Facebook has been undergoing some big changes in the past year. You are no longer a 'fan' of a page, you simply 'like' the page. The pages themselves are getting a slight make-over; reducing the size of the tabs to give it a cleaner look, as well as removing the side boxes, which provides the administrator less opportunity for personalization. Let's not forget Facebook's newest addition to rival FourSquare, Facebook Places. The app essentially works the exact same way, except you use it through Facebook. Even the Facebook Places logo seems to be taking a dig at foursquare...(notice the number 4 skillfully in place)
Also, photo album browsing is now done in a single page, much like Google's new image gallery is fashioned.
From Facebook's humble beginnings as a college networking site, in 6 short years it has become one of the most widely used websites in the world. In order to stay ahead of the curve, constant changes are necessary. Facebook is now not only seen as a college kids social network, but as an extremely valuable marketing tool for any tech savvy business.
By having a simple (and not to mention free) fan page for your business, you are able to get a sample of your target demographic and broadcast to them directly, providing some of the most qualified marketing that you could ask for. Are you a jeweler who is having a special sale on solitaire diamond rings? You are able to target single males from 20yrs - 40yrs. Try doing that with a bill board.
Although the Facebook account and fan page are free, one way to drive more qualified traffic or 'likes' to your page is by paid Facebook advertising. Facebook PPC works the same way as Google PPC in that you only pay if your ad is clicked. The Facebook ads however can be very specifically targeted due to the fact that every Facebook user has a unique profile. Some ways to create a successful Facebook ad are:
- Know your demographic and target it.
- Use relevant photographs.
- Create many ads and test to find best performing ad.
- General ads tend to work best. I.e. "Click 'Like' if you enjoy shopping" vs "Click 'Like' if you enjoy shopping at the Midtown Mall".
Businesses can target their audience like never before to ensure that the right message goes to the right consumer. They can offer discounts to promote new business, and specials to those who are returning customers. Having a Facebook fan page these days is just about as valuable as having a page on the web. Some businesses opt for strictly the Facebook page, completely bypassing the domain page all together. After all, Facebook is free and more than likely, it is your customers home page already.
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