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Published: June 12, 2012 at 05:17 PM GMT
Last Updated: June 11, 2012 at 05:17 PM GMT
Marketer's fascination with Facebook lives on. It looks like the ultimate high-engagement community platform, ripe for thoughtful consumer marketing. But, there is a popular misconception that Facebook's power is only as a direct response, performance engine. There is this love affair with the platform, in which we want it to do for us, what Search did and continues to do: deliver boatloads of conversions. But, that's only part of the picture.
We've seen way too many marketers get into Facebook with that slightly skewed expectation that it will be strictly a DR tool. Instead, Facebook's added power is its brand-building muscle, data richness, and capacity to serve as a playground for loyalty. And that extra power represents big opportunity for brands.
The savviest marketers focus their playbook on Facebook's strengths and use it to drive brand visibility; to learn as much as possible about their consumer universe in order to grow it in droves; and to foster loyalty. When well done, all of this amounts to a brand achieving ultimate reach. When paired with other methods and media types, within the mix, it becomes a branding and loyalty powerhouse.
With women alone, who make up a majority of Facebook's loyalists, and tend to have larger networks, sharing avidly among peer groups on- and offline, Facebook is an essential play. But, it must be done in a thorough, hands-on way to achieve the optimal levels of reach.
When in Rome
As you make Facebook one of your go-to methods, be sure to use the tools at your disposal. They're right there waiting for you. These include Reach Generator, a new ad product that allows you to assure your fans see ads they may not otherwise have seen. Most posts reach a fairly small percentage of fans – well under 25%. But this tool allows you to exponentially boost the percentage of your ads seen by your fans. This keeps you more present and more persistent – boosting your brand visibility.
As a brand marketer, another obvious spot you should make one of your favorite places is Facebook Insights. With this available to you, there is no reason to be complacent about audience data. Use this tool to learn as much about Facebook activity relative to your audience and potential consumer universe as possible. If you keep a watchful eye, over time, you will be able to grow your base from already known consumers and fans to friends of fans, by monitoring these statistics. If you are diligent about applying the insights, you will discover and tap new circles or pockets of audience that show an affinity for your brand and the products or services you sell. Once you've uncovered these affinities, you should continue to build on them, to expand your base, knowing that friends watch the activity of their friends who are fans. This tool is one of your best keys to not only continuing to engage and impress your fans, but to help them influence their friends to love you too.
The Religion of Content
Finding your groove on content includes figuring out the best topics, language and length for posts – what the themes, mix and style should be. It will be a bit different for each segment (CPG, Fashion, Beauty, others) and brand, but finding your sweet spot is essential – as is institutionalizing that sweet spot within your department, company or agency, so that anyone executing your Facebook play is calling from the same playbook. And, beyond the words on the page – remember that photos tend to take tremendous flight in this environment, as they tend to trigger swifter and more frequent engagement and sharing. And by the way, a new study published in a journal (Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking) from the University at Buffalo, by researcher Michael A. Stefanone, among other things reveals that women share photos 5 times more than men.
If you are marketing to women, assuming you already have a sense framework for their typical content affinities or consumption patterns – try to stay the course with comparable content on Facebook. You do this, knowing that women are prone to review, read reviews, share, and curate – at a very high rate. Keeping consistent, and feeding them content that allows them to assert their opinion, personality, style and signature with their peer groups, is a strong approach that will stir loyalty and multiply. And, multiplication boosts visibility. One of the main tenets of great branding.
As with most of the media in today's arsenal – if you have dual objectives, both branding and performance, you will always have multiple options and approaches to consider. But, at every turn it is essential to unlock the best stuff and put a platform's top strengths to work. When it comes to Facebook, be thorough and use the ad products and tools available to you. No need to idle. You will find that you learn more about your audience, expand visibility through friends of friends, and become smarter about how to use data, insights, and content, with the women you wish to engage.
Bonnie Kintzer is Chief Executive Officer of Women’s Marketing Inc. the authority on how women consume media. Women’s Marketing Inc. services more than 300 clients in the beauty, fashion and health space by delivering the best integrated advertising solutions in digital, print and out-of-home. Bonnie has built a distinguished career in the media world with a strong focus on revenue creation and reengineering. Bonnie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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