Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Facebook marketing: Why small businesses and organizations should have a presence in facebook

Currently, facebook has around 509,422,080 users worldwide. About 132,810,940 people in the U.S. are using facebook – that means facebook is being used by more than 43 percent of the U.S. population and about 58 percent of U.S. Internet users.
The rate of female and male facebook users in the U.S. is about 44 percent male to 56 percent female facebook users.
24 percent of facebook users in the U.S. are between 25 and 34 years old, another 24 percent are between 18 and 24, 17 percent between 35 and 44, 13 percent between 45 and 54, only seven percent between 55 and 64 and about six percent between 16 and 17 years old.

The brand with the most users in the U.S. currently is Taco Bell, with more than 2.3 million fans. Followed by Playfish, with about 2.2 million fans, Walmart with 1.6 million fans, Best Buy with almost 1.2 milllion fans, JCPenney with 945.00 fans, Verizon Wireless (925.000 fans), Southwest Airlines (913.000 fans), Six Flags (618.000 fans), AT&T (586.000 fans), and Macy’s (almost 500.000 fans)


But what does all that mean for you as a small business, freelancer or organization?

Through facebook you get the possibility, to distribute news of your organization or company fast and easy. New products can be presented and tested. You can also share interesting news, links or videos with your “fans”. Your fans can also get in contact easily with you. And all this you can get for free. You can also create a facebook page easily.

On facebook, you can also run ads (with costs), to promote your facebook page, website or your online shop.

Also check, what your competitors are doing on facebook. If your competitors have facebook pages already, this could be a reason for you to get such a page as well.

Update your facebook page is much easier and faster than keeping your company’s or organization’s website up-to-date. However, you should make sure to keep your facebook page as up-to-date and relevant as possible. Of course, this can be a lot of work, as you will have to think about contents to post and what to answer to your fans’ questions.

Facebook (and other social networks as well) offers a lot of possibilities for small businesses and organizations.
However, it is also possible for people to damage your name and reputation.

In future, facebook will probably continue to grow and also gain relevance in advertising and communication.
As business or organization with a small budget, you have the opportunity to reach out and connect to more (potential) customers or members world wide.
There will also be new possibilities every now and then, since facebook is developing over time.

Does it really make sense for you as a busy business man/woman or director of an organization to jump into facebook marketing?
I can’t give you an anwer to this question ... you will have to find your for yourself.

If you should decide to start a facebook page for your organization/business, here are a few tips to make your facebook presence succesful:
  • Post relevant contents. Contents that do not have any benefit (information, additional knowledge, entertainment ...) for users or your fans are useless.
  • Encourage interactivity – through involving your fans in decisions. You can also test new products with the help of your facebook fans.
  • Take your fans’ feedback seriously and act appropriate.
  • Keep your facebook page up-to-date.
  • Add new content to your page on a regular basis.
  • Look at what your competitors are doing. Knowing this can be very helpful – it might give you new ideas.

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