Cold, hard truth: 71% of these online adults use Facebook.
That’s a lot of people sharing, liking, tagging, following, stalking… you get the picture.
So in a sea of social, how does one make a brand stand out from crowd and really reach consumers? I’ve been doing a lot… I mean A LOT… of research on this very topic over the last week. What I discovered was a mixed bag of opinions, facts and so forth on the value and tactics of Facebook marketing. Some find that it isn’t worth a sack of potatoes to brands, while others find it is still important to have a presence on the top social network.
After more digging, I came up with a list of the top three ways brands should be using Facebook for successful marketing:
- Facebook should only be one part of an integrated marketing plan.
From social sites and blogs to mobile apps and traditional advertising, today’s media landscape is in a constant state of change. Between updating posts, sharing digital content and distributing online videos, it can be easy for brand messages to become mixed. How does a company manage to maintain a strong brand identity both in the virtual and physical world? With a comprehensive integrated marketing communications plan that includes both a digital/social and print media component to help establish a cohesive brand image off screen.
- Talk to consumers on Facebook; don’t sell to them.
Did you know that only 5% of Americans say social media impacts their purchasing decisions? Therefore, in order for brands to have success on Facebook, they must use it as consumers do — to connect and have conversations. Instead of pushing sales, brands need to post content that reflects their character — who they are (i.e. behind-the-scenes posts), what they stand for, etc. In other words, let the “voice” of the brand speak. Doing this will foster brand loyalty as consumers will relate better to, and feel like they are a part of, the brand.
- Listen to consumers, and respond, around the clock
The Internet and social media are active 24/7, which means brands need to be ready and willing to respond to consumers at all times. Why? Consumers expect immediate responses via these instant mediums; in fact research shows 42% of consumers expect a reply within 60 minutes of posting to a brand’s page.
How do you interact with brands you like on Facebook? Does this interaction influence your purchasing decisions?