Our Experience With Facebook
Although Facebook acts as a social platform, it’s really an advertising platform and currently one of the largest owners of data - in competition with Google - and the largest advertising network on the web. The front-end of Facebook, what the consumer engages with, is just the tip of the iceberg.
In 2009 Facebook launched Pages to provide more features for businesses to promote themselves and attract potential leads. As of February 2015, Facebook is in use by 2 million advertisers.
Our clients use Facebook as a stand-alone marketing and communication channel. Obviously, it’s not a channel you have complete control over like your own website, so a company's brand can be hard to represent. While Facebook serves as a wonderful aggregation point and communication tool with your customers, it’s no substitute for your own highly branded site where you can better control the experience and messaging.
For most sites we’ve built, we’ve enabled share mechanisms on every page, or have embedded Facebook feeds into the website. The Facebook API provides a rich source of opportunity to build all sorts of interesting integrations to intersect your Facebook community with your branded company website, and our clients have used Facebook in many different ways.
For PopCap Games it was a platform to play and distribute games, for Domu it’s used as a secondary account creation method, so customers can use their Facebook accounts to “sign in” to the Domu site. For WorldVision International we built a system where users can donate “likes,” using messages as a way to amplify and support the organization. For merchants like Oiselle, Glazer’s Cameras and Seattle Chocolates, we have used OpenGraph tags to define content on product pages so Facebook and other social networks can better identify products, categories, prices, images, and help sell from inside Facebook.
User Logins: You can offer your users the chance to login to your website with their Facebook account. For users this simplifies the login process. For your company, this means access to the information they’ve made available on their Facebook accounts - such as likes, interests, and contacts.
Facebook Apps: Facebook Apps are excellent tools to leverage products to consumers.They act as standalone entities that you can create to boost individual products or marketing campaigns. They can also be available as “like gated” content, that Facebook users will only have access to if they like your page.
Benefit for Brick and Mortar Businesses: You can track foot traffic near your neighborhood by targeting people who have checked into locations within your area in the last hour.
Audience Insights: Facebook’s Audience Insights platform collects data on target audiences, such as geography, demographics, and consumer behavior, their page likes, and how often they use Facebook. You can view this information among people that use Facebook in general, those who have specifically liked your page, or specifically audiences.
Facebook Pixel: By embedding the Facebook Pixel code on your website, you can track a consumer’s activity on your website and use that data later for remarketing ads on the Facebook platform. These ads will show specific items they had been looking at or perhaps left in an abandoned cart.
Atlas Solutions: Atlas Solutions, by Facebook, is a step forward from cookie-based ads which don’t work on mobile devices. Cross-device and cross-channel, Atlas reaches out to audiences and measures behavior while allowing you to connect data to sales, giving your a clearer picture of the success of your ads.
When Do We Recommend Facebook
Paying for access to additional Facebook features may be the most beneficial option for businesses. For non-paying businesses, there’s a diminishing return for organic impressions, and due to Facebook’s algorithm only 2-3% of your followers will see your posts if you don’t pay for their service.
The larger your business is and the more resources you have may determine how sophisticated you can get with Facebook, but if you’re looking for insight and information even from a basic starting point, Facebook can offer quite a bit.
Facebook is good for any business, any size. It offers so many resources for businesses that it would only be beneficial to put effort into the level of technicality required to use Facebook to its full extent. You can get up to speed relatively quickly and start seeing returns.