At this point, we all have at least heard of the giants in social media: Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter. When it comes to choosing the right platform to launch your social media marketing campaigns it is important to know which one(s) to focus on for the best ROI possible. To kick this series off, let’s talk about the elephant in the room, Facebook. With over one billion (Billion with a B) active users, Facebook is far and away the largest social media platform as of now and has revolutionized the way we all spend our time and inform our decisions.
While this is all well and good, it begs the question “Why as a small business owner should I care about a giant like Facebook?” To be frank, the fact that Facebook is such a giant should be setting off internal alarms that you should be using their service in some capacity, but we are still left with what there is to do and how to go about doing it. To answer these questions, we need to take a moment to think about exactly why Facebook became so popular, and how it is currently being used. As Sun Tzu says (If you are serious about business, I highly recommend you read the Art of War) “If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” or in other words, know your business, know the tools you have at your disposal such as social media, know your competition, know how they use these or any other tools, and then win.
Facebook started off as a site for college students to connect and network amongst themselves. When Mark Zuckerberg realized the impact and potential of what he had, Facebook was opened to the public and with that came a world of new people unknowingly walking into the social media age. Once the students were successfully attached to Facebook it wasn’t long before their parents and even grandparents to begin to hop on board to stay connected to their loved ones. While this may seem like a passing statement, I want you to read that again. After the younger crowd made their roots, their families came. For this reason, Facebook has the largest and the oldest user base out of all social media platforms. What this means for your company is this: if your target audience is older than 20, Facebook is where you want to spend your resources. With the average user spending 35 minutes a day on Facebook, it is a ripe opportunity for you to connect and engage with your target audience jabbing them with personality and banter until they themselves are ripe and ready for you to close the deal. So, now that we know why facebook is important and how its current user base came to be, the final question left to answer is: “Now that I am on Facebook, how exactly do I do to connect with my ideal customer-base?”
***Disclaimer on this part, the landscape of social media and particularly social media marketing changes day to day, while what I write here is relevant and immediately applicable today, it may be outdated when the next social media phenomena makes its debut. Proper marketing means hard work and frequent re-education, but I assure you, the payoff far outweighs the work if done effectively. ***
With the current state of Facebook, the most successful pages (not necessarily the biggest and oldest companies mind you) use similar tactics in order to bolster their brand name and reputation. To put their complex tactics simply, they key to good social media marketing on Facebook is… genuineness. Essentially, the older Facebook user base is tired of age old marketing taglines and massive campaigns plastered across every medium around. Instead, the most successful pages take the time and effort to reply to comments, show concern for complaints, and make each customer feel as though they have a direct contact to the company. People want to feel heard. People want to feel special. While the nuances of each social media platform change the execution of proper marketing, these two truths are currently omnipresent. Instead of plastering your company’s page with obvious ads for your products, try to stir up a genuine discussion with those who follow your page via an interesting article or public event. Be consistent in your ability to post and reply, and always make your community feel as though you are providing at least 51% of the value to your relationship!
I hope these few tips and insights will help your company bring forward the new horizon of relevant and engageable marketing.
Benjamin Fairchild and Josh Zeigler