Promoting brands on Facebook

David Fincher’s excellent movie, ‘The Social Network’, tells the tale of how Facebook was something of an accidental business the possibilities of which only became apparent after its creation. While its use as a business platform is now well developed it, and its audiences, continue to evolve and many businesses are still new to the platform. These are some of the things to consider for those new to the notion of promoting brands on Facebook.

Social networking profiles represent people. From your Facebook profile, you declare personal relationships, grow your network by accepting friend requests, and other people in your network to add as friends. Your Facebook profile includes facts about you, what schools you went to, and your favourite quotes etc.

Your brand isn’t a person. You can’t friend a brand, and it certainly can’t friend you back. Brands don’t havefriends. Brands have fans. Fans have discussions about your brands, share news about them, and share information about your brands with others.

Facebook: The Favourite Social Network of Businesses’

A 2013 study of 3,000 businesses showed that 83% of respondents named Facebook as their favourite social network to engage with customers. As the network continues to evolve businesses become ever more adept at not only deciding if Facebook is right for their brands but also how best to use it.

However, marketing on Facebook hasn’t always been so easy for brands. When Facebook first began to catch on with businesses, it experienced a gold rush of brands who joined solely to do social media marketing. Just like nearly every other social network, the relationship between people and brands got a little messy. Remember, people you’re trying to reach have probably been using Facebook more often and for longer than you have. Unless your approach is pitch perfect you may end up doing more harm than good.

Profiles are for People. At this point in Facebook’s community’s development, you do not want to keep a profile if you are a brand. Keeping a brand profile is a surefire way to come across as totally out-of-touch. And worse, even if you were to pull off a successful corporate profile, Facebook has been known to suspend profiles for “too much marketing activity.”

Groups are for People. Groups really aren’t suitable for a serious marketing effort. They originally were created as a place for like-minded people to communicate outside of their immediate network and never were intended for brand use. There is very little time and energy required to make one and consequently, users do not value them as much as pages.

Pages are for Brands. After setting up a page for your brand on Facebook, use applications to pull in content from your blog and Twitter account (you do have those too right?) to keep your page full of fresh, frequently updated information. Resist the urge to turn your page into a watered-down version of your website. Include some offers, media or conversation on Facebook that does not appear anywhere else. Retail brands are especially talented at this.

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