Since Facebook launched in 2004 it has expanded its usership to a whopping 500 million plus users. Reuniting old friends and family, as well as offering opportunities to market your brand, more small business owners are taking advantage of Facebook’s advertising model to spread the word about their company.
Comparable to Google Adwords, SEO and marketing experts believe the Facebook model is one of the first of its kind with the potential to give Google Adwords a run for their money.
So how does the Facebook advertising model work?
Business owners with an online presence can set up a Facebook account and establish a page for your business. At the top of the page is a “Like” button, which can also be embedded on your online site to draw more users to your Facebook page.
On your Facebook landing page you are offered the option to promote the page with an ad. Clicking on the link, you are also given the ability to advertise your website instead of your Facebook business page. After uploading an eye-catching, relevant image, you are then taken to a page allowing you to choose your advertising demographic. Based on your business model and location, you can strategically target your ideal audience. This feature is incredibly cool and useful as you see your ads potential reach adjust as you edit the demographic selection criteria.
Considering your personal advertising budget, you can choose a daily amount to spend and a schedule of times you want your ad to run. A bit of careful research on times your targeted demographic uses Facebook could potentially save you a lot of money, while still reaching your target audience. For example, if you were targeting college students, later evenings when they were studying or procrastinating by posting to their Facebook wall, an ad running during that strategic time would potentially reach your target audience more effectively.
Your ad appears only on Facebook currently. When compared to the present rival advertising model offered by Google Adwords, the potential to reach as large an audience seems to be lacking since Google Adwords tend to appear all over the Internet.
On the other hand, there are other benefits to the Facebook model that Google doesn’t offer. For example, through creating a fan page your target audience can subscribe and “Like,” as well as interact with your company and its representatives, you have the opportunity of receiving direct feedback from your target audience. You can also provide regular updates directly, and everyone in your network will have access to them immediately, keeping them in the know about your brand.
Taking advantage of social media sites like Facebook to market your business may seem like a lot of work, especially if you are new to the concept. It’s a competitive market that requires a bit of personal interaction on a regular basis to keep people interested. In the interim, as more companies, both big and small, begin using social media to their advantage, getting in on the action now will help you get established long before the trend shifts to accommodate the next big thing.