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It’s a Social World

We live in a world of Social Media – and there’s no getting away from it. Since the creation of Facebook in February 2004, the addiction to social media websites has grown at a rapid rate and still continues to evolve. According to figures released recently, Facebook now has over 800 million users worldwide. For those that have managed to stay away from the addiction of updating their status, making ‘friends’ and ‘checking-in’, they probably form the minority now – but the difference in lifestyles is probably much more rewarding!

Facebook seems to have become somewhat of an obsession with the active users – a platform to put all your personal (and sometimes intimate) details on – a platform where you feel obliged to check every minute of every day (if you’re anything like me), just in case there is that all important bit of news being announced. Making sure you tell everyone, what you are eating, where you are eating it, and with who! It’s where you can find out about the latest news first – from all over the world. News (sometimes inaccurate news) can spread so fast, it covers the majority of the users before the press/media report on it. Scary stuff.

It is of course a great way to keep in touch with people, to find friends from years gone by, to link with colleagues and clients alike – and this is sometimes where a question of privacy invasion may come into play. How do you decide who is a ‘friend’ and who you would like to just remain as a work colleague? It has to be thought about.

There is no charge (currently) for Facebook – for personal OR business usage, so it amazes me that so few companies utilise the largest social media platform to promote their business. The site allows you to create what generally is another arm to the main business website – allowing businesses to update their customers on special offers, events, news and stories. All of this for free. So how does Facebook make money?

Most of Facebook’s revenue comes from that of advertising via the banner adverts. These adverts generally have a lower click through rate than other websites i.e. Google. This is understandable, as in my opinion (and from my personal experience) the users don’t go on Facebook to look for adverts. Recent stats outlined that Google users click on the first advertisement for search results an average of 8% of the time (80,000 clicks for every one million searches) whilst Facebook’s users click on advertisements an average of 0.04% of the time (400 clicks for every one million pages). So, although businesses may want to set up their free business pages & places, they shouldn’t expect a massive return on their pay-per-click advertising should they decide to go down this route. That aside, what other platform allows you to potentially reach that many people such a short amount of time.

As per anything – ‘You get out what you put in’. Business users have to ensure that their pages are constantly checked, updated and monitored…….and hence starts the addiction.

Some basic tips to help you on your way:

  • Privacy Settings should be set to ensure maximize exposure. Unlike on a personal page where you limit the amount of page visibility (for security and privacy reasons), the business page should be open to all.

  • Allocate a couple of administrators – all agreeing who will do what, and when. This also helps maintain activity in case someone falls ill or they’re on holiday

  • Set notifications (which are free to receive) via email or text alert – so you know when people are interacting with you. This ensures a speedy response and maximum interaction time.

  • Update all the Information on the business page – Giving details of business address, contact details and home page of the business website

  • Add photos and review the Photostrip at the top of the page. Arrange the photos into albums so it is easy for users to browse.

  • Claim you Facebook Place – these places have been created (and may continue to be created) – These can be linked to your Facebook business page

  • Add Facebook buttons to your website, your email footers and also your marketing materials to maximise exposure.

In my opinion, make time for this essential marketing tool in today’s busy and hectic world. With the increase of handheld gadgets available (iPhones, iPads, Blackberry’s, HTC’s) people have access to this extremely popular site 24 hours a day. This gives businesses a wonderful opportunity in interacting with their customers at a convenient time to their customers. But remember, this is not something that can be done half-heartedly. Allocate time, resource and have the information, in order to make Facebook for your business fun and enjoyable for all involved!

Thanks for reading.


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