Why You NEED Facebook

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It’s already in our backyard; it needs to be in your marketing arsenal. Facebook, which is building a huge data center in Prineville, has become incredibly influential in our daily lives. More people are communicating via social media than by email. Your business cannot afford to be absent from this colossal online community. Most businesses need a professionally-guided and well-maintained presence that will get their business into the conversation in a meaningful and effective manner—I’ll tell you why.

Facebook has over 350 million members making over 55 million updates a day. In the blog, 11 Mind-Blowing Reasons Your Business Needs Facebook, social media pro Jay Baer says that this makes “Facebook the third-largest country in the world, if it was a country. (Perhaps that’s their end-game, joining the UN and raising an army?) Nearly 1/3 of all Facebookers are here in the U.S. You may have heard of a TV show called American Idol. On a good night, it averages 20 million viewers. Facebook has 100 million American members. Hmmm.”

Facebook’s published stats report that the average Facebook user spends nearly an hour a day on the site. What does this mean? It means there are a heck of a lot of people spending a heck of a lot of time communicating, browsing and buying on Facebook. It means that your business needs to show up at the party. Period.

Most businesspeople I talk to fall into one of three categories:
1. Those who know they need Facebook (and other social media) integrated with their other marketing mediums, and are willing to put the time and money into a well-planned strategy. The investment required is generally small by comparison with traditional media, and considering the potential ROI. These progressive businesses may realize results like the following:

The Harvard Business Review  recently featured a new study from Rice University.  For their study, they asked the question, “How much do businesses really influence consumers when they launch pages on the site to attract ‘fans’ and pepper them with messages and offers?” Amy Porterfield details the finding in the blog, 5 New Studies Show Facebook a Marketing Powerhouse:

“To gauge the effectiveness of Facebook fan pages, the study used one company’s page to measure the effect on customer behavior. For the experiment, the researchers partnered with Dessert Gallery (DG), a popular Houston-based bakery and café chain. They first emailed over 13,000 customers from their mailing list to gather store evaluations and information on shopping behavior. Then they launched the fan page and invited the mailing list to the page.  Over the course of three months, the company ‘updated its page several times a week with pictures of goodies, news about contests and promotions, links to favorable reviews, and introductions to DG employees.’

Three months after that, they resurveyed the fans, and here’s the overall result: Facebook changed customer behavior for the better.

• Store visits per month increased after people became fans.
• The new fans generated more positive word-of-mouth than non-fans.
• They went to DG 20 percent more often than non-fans.
• Fans gave the store the highest share of their overall dining-out dollars.
• They were the most likely to recommend DG to friends and had the highest average Net Promoter Score—75, compared with 53 for Facebook users who were not fans and 66 for customers not on Facebook.
• DG fans also reported significantly greater emotional attachment to DG—3.4 on a 4-point scale, compared with 3.0 for other customers.
• Fans were the most likely to say they chose DG over other establishments whenever possible.”

2. Those who have the nagging idea that they need Facebook but who haven’t implemented a campaign. Some in this category simply don’t realize the business that is passing them by every day they drag their feet. (If you are in this category…snap out of it!)

3. Those who do not see the value of Facebook or who are resisting the marketing potential of that “confounded” technology. How often have I heard, “I’ve been doing things this way for x number of years, and we’re doing fine.” Yes, and the Titanic was steaming along nicely, unaware of the “iceberg dead ahead.” Back in the day, some people thought that computers were a bunch of hype, as they typed away on their Smith Coronas. (If you fall into this category, I would advise you to visit www.typewritermuseum.org.)

Perhaps this will help:
• The average Facebook User Has 130 Friends (Baer). This means that every person your message impacts gives you incredible opportunities to “go viral” in an exponential way.” It’s like the old TV commercial, “And they’ll tell two friends…and they’ll tell two friends…” Except in this case, “And they’ll tell 130 friends…”
• Nearly 80,000 sites are using Facebook Connect. Baer says, “Connect is the Facebook initiative that has the greatest long-range impact. By integrating Facebook closely, sites are making our personal social graphs truly portable. Instead of having to go to Facebook and other sites to visit our friends, they travel with us online (and in our pockets via mobile devices), always there to provide advice or commentary. Even Yahoo! and MySpace are rolling out deep Facebook integrations. This of course makes Facebook the central hub of not just social media, but the Web as well (which is why Google is scrambling to catch up after their competing Google Connect fell flat).”

Facebook is the second-most-visited site on the internet and quickly catching up with the #1, Google. If you have been dragging your feet, or if you do not see the value in Facebook, I would strongly suggest you change your course before your business hits the iceberg of irrelevance. Well-managed marketing on Facebook is inexpensive, requires little of your time, and is demonstratively powerful. As the infomercial people say, “Act today!” We’ll throw in a typewriter boat anchor for free.
For more information, contact Kelly Walker at Incyte Marketing 541-419-9976.

Kelly@incytemarketing.com, www.incytemarketing.com

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