Marketing by definition is all about reaching targeted customers with the solutions to their problems. When done correctly the end result is satisfied customers who are more than willing to open their wallets for your help. Until recently, marketers have had to rely on less dependable ways to attract their target customers, now you just need to get Facebook fans by sharing helpful information with your friends who will share with their friends to get your marketing message out.
The Old Way to Advertise
The traditional way of advertising has always been “interrupt marketing” where the target market is interrupted from enjoying what ever media they were absorbing to learn about what ever was/is being offered to them. This is true of all traditional media sources; print media, television and even some online social media platforms are using this method of advertisement still. The most effective way to get targeted customers is and has always been referrals. When you get Facebook fans you are actually getting referrals rather than typical interrupt advertising leads.
One of the problems with interrupt advertising is that though you reach a large number of people, you aren’t able to be as targeted in your advertising efforts. This can be true when you get Facebook fans too, but if done properly, when you get Facebook fans, you are targeting a specific group of people who will benefit from your particular solution.
Social Media and the Internet
The marketing revolution stirred by the internet as a marketing medium took place because of the fact that it is highly personalized and provides more content on-demand than any other available medium. Consider how easy and convenient it is to search for what ever solution to what ever problem you are experiencing is.
Social sites proliferated far and wide in their usage for a few simple reasons:
- The power to create and distribute content is available to all users, everyone is equal whether they are a customer or a marketer. In traditional forms of media, the power to create rested only with the editorial staff of the channel, magazine or radio station or the advertiser, but hardly ever with the consumer.
- With social media the experience is completely personalized. A user can create or join groups to further define what experience they wish to have online.
- Opinions abound. This is one reason why social media has become such a boon to marketers. The old way of advertising was by exposing a prospect to what ever the marketer was trying to sell, now marketers are able to influence people’s opinions and get them to share the product or service or at least to endorse it unobtrusively to their circle of influence.
Facebook Is At the Center of Social Media
With over 500 million unique users worldwide, Facebook is the number one social networking site. What started as a garage project by Mark Zuckerberg has now become a huge phenomenon on the internet.
Facebook is a user interface that allows for quick and personal communication and the ability to create fan pages and groups at the click of a mouse button are part of what make Facebook extremely popular. Another important factor for its immense popularity is the wide variety of social applications that have been developed and made available within the Facebook environment.
These applications now allow users who are connected as friends to do joint activities like playing games, share photos, videos, and web links, and many more.
Enter the Marketer
Traditional marketing, like television, magazines and newspaper and even radio were tailored to appeal to certain social segments, with the advent of social media marketing the ability to effectively target a select audience has just been enhanced exponentially.
Facebook provides a wide variety of avenues to communicate with the audience, which opens up an entirely different world of possibilities to have a meaningful conversation with customers. Some of these methods used popularly by marketers are:
Paid Advertising: The first opportunity, which is the most obvious one, is advertising on Facebook. The difference, however, is the fact that you can create your own advertisement in a matter of minutes and also specify the details of your target group in terms of demographics and types of discussions where you want your advertisement to appear.
Create Fan Pages: Facebook allows every brand, as well as individual users, to create fan pages for their favorite celebrities and their own personal businesses. Large brands have also created their official pages on Facebook that have a huge, immediate fan following around the world. The fan page has immense potential to convey first hand information about the brand and also to collect immediate and frank feedback from your customers.