ad shown only in your local area. Such specific and refined targeting has proved to be very useful.
Facebook also enables re-targeting those visitors who had earlier visited your site, thus effectively narrowing down your target audience.
Facebook’s algorithm is designed to encourage interaction among page owner (FB account holder) and the audience. Apart from posting any message or picture or video for your audience, at your chosen time and frequency, you can create and launch online marketing campaigns too on Facebook.
Followers and fans have displayed a huge liking to interact and participate in contests. So, if your campaign has a built-in contest or asks for an interesting feedback from your followers, its level of engagement would go up.
However, do note that your Facebook followers like it short and sweet. So keep your messages, or even videos, short.
What’s in it for you as a Digital Marketer?
Presence of your business on Facebook is essential in the present times, on account of several benefits that it offers. For individuals, being part of the social media may still be a fashionable thing to do; but for businesses it makes a lot of marketing sense.
Can you imagine your brand enjoying a worldwide reach, that too absolutely free; or having a platform to interact with your loyal and target customers as often as you like? This is what Facebook provides, and a lot more.
Facebook ads are way cheaper than conventional media, and are in fact less expensive than AdWords too. On top of that, it allows you to target your potential customers based on specific demographics and interests.
If you are an established business, Facebook can increase your web traffic and help enhance brand loyalty among your customers.
So, you would agree that being on Facebook makes perfect sense, whatever be the size and type of your business.
We had made some predictions about Facebook’s dominance as a leading Digital Marketing platform about a year ago.
We’re in 2018 and, that Facebook marketing would continue to benefit businesses for years to come, seems like a no brainer.