Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Facebook helps advertisers engage their customers

I'm taking a break from my review of basic marketing fundamentals to discuss something key from the recent Facebook F8 event.

On September 23rd, Michael Lazerow published an article on Adage commenting on Facebook's Ad product evolution.  In his post, Michael comments on three key items:
  • Facebook now helps you build better connections
  • Facebook can be used to let your customers tell your product's story
  • Facebook can help you unlock the value of people
I want to comment more on these ideas.

First, the whole "point" for a business using Facebook is to connect with their customer.  Seems like a no-brainer, right?  Maybe ... but what many businesses assume is that once someone "Likes" their business, they are instantly connected, and their "Likes" will pay attention to whatever they post, even if they post nothing.  "Like" DOES NOT equate to "connecting".  Mr. Lazerow is correct when he says, "It's about what you offer them and it's clear that the company's (Facebook) focus has shifted from growth to engagement" (reference to Facebook added).

Facebook isn't about announcing another product.  It isn't about beating your chest.  It's about posting CONTENT that is relevant to your customer.  It's about GIVING them something that matters. If you sell cameras, post tutorials about photography techniques.  Give them tutorials focused on teaching them to use your product.  Post a 50% off coupon for Facebook members for camera accessories.  GIVE them something that is VALUABLE to them.  Remember when we were talking about Brand Equity in my last post?  Facebook is a great place to build brand awareness and brand equity.

Use your customers to build your brand equity.  Have them tell your product's story.  Have them show and tell others about how they have used your product.  Their voice (positive and negative) carries more clout and emotional credibility than yours ever will.  Continuing on the camera example, inviting users to post their photos from vacations with your camera allows them to share their emotional connection with your product.  Awarding prizes for the best photo taken with your camera helps to strengthen the customer's "bond" with your product and brand.  The "community" built, and the quality of photos submitted (hopefully) will build better brand equity than you could do yourself through traditional advertising via any medium.

Advertising doesn't always "reveal" the fact that your customers have value.  They don't just give you money.  They are a very real voice in the marketplace.  Make them a voice for you.  Facebook (and potentially Google+ in the future) allows you to connect and unlock their value in a way that we never had before social networking existed.  It's time for you to take advantage of it and truly engage with your customer to build your brand equity.

Credit: Adage


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