Facebook has grown into a huge business. It is the largest social network in the world with nearly 2 billion active users, 62% of whom logon multiple times each day. With such a large user base it is obvious that some of your existing and future customers are also Facebook users, therefore if you want to engage with your audience then Facebook marketing is the ideal opportunity.
Every day people log on to Facebook to chat and share information. Brands and products feature heavily in Facebook posts, sometimes positively and sometimes negatively. The social sharing aspect of Facebook means that the opinions of one person about a product or service can be shared very easily with hundreds of people within seconds who may themselves then share it again. Engaging with customers on Facebook is crucial to your marketing strategy.
Just in case you haven’t yet read our “Why using social media is vital for your business” blog post it details the importance of social media based interaction and the impact on brands…
Imagine you make cakes for a living. Your cakes are the best, chocolate muffins with oozing centres, crisp buttery pastries filled with cream, you get the idea. Now imagine a room full of one thousand hungry people all talking to each other about how hungry they are and how they can’t wait for lunch. If you send someone out into that room and hand out five cakes to five random people with a message that more cakes are available outside, what will happen? Those five people will devour their cake, the ten people stood around each of the lucky cake recipients will see what’s happening and want one of their own. Those fifty onlookers will start prancing around on tiptoes looking for the exit and asking other people around them whether they know where the cake shop is. Suddenly, in vast waves, people are swept up in the furore and before you know it everyone in the room is jostling for the exit to go and buy a cake from you.
BUT. Imagine you made pretty good cakes, okay quality but not perfect. You have lots of happy customers but you have also had a few complaints over the years. Imagine you repeated the process above with your pastries and whilst four people enjoy their cake, one of the recipients did not like it at all. You would still create a furore, however, rather than a 1,000 hungry people looking for more cakes you would have just 400 interested people because 200 people in the room have heard rumours that your cakes are bad. Those 200 have discussed this with people that had previously only heard good things about your cakes and were initially interested in buying one. They have been dissuaded.
The point is, the room of people in this example is your target market, furthermore, this room represents all of your potential customers using Facebook and Twitter right now. These people are real and they have naturally congregated in virtual locations, talking to each other, sharing photos, stories and experiences. Most of your customers, both existing and future ones, are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other blogs talking about the products and services they buy. Are they talking about you? What are they saying? Your business needs to engage with people when they are talking about you, you need to listen to what they are saying, you need to make allies of them, you need to encourage them to talk positively about your offering. You need to control the conversation.
When you engage effectively with your audience across social media you open up a direct communication channel that helps advertise and sell your products and services.