Is Facebook Still Relevant?
How You Should Plan for Facebook Marketing
Think back just 11 years, when those of us in marketing were producing our first websites and social or digital media was only thought of in terms of what your website was going to consist of. That year, Mark Zuckerberg and his college buddies were creating Facebook. It wouldn’t be available to the general public for another two and a half years, but it has changed the entire landscape of Marketing.
The social sharing site now boasts 1.4 billion users worldwide. That’s significant in a world with a population of 7.3 billion but in which only 34.3% or 2.5 million of that population has Internet access. America is the largest consumer of Facebook, followed by Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. But most Asian countries don’t use Facebook in favor of Tencent’s Ozone, Pengyou, Renren, and Kaixin making this user number even more powerful.
Even as these statistics are on the rise, Princeton University put out a study in late 2014 foretelling the demise of Facebook between 2015 and 2017, noting that its new policies would adversely affect the site and that other sites were poised to take the place of this powerhouse.
Regardless of this prediction, Facebook offers us one of the greatest opportunities to communicate with users in a non-obtrusive way. With more than 95% of all users logging into their accounts at least once a day, and those users sharing 2.5 billion pieces of content every day, this should be a tool that every brand is accessing.
Although Facebook has become a pay to play platform, there are still some encouraging statistics that prove why brands should continue engaging on the channel. For instance, users follow an average of 70 brand pages, so while you may have had to pay to engage with the user in the first place, you can create some continuous brand engagement with those who follow you. Once you have those followers, 51% of customers said they are more likely to purchase a product after liking the brand’s page and 56% of customers said that they were more likely to share a brand on Facebook over other channels.
Social word of mouth is particularly important on social sharing sites such as Facebook when it comes to campaigns. Rewarding fans and followers who are “brand ambassadors” encourages guest interaction. A recent study showed that 77% of marketers claim to have gained new consumer customers and 43% of B2B companies say they have acquired new customers through Facebook. While consumers who followed a link from Facebook to retail sites spent an average of $102.50.
One of the most crucial tools in Facebook marketing seems to be time. The shelf life of a post is on average 2 hours and 30 minutes in which time the post will get 75% of its overall impressions. Making sure that you are constantly engaging with your fan base and regularly posting to keep your page active will increase the likelihood your followers will continue to keep the page active on feeds. While using Facebook to allow your fans exclusive access by giving them first looks at products and specials builds brand loyalty.
Keeping your site looking fresh is also an important aspect to your Facebook page. A site that never changes its background will lose its appeal to followers. Using engaging photos will get 53% more likes on your posts and 104% more comments. Also make sure that you are tracking trends on Facebook, if you see increased interest in cat videos, then you should be asking yourselves if cat videos will work for your business. Integrate trends that work for your persona and message.
Some current Facebook trends include hashtags and Facebook apps. Hashtags can expand your reach by engaging with people interested in the topics that you are discussing and they work across social platforms making them more searchable. Facebook apps can take the place of contests and engage more activity directly on your Facebook page.
Avoid the pitfalls of just broadcasting from your Facebook page. You’ll gain more followers and click-throughs if your page provides relevant content and engages customers on a regular basis. Overall, 70% of all consumer questions on Facebook are completely ignored by brands. This is a staggering number of brands that are losing consumers merely because they are refusing to do the work to create a lasting relationship with the consumer online.
Facebook continues to be a force to be reckoned with. We advise that you continue to use the platform as long as it continues to be relevant, whether that be by 2017 or well beyond.