Like Me? Follow Me.
Back in 2007 I was sat next to two middle-aged businessmen on a flight and found myself eavesdropping on their conversation, in which one was talking about his failed attempts to woo a lady friend of his.
"I don't know what else I can do," he lamented. "I've sent her a virtual drink on Facebook and I don't think she's even noticed."
Whoa, now. Up until that point I thought Facebook was just a platform for students, but now here are older folk sending each other virtual drinks? This is madness.
Since that fateful day it's clear Facebook has become huge. Nay ... enormous. Nay... a social media behemoth. Yay.
In fact, it was recently revealed that it has 30 million registered users in the UK alone - that's almost half the population.
And because of the staggering appeal of the website, it has turned into a great place for companies and brands to promote their products to, and engage with, the millions of potential consumers who spend so much of their time there.
So much so that you may have noticed some businesses - ASOS and French Connection, to name but two - incorporating stores into their Facebook pages, where people can purchase items without leaving the website.
Industry commentators (including Econsultancy's Jake Hird) believe e-commerce on Facebook (f-commerce) will go from strength to strength and eventually become a big money-maker for both Facebook itself and the companies that use it.
Although many may think it's pointless to have the option to purchase items both on Facebook and on the company/brand's separate e-commerce store; Mr Hird disagrees.
"Best practice e-commerce has taught us that if you have the resources to extend to different touch points, then do it. It's not either/or. It's about enabling consumers to have the choice to shop where they choose," he explains.
How Can Facebook Benefit Your Company?
However, f-commerce stores are by no means a necessity, even if they are expected to grow in popularity among retailers over the next 12 months.
Even without this platform there are plenty of rewards that your firm can reap as a result of a Facebook presence, including (but not limited to):
- Interaction with your customers - If you engage more with consumers - i.e. speak with them, ask them questions, respond to customer service enquiries - this conveys a much more positive impression than if your company is simply a faceless, voiceless corporate entity. Equally, this gives you a chance to differentiate yourself from your competitors if they themselves rarely engage with the public.
- Promotion of the brand / brand-related content - You will be able to tell the world about your new products, offers, blog posts, photos, events - and so on - in an instant.
- Increased website traffic & exposure - Many of the Facebook users who are 'friends' with brands and retailers are so because they want access to special offers and competitions. So when they take place, exposure and website traffic can increase significantly.
- Customer feedback - Want to know how your customers think you could improve? Facebook offers a perfect platform for inviting, and responding to, customer feedback, be it positive or negative.
So why not make a friend of Facebook?
If you want to know more about how Facebook, or social media marketing in general, can boost your business prospects, get in touch with the team at I-COM by calling 0161 402 3170 or sending us an email.