Facebook has recently been in the news for all the wrong reasons. As a scandal involving the leak of millions of profiles dominated international headlines, the stock price plunged as CEO Mark Zuckerberg scrambled to contain the crisis. Could this mark the end of Facebook as we know it? I think not.
Whereas it’s impossible to predict the future with certainty, businesses will continue advertising on Facebook and using it to engage both customers and prospects for the following reasons.
Two Billion Active Users and Counting
At more than 2 billion monthly active users and still growing, Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform. This enormous user base is 600 million clear of the world’s most populous nation China. Even with the shock of the Cambridge Analytica saga, these users are unlikely to walk away from Facebook in significant numbers any time soon.
Whether you want to introduce your business to your local market or advertise to a wider international audience, Facebook is a great place to do so because of the size, depth and diversity of its user base.
Today’s customers have high expectations. They expect sellers to reach and communicate with them where it’s most convenient. People spend plenty of time on Facebook each day and will consider it only natural to reach you via the same medium. After all, they’ll almost instantly know when you respond thanks to the Facebook message notification they’ll see on their phone.
Facebook also allows you to quickly disseminate a solution or clarification that applies to multiple customers. Since your posts are public, customers will see your response to a customer facing a similar problem and will therefore not need to engage you. You don’t enjoy such ability to hit multiple birds with one stone if your customer service is solely conducted via phone calls.
Many forms of advertising have a rigid cost structure. Think about buying a TV ad or erecting a billboard. The cost is especially prohibitive to startups and small businesses. Facebook has a tiered pricing plan that starts from just a couple of dollars.
You can thus spend only as much as you can afford. This means you can quickly get the word out there about your new product without the need to wait to accumulate enough cash to pay for an expensive ad. In addition, setting up a Facebook business page is completely free.
Do you want people talking about your new product or service? Facebook is after all a social networking platform. Your ad can trigger useful positive discussions that you can ultimately benefit from.
By sparking conversation and getting customers or prospects talking about you, your advertising efforts go much further. Comments people make on your ads may be visible on their Facebook timelines thus triggering even more chatter in their circle of friends. Eventually, people who love your product end up inadvertently doing a lot of the marketing legwork for you.
Targeting the Right Customers
The ability to market to the exact audience is vital and this is one area where Facebook’s advertising model displays great strength. Audience targeting is useful for all businesses but has come particularly handy for ecommerce companies.
For instance, you could be physically based in Dallas, TX but the overwhelming majority of the ideal audience for your product is based in Miami, Florida. With just a few clicks, you can market your Facebook page and posts to users in Miami without ever having to go there.
Leveraging Employee Networks
Many organizations will go to great lengths to make sure their employees are always at their most productive. Measures range from elaborate workflow systems such as online Kanban software, to blocking access to social media networks in the work environment.
Whereas limiting social media use in the office makes sense, encouraging employees to participate in your business campaigns on their personal Facebook accounts can extend the reach of your Facebook ads. Virtually every employee will have a Facebook account. You may have to create an incentive for this but it will still remain fairly low cost advertising.
One of the greatest challenges for marketing and advertising is the ability to determine how effective each campaign is. There have always been ways to measure both offline and online advertising but Facebook’s analytics has taken this to a whole new level.
Easy to read reports show you how people are responding to your posts and how that response varies by post and campaign. It’s a fairly accurate tool to help you determine what most resonates with your audience so you can make adjustments to your campaign accordingly.
Facebook may be facing one of its biggest reputation crises yet but for business owners, it’s still the number one go-to app for social media advertising.