With over 600 million active accounts on Facebook, this ubiquitous social networking site is a potential marketing goldmine that has been attracting the attention of the business community almost since its foundation.
Because of the unparalleled opportunity to reach a targeted audience and engage with them, every business both large and small should consider the addition of a Facebook fan page to their marketing plan.
A professionally designed fan page can take full advantage of Facebook’s vast networking potential while promoting your business’s credibility to current and prospect clients alike.
The Social Proof Aspect of Facebook
Facebook leverages the principle of “social proof”, a psychological term made popular by Dr. Robert Cialdini, writer of the breakthrough book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.
The best way to demonstrate the power of social proof is to provide an example that we are all familiar with: we seem to instinctively know that people are more likely to patronize a busy restaurant than an empty one because the food must be good or people wouldn’t be there.
A similar phenomenon happens when a Facebook user’s friend “likes” a particular update or business on Facebook. Since you trust your friend, you give greater weight to their decision and are more likely to investigate and consider the information they just approved of.
Another benefit of this is when you “like” what your friend just liked, your own circle of friends sees that and the process gets exponentially larger and can become a trend. This is what is known as going “viral”.
From a business point of view, a simple Facebook Fan Page update has become in essence a free ad for your company which has just been broadcasted to an exponential number of potential new customers.
Since there is currently no cap in the number of users who can “like” a page, this potential list of fans is virtually unlimited.
Are you starting to see the exciting possibilities of having a Facebook Fan Page?
Facebook Allows Organic Targeted Marketing
But what’s truly remarkable about Facebook is that your Fan Page update (read: product ad) isn’t being publicized to entirely random people – it comes from trusted sources (essentially their own friends “word of mouth” recommendations) and is frequently broadcasted to people within the same age group or geographic location as the original fan.
This organically targeted marketing available on Facebook has reported click-through rates as high as ten times over a regular paid advertisements.
Facebook is a truly a marketer’s dream come true!
Facebook Users are Loyal and Expect a Consistent Experience
Since fans of your Facebook Fan Page have access to updates and promotions within the Facebook site – a website they already belong to and visit frequently – this presents an obvious advantage over for example, traditional mailing lists that don’t guarantee an email will actually be read by a busy costumer.
It’s also important to create a sense of belonging and brand identity that your fans can bond with. This is why creating a page that is in harmony with the company’s overall design, marketing tactics and philosophy guarantees attention and brand loyalty.
Facebook Users are Passionate
Beyond the publicity potential Facebook fan pages have, a company can derive uniquely accurate feedback, and respond to it timely and personal way. Comments from people who share their personal experiences let a company truly know its users, as they’re more liable to leave messages in the company’s Fan Page wall when all it takes is a simple button click instead of the arduous task of writing an email.
And there is another benefit for businesses: responsive Fan Page owners look authentic and caring to their customers. Adopting this kind of attitude will put your far ahead of your competition.
You Get As Much as You Put In
It’s not enough just to create a professional Facebook Fan Page and expect a community of passionate consumers to coalesce around your product or service. You must take an active role in keeping your Facebook fans interested and engaged. This is achieved by making frequent updates and providing your customers with quality information and benefits such as coupons, specials and exclusive offers.
With attentive responses and frequent updates, it’s possible to build and foster a community feeling between fans themselves and the brand. This results in a closeness of communication which ultimately converts to greater customer loyalty – a highly sought after relationship valued which most entrepreneurs struggle to achieve with their customers.
Facebook is Here to Stay
Other social networking sites have never realized the success and achieved this kind of admittance into the psyche of the popular culture. Somehow Facebook seems to have achieved a critical mass that makes an investment in creating a presence there, a long-term value.
In all likelihood, what commands this growth and sustainability is exactly what would benefit your own company the most – instead of appealing to niches, this social networking service has managed to attract users from incredibly diverse backgrounds, age groups and locations.
Bottom Line for Your Business
All these factors, coupled with the potential growth of the network itself and the tools it provides make Facebook Fan Pages a marketing tactic that should not be ignored.
Moreover, it’s an extremely valuable publicity outlet for a minimal investment. This is why I strongly urge every business to consider the benefits of a professionally designed fan page that will potentially show off your company’s brand to 600 million Facebook users.