Facebook as a Marketing Tool for Businesses
“A social network is a social structure (or an aspect of a social structure) that can be modeled through nodes and relationships. Thus, when social network analysis is carried out, what is being carried out is an abstraction or model of a social phenomenon in which the fundamental element is the relationships between the participants .”
In previous points we saw the evolution of social networks over the years, but it was from 2004, with the creation of Facebook, where this social phenomenon exploded .
The numbers reached in March 2012, just 8 years after its creation, were, like few others, incredible:
- 901 million monthly active users.
- 526 million daily active users, on average, as of March 2012.
- More than 125 billion friendship connections on Facebook.
- On average, more than 300 million photos uploaded to Facebook per day in the last three months.
- More than 42 million pages with ten or more likes.
- Facebook is available in more than 70 languages.
As of the end of 2015, Facebook has more than 1.55 billion active users each month, and more than one billion daily users. 925 million people are using the groups tool and 8 billion videos are watched every day. This figure reveals the rapid growth of the social network’s video service, also helped by the autoplay system.
If we also take into account that each average user has approximately 148 contacts , the exposure and possibility of reaching potential users makes it quite clear that if a company is interested in promoting its products or services, listening to its users or communicating with them this essential means of communication.
Online Business School presents the Social Media 2015 study , which analyzes the trends of use and participation in social networks both in Spain and in the main world economies. The data of active users of Facebook in Spain:
- Monthly active users of Facebook: 18 million (*this number includes desktop and mobile users).
- Daily active Facebook users: 12 million (*this figure includes desktop and mobile users).
- Active users per month from mobile: 13 million.
- Daily active users from mobile: 8.1 million.
Facebook offers companies, groups or collectives the possibility of creating pages, unlike the rest of the users (individuals) who have profiles .
The pages are “profiles” in which a series of tools are made available to users that allow the measurement, monitoring and analysis of the activity of the followers in relation to the created profile.
There are many companies that do not have a Facebook page and, however, have a profile of their company as if it were a natural person . It should be noted that this is a practice punishable by Facebook which, in the event of detecting or receiving a complaint that a company is registered in a personal profile, can unsubscribe it with the consequent loss of contacts.
But not only because of this possibility, it is not recommended to have a personal profile for the company, but we must also take into account that we will see below, the profiles allow a maximum of 5000 followers. Also Check telecharger video facebook
Facebook as a marketing tool for businesses
People from all over the world visit Facebook to connect with friends and family and stay informed on the things that matter to them, including business. With a Facebook Page, you can easily show your customers what your business is all about.
Facebook offers two types of pages , on the one hand, the community pages that are intended for general and unofficial topics, for example, a fan club, and the official pages that are used to promote a business.
With a Facebook page, a company is distinguished by being :
- Findable – When people search for you on Facebook, they find you.
- Connected – Engage in direct conversations with customers, who can like your page, read your posts, share them with their friends, and record their visits.
- Timely – The page helps to frequently reach large groups of people with messages tailored to their needs and interests.
- Detailed – Page insights provide in-depth insights into customers and marketing activities.
The goal of creating a ‘ Facebook business page ‘ should be to build connections with your target audience. A place where you connect with followers and allow:
- Announce new products.
- Share news.
- Collect information about followers’ preferences.
- Create branded content in a way that can be converted into ads and sponsored stories to promote the business.
- Express your identity with features like cover photos.
- Most important moments in the evolution of your business (milestones).
- Add information about your business and respond to your customers in a quick and more personal way.
- Customize name.
- Show manager profiles if the communication strategy requires it.
Setting the username for the page, this makes it easy for potential followers to find pages and share them with others, and therein lies the importance.
Said name must be clear, identifiable and easy to remember, since, as we have said, it will be the extension of the address of your website and of your physical establishment.
When choosing a username for the page, Facebook recommends that the name should be as close as possible to the name of the business or company . In addition, if the page deals with a specific topic, related to the brand or service, a username appropriate to said topic must be chosen. Usernames can only contain alphanumeric characters (az, 0-9) or periods (“.”) and must contain at least one letter.
It is the photograph that is located at the top of the page and the one that occupies the entire width of the page. It is recommended, in this space, the use of a photograph that shows the essence of the brand , what it represents, moments depending on a time of year, events or products or services offered. This space is ideal to show originality and creativity.
On this site it is advisable to use a logo or an image that is clearly identifiable by users .
Depending on the type of product offered and the positioning in the mind of the consumer, one style or another should be chosen.
It is the place where you can tell people what the company does.
When people visit a fan page, the “Information” section is the place where they can quickly get important information about the business , such as who it is, what it offers and how they can be contacted.
You can add the address, phone numbers, website and much more, you can even show the services, products, menus, price ranges and milestones of your company, such as the inauguration or anniversaries.
Views and apps
Below the cover image, 4 views are displayed by default, next to which a button appears that allows you to display and view all the content that the company shares with its followers, such as; photos, events, channels, applications, etc.
This is the ideal site for content such as promotions, contests or campaigns because it is positioned in a highly visible and accessible site for users and in turn the order of appearance can be configured by the company, putting those contents in the first 4 views. that is considered most relevant.
As we mentioned before, you have to be very careful and not have a personal page for the company, since the company pages allow you to add applications to create:
- Syndicated content (wordpress, blogger, Tumblr)
- Online stores
- video and chat
- Share files
- contact forms
- Integration with Twitter and other networks like Foursquare, Slideshare, Instagram, etc.
All this is very necessary to be able to communicate with quality.
When a user visits the page of the company even without being a follower of it, he can see which of his friends like this page.
Milestones, Offers and Events
The timeline allows users to view the company’s comments and posts chronologically. But this can be leveraged beyond allowing followers and non-followers alike to see the current timeline.
This is an excellent way to transmit, communicate and show all those users who are interested information about the company, moments, events, news and those events that are considered highly notable.
With them, the company will reach its followers with a message with which it will be doing branding, since each milestone or publication on a certain date will be displayed on its walls and, in turn, this content will be reflected in the timeline, being available for any user. Username.
In addition to milestones, another way to create community is to generate ‘Events’ , have you thought about the potential that Facebook has for offline events?
An example of good practice was the promotion of a music festival promoted through Facebook, it is the Outside Lands Music Festival that took place in San Francisco.
They created a Facebook fanpage and achieved a lot of activity (more than 67,000 fans), one of the main factors of success on Facebook.
And, finally, Facebook ‘Offers’ are a type of promotion offered by this social network that can be especially interesting for promoting many products and services.
Another of the extra possibilities, offered by company pages, is that it allows you to pin a publication for a week , this is very useful for promotions, contests or any other type of content that is considered important enough to occupy that prominent position during 7 days.