From Golden Pages to Golden Graces
Bringing your business online using Facebook for Business and Sponsored Ads
Social media platforms are ideal vessels for creating and maintaining a strong relationship with customers. One way to do this is to create a Facebook business Page for a company, which can be then shared/viewed on multiple electronic devices all around the world. This allows consumers direct access to a brand’s promotional videos, messages, competitions, call to actions or any other digital marketing content produced for that particular business at any given moment.
‘Likes’ and ‘Comments’ drive brand popularity and influence both positive and negative reactions depending on the latest ‘hot take’ that week.
On Facebook, small businesses may avail of free Facebook for Business tools. Business tools on Facebook can help consumers and businesses connect to make a conversion based on entertainment, education or persuasion. Over 1.6 billion people around the world are connected to small businesses on Facebook.
Digital Marketers bring businesses online and get them seen by target audiences. Planning and management tools such as Search Engine Optimisation, Pay Per Click, Email Marketing, Social Media Campaigns and Analytics are all used to create strategies that drive a company’s public image and increase their sales and revenue. This can have knock-on effects such as:
Increased organic traffic to the company website
Pushing a business higher in Google search engine results
Or simply improving overall business brand credibility
Facebook Business Pages are completely free to set up, which eases marketing expenses. A company could pay an artist to design a profile picture or cover photo but that’s not a necessity. A business owner may simply take photographs of their business in full swing, and in some cases, these photos can perform better than another expensive image produced by a designer.
The page itself also costs nothing to run until the business owner / digital marketer decides to use paid advertisements also known as ‘boosting sponsored ads’.
Note – Facebook ads are relatively inexpensive when compared to traditional print, radio or TV ads, and are a thousand times more targeted.
Facebook Insights also works in a similar way to Google Analytics, in that it offers a ton of data to show the demographic of consumers such as age, gender, location, etc.
According to Josh Parkinson in his article – ‘Marketing Your Startup on Facebook: How I Turned a Fan Page into a Business’, he states that ‘Starting a community from scratch and growing to over 140k followers is not an easy task. But Facebook advertising makes it easier!’
He claims to use a combination of highly targeted Page Like ads and strategically boosted posts in order to:
- Acquire new fans every day
- Create an audience for making organic posts go viral
- Push specific posts to go viral and attract more fans
Parkinson also goes on to claim that ‘The most important tactic here, BY FAR, is the precise targeting of your Page Like ads’.
He monitors the growth of ‘Likes’ since page creation as well as giving a more in-depth look at the types of ‘Likes’ and ‘Unlikes’ which represents rise and loss in his brand popularity.
Samples of these graphs may be seen now:
So who are the biggest users of Facebook?
O’Malley (cited in Palmer & Koenig-Lewis, 2009 Pg. 77) points out that according to one study, 62% of Generation Y (people born during the 1980s and early 1990s) users have accessed a brand or fan community on Facebook, and 48% have joined in a community where they can regularly check for sales promotion, releases, and opinions. The same research also showed that only 19% checked ads and 39% (of those Gen Y persons surveyed) never checked any ads.
This information tells us that a large portion of Gen Y, also known as Millennials, are accessing Facebook regularly. From other studies we also know that these ‘Millennials’, who are generally marked by an increased use and familiarity with communications, media, and digital technologies, fit the target audience of almost all businesses out there.
Millennials are more susceptible to engaging in conversions based on (viral) entertainment, education & persuasion especially when introduced to them in an online setting. This offers businesses using a Facebook for Business page a wide scope for content with a strong emotional appeal, making it very shareable, but will also allow for a further reach for those who might not be in the know about products or services just yet. Again, very shareable.
Having briefly looked at a case study on Facebook for Business trends as well as exploring the users of Facebook, it is clear to see that the visual presentation of a company on Facebook plays a huge role in generating conversions online, particularly in relation to sponsored ads. Without the use of a Facebook for Business Page one could ask, would businesses be as successful online as they are today in 2018 without it? There are other avenues of conversion online (e.g. Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn) which play host to sponsored advertisements but in the long run, the answer is no.
Facebook has proven time and time again to be the titan of online marketing, leaving very little for the ‘go-it-alone’ business approach. In conclusion, by creating semiotic links between graphs and trends within a Facebook for business Page, a business may persuade consumers into interacting with their brand above others in a saturated market, bringing consistency to their online presence in line with their offline presence, and adding a uniqueness to their advertisement strategies.