Facebook is all about connectivity. Users, the consumers, see their Facebook friends as influencers for certain products and ideas. If a Facebook user posts a photo of their new Apple Watch, their Facebook friends will see that post and become compelled to purchase one of their one. In order for advertisers to improve sales and marketing, it is necessary to target those who have the most power to influence others online. This idea of connectivity and influencing is the basis for Facebook and it needs to be focused on by advertisers.
In order for advertisers to start reaching more consumers, they need those consumers to actually be interested in and hooked by their ads. Simply pushing out a mundane one-dimensional ad online is not going to cut it anymore. Advertisers need to target Facebook users, who are influencers, that have the capability to create their own content about a product, then share that content with their friends. This content can range from a written post, video, photo, or other creative work. This will create buzz for the product, which is needed for any online advertisement to succeed.
In 2016, 69% of brands surveyed answered that their use of influencer advertising was effective. Advertisers are using influencers to create awareness of their brand and to target those who are most relevant to their brand. Influencers have a fan-base who are followers because they can relate to them. This is a strong advantage for advertisers because they can advertise products that are important to their influencer’s followers. Those followers will take the influencer’s advice because they look up to them and trust them.
In order for advertisers to improve their Facebook presence and overall brand awareness, it is necessary to target influencers who can help effectively advertise the brand. This improvement can help skyrocket sales, awareness, and loyalty for a brand and is a part of the future of advertising online.
Advertising has had to adapt to the dramatic change created by new media—prominently social media. Customers today are smarter than ever and they are able to recognize advertisements and sponsored videos/events. When consumers recognize blatant advertising they are prone to blocking it out. Therefore, brands need to come up with more entertaining and creative means of advertising. Brands recognize that their customers spend a lot of time on social media, therefore the best way to connect is to join the creative channel. Brands try to tailor to the individual, and they use the help of Facebook to communicate with their target audience.
Large brands use Facebook’s principle of relevance by connecting themselves with the consumers that are a part of their target audience. Now, the most important part is not just to get “likes” from the Facebook community, but to engage with the people who liked them. Brands pay Facebook to show their posts to their target audience, and using a regular Facebook user’s search history, they are able to see if the brand’s ad would be able to catch the attention of the user.
For example, Coca-Cola, one of the most recognizable brands, uses Facebook to advertise. Coca-Cola is home to 20 billion dollar brands such as Sprite, Fanta, and Diet Coke. On Coca-Cola’s main Facebook page they have 93 million fans. However, Coca-Cola differs from other brands, they do not post many day-to-day updates. Other brands post just about daily on their pages. This is mainly because Coca-Cola’s marketing strategy is not aimed at encouraging people to visit its shops, as there are none, but rather maintaining a positive brand image and raising awareness of new campaigns such as the “Share a Coke” campaign, which encouraged consumers to buy a physical coke to share with a friend and also sharing their story online. In addition to its main page, Coca-Cola also has several other pages each dedicated to their own product (like Sprite, Fanta, etc.). These Facebook pages also allow the brand to communicate with its customers, and it make’s everything seem more personal and intimate.
Facebook is extremely helpful to Coca-Cola because they are able to achieve an international reach. Coca-Cola exports to 200 countries, and 50% of its sales are from countries outside the US. For example, through Facebook, Coca-Cola was able to focus on consumer’s in India, a country that drinks mostly tea and coffee. Coca-Cola was successfully able to convince consumer’s that Coke was the best drink for the summer. Using Audience Insights on Facebook, Coca-Cola was able to spot out its target audience in India using demographic and geographic date. Coca-Cola targeted men and woman aged 16-30 in 7 states in India. Overall, Facebook is able to provide international insight for large brands like Coca-Cola.
Being one of the largest social media platforms in the world, Facebook strives to see that everyone enjoys their time on the website. This includes companies who want to market their goods and services. Facebook provides numerous mechanisms for advertising like the sponsored page and carousel ads, which scroll horizontally across the page, that give them space to display their products. But with today’s fast-paced society, these media are a little outdated.
Messenger could possibly be the solution to revamp Facebook’s advertising game. It is a mobile app, so it is most useful on smartphones, and is a unique new way for advertising. Right now, the app operates as a pull marketer. This means that prospective customers message the business they are interested in buying from, and ask questions or leave comments. Soon enough, it will evolve into a push marketer. This would allow businesses to send notifications, like coupons and new product shipment messages to loyal consumers. One thing that many users dislike is being too bombarded with ads that invade on their personal space, so what about privacy in all of this planning? Advertising on Messenger does not mean that ads will show up in users’ conversations. The last thing Facebook wants to do is encroach on privacy, so they are trying their best to keep it as simple as possible.
Currently, there are test groups in Thailand and Australia who will be studied to see if this advertising approach is a go or not. What are the benefits of this new form of advertising? For starters, it is an interactive form of advertising. Allowing consumers to direct message companies and ask questions about products lets a relationship form, which is fantastic for both businesses and customers. Also, this is an opportunity for companies to expand their way of advertising in a fresh, contemporary manner. Considering that 80% of Facebook’s total advertising revenue in 2015 was from mobile advertising proves that allowing companies to market on Messenger is the best possible move on Facebook’s part.