Social Media Marketing: It Starts with Facebook

As an online business, there is a rising revolution that you must be aware of. It is called social media marketing, and it provides a catalyst to bring awareness and visibility to your brand to ultimately retain long-term customer loyalty.

While it is important to implement a search engine optimization marketing campaign for the rankings of your website, social media marketing can boost your efforts and generate immediate website traffic to complement your existing SEO campaign.

Social media marketing is all based upon relationships.

These relationships can help you reach out to your customers on an individual basis to put a human touch and face to your brand so that customers ultimately choose you over your competition. So how is this done?

To begin with, it is important to set up social media profiles for your business on prominent websites like Facebook and Twitter. Facebook is an important social networking website to begin with since you can circulate your business’s Fan Page to your own group of friends and their friend circles to greatly increase your following online. 

Here are a few important Facebook statistics to take into consideration:

·  According to Facebook.com, Facebook has over 50 million active global users. [1]

· On top of that, 250 million people use Facebook each day. [2]

· Facebook users spend 500 billion minutes each month on the website. [2]

· Facebook users share over 30 billion pieces of content each month in the form of blogs, article links, video, and related content. [3]

· After Google, Facebook is the second most visited website in the UK. [4]

· Facebook is responsible for one in six page views in the UK – two times as many page views as Google receives. [4]

· Facebook is THE most popular social network in the UK, and it receives 55% of all social network traffic. In a distant second is YouTube at 16% of social network visits in the UK.

So how does social media marketing through Facebook work?

As an online business, you can set up a Facebook Fan Page for your business at no cost, but if you want to market effectively to your target customer groups, it does take time and effort on your part.

Here are several important ways that Facebook can benefit your business’s presence online:

· Inexpensive marketing. Creating a Facebook Fan Page is virtually free, and many of the apps that you can add to the page are also free. However, you do need to commit your resources, time, and business savvy in order to promote your business effectively and reach new customer groups.

· Viral potential. If you want any hopes of seeing your business succeed in social media, then you need to have the capacity to create viral content. This viral content in the form of a blog, video, or report will ignite a spark in your customer group so that they pass along your content to thousands or even millions within a matter of days. Facebook is the perfect catalyst for viral content since you can reach thousands of customers at one time with the same message.

· Beat your competition. If you want to have any chance of keeping up with your online competition, you absolutely must have a Facebook Fan Page for your business. The odds are that many of your competitors within your niche already have a head start in creating their own page on this rapidly growing social media website. If you are an online business that is hoping to beat your top competitors, having a Facebook Fan Page is not an option.

· Generate immediate feedback. If you want to take your customer service to the next level and truly reach out to your target demographic, social media is the way to do so. You can instantly determine what your customers think about a new product, service, or special, and you can also communicate directly with customers to ease their concerns and answer questions to improve their trust in your brand.

· Establish brand loyalty. To expand on the above point, you can update your friends on Facebook with product specials and promotions, and you can also communicate with them almost instantly if they have a question or concern about your company. Many customers struggle with the fact that large businesses don’t seem to hear or care about them; the personal communication available to you through Facebook will tear down the barriers and create long-term loyalty in your customers!

· Advanced market research. By participating in a booming social media website like Facebook, you can observe customer comments, conversations, and interactions. You can also receive up-to-date information about any customers interested in commenting on or reposting your content. This is a free and exceptionally effective form of market research so that you can tap into your demographics’ interests, behaviors, and preferences to further target your marketing campaign to your customers specifically.

By now, it is clear just how important a social media presence on Facebook is for your small business. In addition to an advanced SEO campaign, it is time to take it to the next level and make your presence known on Facebook to cultivate relationships and convert even more customers to purchase your products or services.

Sources:

1.    Facebook Pressroom, January 2011.

2.    Econsultancy blog, July 2010.

3.    Facebook, August 2010.

4.    Experian Hitwise, October 2010.

For advanced social media strategies and guidance, Contact Bullseye Media today.