Over the past few years, social media usage has exploded. The social networking site Facebook, had an estimated 1.39 billion active users last year. Potentially, social media can be an extremely powerful tool which can increase brand awareness, encourage customer engagement and increase sales revenue. More companies than ever are exploring the marketing potential of Facebook. Should your company also be using Facebook?
The importance of a Facebook presence within your social media strategy will depend on whether your company is business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C). Companies falling under the B2B umbrella have the primary marketing goals of lead generation and establishing themselves as thought leaders. In contrast, B2C companies focus on improving brand awareness and increasing customer engagement.
The social network of choice for B2C companies appears to be Facebook, with 67% of marketers stating they use the platform compared to only 29% of B2B companies (2013, Social Media Marketing Industry report). LinkedIn is thought to be the dominant social media platform for B2B marketing. Despite Facebook being relatively underused by B2B marketing professionals, when correctly implemented, Facebook marketing can play an influential role in both B2B and B2C marketing strategies.
Using Facebook within your social media marketing strategy:
Your priority should be to encourage consumers to regularly interact with your brand. This can be achieved through posting different types of content relevant to your audience, providing news of the latest deals & offers, enabling your audience to give feedback on products/services and through the creation of regular competitions and discussions. Increasing brand awareness and providing great customer service is key. Your content should be consistent, entertaining and personal.
With B2B marketing it is important that you understand and establish your Facebook audience. The content you post should indicate that you are both knowledgeable and a thought leader within your specified industry. Constructing a credible brand image will lead to high-quality leads which eventually convert into clients.
You can build a fan-base by running competitions/promotions or through the use of Facebook ads and sponsored posts. This will help amplify your visibility to fans and potential clients, whilst also ensuring your content is reaching the right demographic.
Both B2B and B2C companies can leverage Facebook for online marketing. Ultimately, your social media presence should be determined through identification of the platforms where your target audience is active and establishing clear marketing objectives and goals.
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