Although much speculation had prophesized the success of Facebook in Advertising, the report seems to display that the prophecy is on its way to be fulfilled. The article by Todd Wasserman of Mashable.com was based on a research done by eMarketer. In the report, researchers predict that Facebook will grow its net US display revenues in 2011 by another 80.9% and reaching an estimate of $2.19 billion. With this growth, Facebook will be overthrowing Yahoo! as the country’s no.1 display ad-selling company.
David Hallerman, a principal analyst of eMarketer commented on the revelation, “Facebook’s supreme popularity—both in terms of numbers of people and amount of time they spend there—creates a plethora of display ad impressions, mainly for its unique form of banners…And that popularity is also boosting what advertisers will pay for its display ads.”
Aside from Facebook, eMarketer also report that Google is also showing a solid growth this year with double the revenues in display ad compared to 2010.
Just when I thought that Facebook could not get any bigger, it just did. Recently, Express, the retail company, expanded its Facebook marketing platform by adding a new application tab “Shop EXPRESS” that enables Facebook users to access its retail products and buy from the Facebook page.
While reviewing the application on Facebook, I have to say I was quite impressed. By adding these functions and app, EXPRESS is able to both promote their product and sell some products. One of the functions that I love is the ‘Like’ function. When a Facebook user click ‘Like’ on one of the products, that action will automatically be shown in the user’s news feed, thus promoting the brand to the user’s circle. After researching more about shopping through Facebook, I discovered that a similar function that enables Facebook fans to shop in Facebook has actually been done by other retail companies such as DKNY and BANANA Republic before although each company seem to utilize it differently. An interesting article titled “Would you go shopping on Facebook?” by theclosthingmenu.com discusses further the topic of online shopping through Facebook.
As for the matter of integrating Facebook for shopping, my opinion stands that I’m not really sure of what the future holds for shopping through Facebook, but I find the use of Facebook for marketing the brands is definitely effective. The ‘Like’ functions and the ability to comment on the product from the company’s Facebook page are quite brilliant. In a way, it’s like an upgraded version of the word of mouth marketing.
One of the easiest ways to figure this out is actually to go through the Facebook ad platform. Part of the Facebook ad platform lets you target your advertising and don’t worry, you don’t actually have to launch an ad for you take advantage of this feature.
Part of the process for setting up a Facebook ad allows you to target your ad to specific demographics or specific audiences based on their interests or their age, or their gender, or their location, all sorts of different factors. Part of that targeting actually gives you a number of the people who fit that criteria.
So it’s definitely a great free way to find out a ballpark number for who fits your target demographic on Facebook.
What should people who have a physical location be considering? Would they want to combine their Facebook Page or their Facebook Place? What does that look like?
Facebook has recently rolled out a specific type of Page called a Place page. It’s still fairly early in the adoption of Place Pages. If you are a single-location business, it might be better for you to use a Place Page instead of a fan Page just because there’s some additional things that you can do with a Place Page, such as the ability to do offer ―deals.
Deals are when somebody checks in at your location and you give them an offer. You pay for that in a similar way you pay for advertising. It’s the only form of mobile advertising available on the Facebook platform right now.
If you are the type of business with multiple locations, then it would be a good time for you to continue to keep your brand Page but then roll out a Facebook Place Page for each of your locations. And again, that allows you to roll out deals specific to each of those locations, and it allows people to start to then interact with the other fans. This interaction is one of the key things that people are looking for from the whole fan Page experience, and they can do so with people who are from their same geo-location.
If you are a massive franchise or a very large business, something like a CVS Pharmacy or a McDonalds or Starbucks, then you would have thousands of Place Pages to roll out. Right now, the problem that we have seen with brands is most brands are just trying to figure out how to manage a single brand page.
The idea of adding the complexity of thousands of these individual locations when the tools really aren’t mature enough to allow you to be able to manage a volume of Place Pages like that, it’s probably a little too early for a brand like that to get in unless they have some large investment that they plan on making for a Herculean effort to manage it.
Take a look at what’s on the right side of your Facebook profile page. Have you ever noticed the boxes of ads on the sides of your profile page? As a marketer, haven’t you ever wonder about the effectiveness of those Facebook Ads?
One of which is the crucial understanding that Facebook Ads does not guarantee direct sales, which is the number one law listed, but instead Facebook Ads provide a platform for companies to maintain relationships with its target market. Although Facebook Advertising does not often lead to direct sales, maintaining a relationship with the customers is as important as making instant sales, if not more. Therefore, companies should understand that relationship marketing is the goal when using Facebook Advertising.
Relationship marketing focuses more on the maintenance of potential or current customers. The benefits of relationship marketing lie in the sense of loyalty and trust that foster in the relationship of customers and companies. In other words, through relationship marketing, the company or brand’s image becomes reliable for the customers. On another note, reliability is also a strong foundation for “word of mouth” marketing which is a highly effective marketing tool.
The relationship marketing that Facebook Ads is heavily relied itself on is also shown in the third rule that O’Neill wrote which is “Friend Users before You Sell”. By pulling the customer to add or like the brand’s Facebook page, an opportunity opens for companies to do follow-up marketing. So, the company is not only able to sell one of its products, but also create long-lasting relationship with loyal customers. In the state of world where people are bombarded with empty noise advertising everywhere they go every day, this type of customer should definitely be a valuable asset to hold on to.
Facebook Connect is a new feature that extends Facebook Platform to other Web sites and offers members the ability to connect their Facebook identity, friends, and privacy settings to a Facebook Connect-enabled Web site. There is no charge for Web site owners to integrate Facebook Connect, although there is rumor of a Facebook ad network in the works serving ads across these sites.
One good example on our client’s website is www.negpri.com (will be launched sometimes in April of 2011).
Facebook Connect allows Facebook to extend its influence on the Web at large. By turning its social network outside in, it’s empowering tens-of-thousands of Web sites and blogs, both big and small, to make use of many of the same features that have made Facebook the fastest growing social network on the planet. And it’s proving to be a successful strategy.
The main point to adding Facebook Connect is to encourage members to interact with your Web site in ways that generate stories in Facebook. It’s this seamless integration between Facebook Connect partner sites and Facebook News Feed stories that can help make your site viral that is, spread very quickly within a specific group of friends or to a larger demographic.
Here are four more reasons your organization should add Facebook Connect to its website:
Allows your visitors to effortlessly connect their Facebook account and profile information with your Web site.
Offers site owners access to fans Facebook profiling data, such as name, location, age, and so on, to provide deeper insights into your site visitors.
Provides your visitors with an easy way to find and interact with other Facebook friends who also visit your Web site.
Leverages Facebook News Feeds as a way to share and promote your other members’ actions on your site with their Facebook friends, increasing word-of-mouth buzz and the likelihood of more Facebook visitors.
Like all platform extensions, Facebook Connect does require some sophistication on the part of the Web site owner. Although a number of tutorials are available, via Facebook and third-party Web sites, we recommend that an experienced Web developer integrate the code that’s necessary to connect Facebook Connect to your website.
Facebook applications (apps) have become powerful tools for marketers. They can serve a variety of functions when installed on your Facebook profile and/or Page and are a great way to add some sizzle to your business’s Facebook presence.
In fact, Facebook apps are becoming so popular that 70 percent of Facebook members regularly interact with them every month.
Facebook now lists more than 52,000 apps in the Application Directory. Individuals and third-party companies created the majority of them.
Facebook allows anyone to build an app that works on the Facebook Platform (as long as the app adheres to the Facebook developer guidelines). Although many of these apps are not intended for business use, such as games, trivia quizzes, and other time-wasting pursuits, the number of apps designed to address specific business needs are increasing.
Customizing your Facebook Page with different applications are becoming an important advertising and branding vehicle within Facebook.
The toolkit for marketers on Facebook is a little different from the more traditional toolkit that marketers are used to. Advertising has been the traditional path of most marketers. But few marketers are finding that path successful today for a variety of reasons, including the cost of advertising and its effectiveness.
Even though advertising is available on social networks like Facebook, it is not a guarantee of success.
While Facebook offers advertising as a way to reach out to your customer, it also includes tools that address the more viral nature of the social network. You can maintain a presence on the site and distribute your content. To enhance your Page, you can add elaborate software apps. Why not hold a contest or host an event?
Smart marketers leverage their Facebook contests to drive traffic to their Web site or other special landing pages outside of Facebook. Taking a huband- spoke approach, many companies are building communities across a number of social media hubs — from Facebook to Twitter to YouTube to Flickr — and leveraging each network to build a groundswell of interested consumers.
Contests are ideal for attracting and engaging a community of like-minded people around your Page. They can serve as crucial building blocks in your Facebook brand strategy. Therefore, you need to consider a long-term approach rather than a one-off promotion in which you may see a short-lived spike in traffic but little overall affect on brand engagement.
MomLogic, a community-driven Web service, features contests front-and-center on its Facebook Page with prizes specially chosen to attract an audience of young mothers. The Page even integrates a WIN IT! tab summarizing the current contests.
When you offer a good incentive, word travels. On Facebook, when you offer a good incentive, word reverberates off friends. When members interact with the contest by uploading videos or images, answering questions, or becoming a fan of your Page, it generates News Feed stories, amplifying the word-of mouth effect. A contest or giveaway promotion can be a very viral vehicle to ignite fan engagement with your Facebook Page.
When Neutrogena launched their Facebook Page in April 2009, they created a contest to build brand awareness and drive the key female, teen audience to their Page. The Fresh Faces contest, which was held in conjunction with Teen Vogue magazine, helped the brand attract more than 700 fans to its Facebook Page. The winner earned a chance to be a contributing beauty editor for a Neutrogena advertorial on TeenVogue.com.
Take Adobe, who wanted to reach the elusive college student market with its Adobe Student Editions, so they provided steep discounts of up to 80 percent on popular Adobe software for students. With the help of the interactive agency, Traction, the company developed a game app called Real or Fake in which users had to determine whether a photo was fake or real, underscoring the quality of its Adobe Photoshop imaging software.
The application was featured on the Adobe Facebook Page. Adobe engaged in a targeted ad campaign to reach interested college students. The game caught on because it was a fun and easy-to-play casual gaming experience. Of those that played, 6 percent clicked the Buy Now link at the end of the game. It also incorporated a simple Share button, in which 6 percent of players sent an invite to their friends, adding an additional point of interaction to encourage viral sharing. By the end of the competition, the Adobe Facebook Page welcomed more than 6,000 new fans.