On an average weekday afternoon, among a crowd leaving a funeral or four weddings, the words, “Okay. See you on Facebook,” are overheard. In the sea of faces it isn’t evident where the voice originated but it is a reminder once more that Facebook is the dominant social network. They recently crossed the 250 million user mark. All of which means anyone out there predicting the death of Facebook in favor of Twitter is mainly dealing in highly exaggerated rumors.
Facebook is where you want to be if you are selling something but once you get out there, it’s clear that marketing on this medium is different. Facebook is the opposite of say, a billboard. There is no relationship with a billboard, even the digital ones. Experts describe Facebook as relationship marketing where you need to friend first and sell later. But not directly or quickly, this is more of a long term relationship with sales being a somewhat covert activity. It is said that people may want to buy products but they don’t want someone to sell them products, which can be such a confusing set of rules for the conventional marketing world.
Rather than “Go Big or Go Home,” marketing on Facebook is more about going hyper-local and going often. Experts in this medium note that volume trumps reach. Market for birthdays, anniversaries and weddings. Market for interest areas like hiking, biking and scrapbooking. Though it isn’t clear how much scrapbooking is conducted by Facebookers.
What matters is to connect to your customer base and stay in touch until something comes up and they remember your name. Still, you should not put all your eggs in the Facebook basket. Facebook is mostly a place to be present while keeping traditional marketing strategies in place – including that billboard. Ultimately, friending 250 million people can be wrong if they’re not buying your stuff.
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