Fishing for New Clients on Facebook
Problem or Resource?
Facebook is under attack and pressure on every front. But with over 2.5 billion members worldwide, it must be taken into account as one of the greatest marketing resources of all time.
Not a day goes by that we don’t hear some bad news of one kind or another about Facebook. “They are evil.” “Zuckerberg only cares about the money and not facts.” “I’m getting off the platform because there’s too much false information.” Some, if not all, of these criticisms have at least a kernel of truth to them. But that can obscure the far more important information about this platform that needs to be confronted and understood.
If you are a business owner, large or small, the house that Zuckerberg built is a goldmine. It is the most social of networks where people share personal anecdotes, hopes, fears, preferences, dislikes, opinions, opinions about other people’s opinions, photos of their kids, family outings, their latest meal, this list could keep going forever.
Before we get too far into how this data is misused to mislead us into conflict and strife, let’s look at how we can utilize it for good: improving our businesses. Let’s work from the premise that you are selling something worthwhile or you have a valuable service you would like to provide for more people.
Interests and Preferences
Maybe you have a new kind of wall mounting hardware for displaying musical instruments. You have determined that the most likely buyers are guitarists between the age of 25 and 65. Facebook’s advertising system lets you target people in these age brackets who follow pages having to do with guitars. But it can also let you target other company pages, for example, Guitar Center’s page which has about 1.7 million followers. Eric Clapton’s page has 9 million plus fans. Mark Knopfler’s page has another 1.1 million. You get the idea. This is a marketing manager’s dream: being able to target interests which people have already expressed.
Part of any sales cycle is developing points of agreement between the seller and the buyer. Facebook allows you to target promotions to people who already have fundamental points of agreement with you. This can shorten the sales process and lead to the sought-after event of the conversion, where the prospect is converted into a buyer.
By targeting your promotions to the correct public segments, geographies, interests, etc., the probabilities of converting the glance of someone scrolling by into a buying decision increase dramatically.
There are two sides to every coin. There are a hell of a lot more than two sides to Facebook. We can debate the company stance of allowing unvetted political advertising during the last election cycles. We can wring our hands in outrage over the now obvious manipulation to which the platform was subjected by bad actors. Hindsight is only wonderful if you use it to prevent repeat performances of idiocy. But the overriding fact is that we as members of Facebook have the right and responsibility to be skeptical of every post that seeks to invoke outrage or negative reactions. Remember, those are sales pitches too. No one has to believe a sales pitch.
The moral is that in the long run, an honest marketer will always win the day. If you have a valuable product or service and need more clients, there is no deeper pool to fish in than Facebook.