Of all the social media networks available, it can’t be denied that Facebook is the King. It is the Internet’s most widely used social network and it even has its own critically acclaimed movie – The Social Network.
When Facebook first started it was a place for students at Harvard University to make friends and share their photos. Since then it had grown from being just a social network into being one of the biggest marketing tools to many companies. If you want to be a business in the 21st century you need to be on Facebook.
So what is Facebook? Facebook is a social networking service that lets you connect with friends, co-workers, and others who share similar interests or who have common backgrounds. People use Facebook to create personal profiles, add other users as “Facebook friends” and share information with them in a myriad of ways. You can communicate via a “status update”, a private Facebook message, a comment about a friend’s post or status, or by clicking the “like” button to show support for a friend’s update or a company’s Facebook page. Users can share pictures, music, videos and articles, as well as their own thoughts and opinions.
So how does this benefit businesses?
Businesses can create a “page” which is essentially a business version of your personal Facebook ‘Profile’. Users can “like” other pages which interest them and the pages’ updates will appear in their newsfeed. From the marketing side, it allows you to speak to your audience in a uniquely personal way, reach them directly by posting into their social stream, share things that interest them – be it news stories or videos, or more overtly with products or offers.
Having a presence on Facebook is valuable for many reasons, including brand exposure, customer relations, driving website traffic and promoting online offers. As part of a general online strategy Facebook helps SEO, as a properly optimised Page will show up in search results along with your website, solidifying your brand as a trusted one.
As with a Facebook profile, you can post videos, pictures, status updates and links to blogs and other content. Engaging and shareable posts have the potential to reach people outside of your ‘likes’ list, by users sharing and engaging with the posts – therefore triggering a recommendation in their friend’s timeline. Furthermore, through Facebook advertising you can target your page direct to your potential customers, based on information they have posted on Facebook. For example, a wedding dress shop can target engaged females in their local area.