The basic goal of a marketing outline is to find customers that are a perfect match for your products as that makes them more likely to spend and boost your bottom line. There have been all manner of marketing techniques used over the years, all with the express purpose of getting their message out and letting potential customers know about the items they have on offer.
Traditional Communication Methods
Before the days of the internet, the most common marketing methods were conducted via print and broadcasts. The latter was often referred to a disruptive marketing as the ads would play between content that the customer was watching.
Traditional media was a great way to reach a large number of people at one time, bit much of it was wasteful given that a large majority of the audience was simply not interested in what they were being shown by the marketer.
The Rise of the Internet and Social Media
The arrival of the internet as a marketing medium meant that marketers could take a highly personalized approach to their dealings with potential customers. It allowed businesses to provide content on-demand, with social sites being the places where the new marketing medium rally took off. This happened for a few simple reasons:
The ability to create and send content is not something that rests solely with the marketer. Anyone can distribute what they want, which is a far cry from the early days of marketing when that power was only available to the advertiser, but rarely with anyone else.
The social medium is one that can be personalized so that users can join groups, creating content that they like.
The opinions expressed online are both free and fair. That is especially appealing to marketers as the buying decisions of the public are no longer solely driven by advertisements. Social networks have given a rebirth of sorts to the word-of-mouth marketing approach that has worked so well for years.
Facebook – The Heart of Social Media
There are currently more than 500 million users on Facebook and that number is growing every day. It ranks as the number one social networking site online and has come a long way from the simple idea that Mark Zuckerberg came up with a few short years ago.
The popularity of Facebook comes from its ease of use and the ability for users to quickly communicate and create fan pages and groups. That popularity is further enhanced by the ability to seamlessly incorporate a number of incredible social applications into the Facebook environment.
These applications are used for a number of different things; allowing users to share photos, videos and web links, playing games, and much, much more.
How does all of that help the average marketer?
Back in the day, media marketing meant using newspapers and magazines, television channels, and anything else that could easily get the message in front of as many eyeballs as possible with the hopes of reaching a target audience. The use of social networks has segmented that approach in a way that makes targeting all the more accurate.
Facebook offers many different ways to communicate with an audience, with each one offering the advertiser the perfect opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue with their customers. Some of the most common methods used by marketers include:
Advertising: The most obvious opportunity that Facebook provides is advertising. The major difference though is the ability to target your ads to a very specific demographic. In the matter of a few minutes you can create an ad that is made specifically to reach certain groups, going as far as allowing you to choose exactly where you want the ad to appear.
Fan Pages: Fan pages are not just for brands or celebrities, and can in fact be created for individuals as well as homegrown businesses. Large brands have utilized Facebook to instantly create a huge worldwide following that allows them to distribute news, information, and much more with the simple click of a mouse. There is no other way to get your message out to that many people that quickly.
Branded Applications: Branding has always been an important part of any marketing strategy. You can use Facebook to create a contest or application that subtly has your branding contained within.
One of the most exciting parts about Facebook is the ability to target everything you do to the exact customer segment you are trying to attract. You also have access to analytics and page insights that will give you a clear view of all the activity taking place on your page.
All of those options allow for maximum creativity, allow you to create a number of different strategies that will benefit your brand.
The one thing that you have to keep in mind is that customers have the right to make comment and respond to everything that you post. A thumbs up can mean your message quickly spreading, whereas a thumbs down can see your post fizzle quickly. In order to make sure that each and every post hits the mark, you may want to consider employing the services of a social media expert to help you succeed.