I've promised myself I'm not going to write about "these economic times". Because, quite frankly, I'm really sick of hearing about it. However, as I start to think of another topic to write about, I find myself wondering who masterminded this incredible viral marketing campaign?
Whoever you are, let me be the first to say, you've done a great job. You've managed to get people from all walks of life - some of whom know very little about economic forces - spreading the word (read: fear) as if they are experts on the subject to all of their family, friends, co-workers and pets.
I'd also like to thank whoever you are for helping to draw the attention of our budget concious small/medium business clients to relatively low cost and trackable marketing tactics such as social media, viral marketing and on-line advertising. Lately, we've been receiving more and more questions from our network about marketing tactics that require lower media spends, while capitalizing on existing customers to produce tangible results.
To start, we'll address the "Business + Facebook?" question. Stay tuned for more on other social networks, viral marketing and other forms of digital media.
Should My Business Be on Facebook?
Maybe. It depends on your target market and how you think you can engage them in this medium. Before you dive in, consider the return on invesment (ROI). While it's free to create a facebook page, group or event, someone has to allocate time to manage your facebook presence, and to keep it up to date. And although Facebook allows you to reach large networks of people in a venue that is designed to virally spread news, affiliations and content, it also opens you up to the good and bad that can be said about your business. If you'd like someone elses opinion, Mari Smith shares her 10 Reasons to Use Facebook for Business.
Who's on Facebook?
The make up of facebook users is changing rapidly. I can't tell you the number of status updates I see lamenting "I can't believe my Mom is on Facebook!". Better get used to it kids. My 61 year old Mom and three of her four sisters are all on Facebook. In 2007, Forrester put out a presentation Big Brands & Facebook: Demographics, Case Studies & Best Practices. You may be surprised at the statistics. I'm willing to be they have certainly continued to move in the same direction over the last year.
I have a facebook profile and several friends, how can I leverage my profile for business?
Facebook has come out with some Business oriented features and third party applications that make it easier to connect your professional and social personas. Duct Tape Marketing suggests Top 10 Business Applications for Facebook. We recommend adding a LinkedIn badge to your facebook profile, and implementing a business card in your profile to alert business associates to your professional qualifications and network.
How Can I Advertise on Facebook?
There are a variety of ways to advertise on Facebook including text/display ads, creating a page or group, and running a poll. You can also create your own applications and use Facebook Connect with your own site, although you will need the help of a web developer. Facebook is always creating new ways of integrating self serve advertisements "quietly into the fabric of its community, rather than trying to interrupt or distract users" says Saul Hansell in his blog article "Why Facebook Likes Small Ads, Despite the Small Dollars".
This gives a small taste of what we'd suggest you think about when tackling the "Business + Facebook?" question. If you want more, check out the links below....