7 Ways to take advantage of the rise in Facebook marketing

Since the inception of Facebook, its developers have managed to make it a place where individuals have a home. Further to that Facebook has made it is place where the brands and businesses that Facebook users “like”, have a platform to engage and socialise with their fans — and attract new ones. But what areas of Facebook are available for you and your brand to take advantage of and how does Facebook make a buck while letting you engage?

Facebook revenue
Facebook CPC (Cost Per Click) advertising has been the area in which Facebook has earned a large chunk of its revenue. In 2009, Facebook earned US$1.21-billion (that’s billion, with a ‘b’) from display advertising. That number beats out Google’s advertising revenue of a comparatively paltry USD 0.86 billion. eMarketer predicts that if its advertising revenues continue to grow at the same rate as they have been, Facebook will generate US$2.87-billion from advertising on its site alone by 2012.

For the first time this year (2011), Google will post a revenue of over US$1-billion. This will put the online advertising industry of the top five (Facebook, Yahoo!, Google, Microsoft and AOL) at US$12.33-billion which is 49.3% of the total online advertising revenue in the United States.

Where can companies position themselves on Facebook?

There are essentially 7 things that companies need to do to position themselves on Facebook. These seven areas largely depend on how large your organizations marketing budget is as well as where your audience is on Facebook and how engaged they are.

1. Create a page
Sounds obvious, but you don’t essentially need a presence on Facebook to advertise on Facebook. In order to fully engage with your audience, though, you need to have a platform that resonates with them and the platform you are marketing on.

2. Create Facebook events for special occasions and promotions
This will allow your audience to engage with you and interact about special events which will be highlighted in their feed. They can then indicate if they are interested or not and this will allow you to shape your specials in the future.

3. Use the highly targeted ads on the right hand side of every profile
The pay per click (or CPM) ads can be targeted to your exact demographic. The information that Facebook uses to target these ads to your specifications comes from your targets profile; their likes; group activity and even the content of their status updates and messages. You can either promote your event or special with these ads or the group in general!

4. Sponsorship
If you are a larger brand with a larger budget, then this is a viable option. Facebook allows the sponsorship of Virtual gifts and ads within popular applications. This allows you to reach a wide audience and then they can share your virtual gift which translates to an even larger audience. The cost of this does make it prohibitive for smaller brands to get involved with.

5. Integrate Facebook with your website
This allows you to post updates to your website visitors Facebook wall if they give permission to do so. In other words, you can post relevant activity such as, “Dave just ordered a large cactus from Desert Living Online”. This will then appear on their wall and their friends will be exposed to your brand.

6. Add Facebook “Like” to your site
People like sharing and feeling involved. The more you can get this right, the more it will work for you. As with the integration above, liking and sharing your website pages will feed this info to your web visitor’s wall where their friends will be exposed to your brand.

7. Talk to them
Facebook is about engagement. Engage with your friends and followers. Ask them their opinions and let them get as involved with you as you are with them. This will truly expose your organizations brand and bring social to the heart of your business and not just leave it on the periphery.

As with Google Analytics, Facebook Insights provides excellent insight (yip, there is a pun there) as to how engaged your Facebook page and advertising is proving to be. This information is like pure gold when trying to ascertain whether you are sharing the right content on Facebook and being engaging enough with your audience. Study it and most importantly use it to make your social engagement even better.



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