Is Facebook the boon for marketers?by Jessie Tieman
Sofian al Salehi
Nowadays everyone we know has a Facebook page. It’s a great way of sharing your interest with all your friends, to connect or reconnect. But Facebook is also the golden goose for marketers, their boon. But why would they choose Facebook? Is it really that effective for marketing?
So why choose Facebook?
It’s not much of a surprise that within the social media marketing world, Facebook leads as the most popular social network followed by Twitter and the unexpected 3rd Google +. But what are the underlying reasons why marketers choose Facebook to gather date about consumer behaviour?
Facebook has been developing its own advertising strategy also known as the RTB real-time bidding. The process where advertisers and agencies can buy highly targeted digital ad inventory. But the bottom line is that marketers are now able to buy ads on Facebook in real-time, targeting the users based on information collected by cookies outside Facebook. When a user almost signs up for a product or service he then can be targeted on Facebook to still complete his registration. To make this possible, Facebook is working with several DSPs, allowing advertisers to better target ads within Facebook.
Of course brand advertisers are very excited about this prospect of using more completed information third-party data to target the 900 million consumers on Facebook. Because Facebook makes targeting the right costumer more precise, Facebook has become a boon in the eyes of consumer brands who are hoping to increase their reach and acquire new potential customers this way.
But how do the Business-to-Business (B2B) advertisers fit in?
B2B marketers use Facebook to connect with potential customers. Connecting to the DSP makes it easier to accurately target business-focused users on Facebook hereby separating them from the users who only check photos of their high-school crushes and finding the professionals who use the platform to research products network with other professional within their sector.
Since the ability to target high-quality business users on Facebook was limited the new Facebook RTB exchange is a boon for B2B marketers
Is Facebook effective?
Although Facebook is the most important social media lead generation tool it is mostly used by B2C marketers rather than B2B. 77% say that they have acquired a costumer through Facebook. Among B2B companies LinkedIn is the most effective tool; here 65% have acquired a costumer through the professional network and only 43% through Facebook. But with the Facebook RTB on its way this might just change since the RTB makes it easier to target business-focused users on Facebook.
Joel Rubinson is one of the people who studied the fan Page of 63 brands on Facebook across four months to see if it led to increased visitation to the brand’s owned websites. The specified it on de likes thirty days after an individual liking of a brand on Facebook. So the finding concluded that liking a brand did not increase the visitation of the brands website however people who liked the brand visited brand sites more often than those who don’t go to the fan page.
Joel Rubinson, President of Rubinson Partners, Inc. concluded that, “The implication for marketers is that they must change their focus from delivering impressions in Facebook newsfeeds to doing everything possible to make their brand page engaging. Every newsfeed update should offer a reason for a fan to go back to the brand fan page.”
“For further readings go to http://blog.compete.com/2012/06/19/is-facebook-an-effective-marketing-platform/.”
Reality vs. expectations
A problem with social media and Facebook is that the reality rarely measures up to the immense expectations, for several reasons:
Businesses and organizations have been led to believe that social media is easy and that anyone can do it. They also see it as a free medium a way of marketing that will cost those less money, time and energy. This is absolutely not true. Managing your Facebook page takes a lot of time to keep on posting messages to direct the costumers who visit your Facebook page to your company’s website.
They have been led to believe that Facebook is the “silver bullet” that will solve all our marketing problems. Even with no budget and time to invest in a Facebook page, businesses just expect that being on Facebook and posting a message once in a while is enough to attract leads and paying customers to our door.
There is a belief that because there are millions and millions of users on Facebook, and a business does great/useful/helpful/interesting things, that it should be a no-brainer to connect to customers! Sadly, not true.
Marketers and business owners are also to blame since a majority of businesses who have created a Facebook pages did so without a plan and without the time to effectively manage them. Because they do not participate in post or fan engagement, the page does not attract any costumers and becomes a ghost town.
Because more and more businesses are jumping on Facebook, it should not be a total surprise that the Facebook users are getting selective in the content that they accept and view on a daily basis. The key to getting permission to advertise from your customers is by offering exclusive and unique value that is not available in other places.
For many marketers Facebook might be a boon since it makes it easier for them to accurately target their consumers by the use of RTB. Whereas costumers only receive the advertisements they are interested in. But even here are problems since there is a big gap between reality and expectations that leads to a lot of disappointment by companies. Companies believe that Facebook is easy and cost-efficient. They just post once in a while. Whereas costumers want some form of engagement of the products and services they are interested in. This need improvement from Facebook as well as the companies.