With an increasing decline in the effectiveness of display ads, and the continuing growth of social media; brands are now taking their advertising efforts to this platform to try and reach as many people as possible.
Many companies rely on just setting up a Facebook page and obtaining as many friends as possible, but it soon becomes clear that there is more to successful integration with the social media world than that.
With over 500 million users and a quick and simple set up; Facebook offers the perfect advertising opportunity, but to maximise the potential of your Facebook page; you have to know what you’re doing. Get it right; and you could have the perfect platform to connect with a new and extended fan base.
Why set up a Facebook page?
Before social media, advertising was a bit of a novelty, and brands were virtually untouchable; seen only as detached selling machines. But things have changed, and the empowerment of the consumer means they can dictate the success or failure of a commerce company, leaving the brands very much at the consumer’s mercy.
The internet is now a society, and if brands want to succeed; they must engage with their customer-base. A bridge has been formed between consumer and brand, and consumers now rely on the transparency and interactivity of a brand to gauge their brand experience.
As such, with its worldwide popularity and influence, and its offer of more volume and targeted advertising; Facebook has provided the perfect platform for brands to display their presence, and connect with their customers.
Being noticed by a larger number of people means a bigger customer-base; and by the very nature of Facebook, friends of people who are a fan of your company will also see your page, and be more inclined to click on it.
What to avoid:
However, just setting up a Facebook page and bombarding your fans with as many promotions, offers, and deals as you can fit into one day, will prove unsuccessful and could be difficult to recover from.
Last year in the US, over 81% of consumers un-‘liked’ a brand’s Facebook page, having been scared away by the constant stream of information cluttering up their news feeds.
This is an example of how not to use this powerful platform; you can’t intrude on people’s social time, you need to earn their attention and engage them, using techniques such as social media campaigns.
Using Facebook effectively:
Although some critics believe social media campaigns are essentially ‘candyfloss’ – a lot of fun, but with no substance – I’m of the opinion that they do work if executed correctly.
Some companies provide games or puzzles, which admittedly, have nothing to do with the product or service they’re offering, but the engagement and enjoyment these provide the customer, ensure they’re left with a positive brand impact, and so they don’t mind as much when they receive the occasional product promotion or special offer.
Here’s a few examples of some well-known brands which have used their Facebook page successfully to promote new products or services, as well as maximising brand exposure:
o2 utilise their Facebook page perfectly by offering competitions and prizes which suit their fan base; connecting with their customers whilst promoting their service.
Topshop also use their Facebook presence to their advantage by promoting new clothes lines, whilst keeping notifications to a minimum so as not to overload their fans with advertisements.
House of Fraser:
House of Fraser have integrated their website with their Facebook page, ensuring maximum click-through rates and increased conversion.
Cheerios have realised the potential of having a Facebook page and created an online community whereby fans of the page share everyday tips, targeting the family-oriented Facebook audience.
The Seabrook Crisps Facebook page utilises the ability to promote and advertise new products, and any competitions which run alongside it.
With a predominant use of social media on the internet, brands now need to provide a social experience to succeed. But the successful integration with this platform takes time and effort, and should be taken seriously as a truly powerful advertising tool.
It’s all about getting the balance right, and knowing who to target. For this, you need to know all you can about your customer base, and remember that they’re using Facebook as a social hub, so they may not appreciate being infiltrated with advertisements, even more so if they don’t apply to them.
With some thorough planning and customer research, you could use your Facebook page to reach out to an extended audience, and form that all-important social experience which will enhance your web presence, and provide some insightful information about what your consumers want.