First of all, it is true that many Facebook users are less than thrilled with the state of the social network at the moment. They recently rolled out some big changes in design and functionality that haven’t sat too well with the masses. Some users may be discouraged enough to consider finding a different community.
That said, Facebook’s user-base is huge, and there is a ton of marketing potential there. In fact, the newest changes make the site’s functionality very similar to Twitter, and open up more marketing opportunities along with that.
It’s in real-time now just like Twitter, which makes it an ideal format for customer service. Many of the biggest brands on Twitter have been noted to have great customer service reputations by using that network, and I’d expect a similar trend within business Facebook use.
Also like Twitter, businesses can get their messages targeted to interested parties who have opted in to receive updates from that business. Facebook has just started to the News Feed.
Facebook has been reported to have driven more traffic than even Google to some sites. That’s something to think about. Some people are quick to point out that this traffic is not necessarily going to lead to conversions, but that’s on your marketing strategy. Facebook is just another middle-man just like Google in that regard.
Also like Google, you can directly advertise with Facebook though. Should you replace your Google ads with Facebook ads? Not necessarily, but they do offer highly targeted personalized ads that cater to users’ interest based upon their profile information. These ads shouldn’t really be compared with AdWords. AdWords cater to people who are specifically looking for something. Facebook ads are better for showing the user something they’ll probably like when they didn’t know they were looking for it.
You can still go the search engine advertising route and wind up in Facebook search results too, via the company’s partnership with Microsoft. Facebook search is likely going to be more frequently used now with the new design too. You’ve probably heard a lot about Twitter search recently. Now that Facebook is more like Twitter, expect a lot of real-time searching to be going on there too.
The most obvious benefit of marketing with Facebook or any other social network is increasing brand awareness wby interacting with the public. It’s also a good place to monitor and manage your online reputation. Keep abreast of what people are saying about you and you product.
There are tons of applications on Facebook, many of them providing unique marketing opportunities as well. Some offer advertising platforms within them. Others can simply aid your marketing strategy as it pertains to other tools. For example, the one that will let you post right to Twitter from Facebook. It wouldn’t hurt to set aside some time and do a little application exploring and find some different ways to market within the most popular social network.
You have other ways to market with Facebook? Share your thoughts with SmallBusinessNewz readers.