The Value of Facebook for Social CRM
Facebook is the 800-pound gorilla and is valuable for Social CRM. In March 2012, it had over 900 million monthly active users. If you know anything about social media, you know that Facebook is considered the platform to be on. Its sheer size makes everyone pay attention. But just like any site or tool, you have to make Facebook work for your specific business.
The importance of Facebook
Facebook is facing some challenges. Its IPO was investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and General Motors pulled all its advertising. Like any other publicly traded company, Facebook is open to a higher level of scrutiny, but no one expects a mass exodus of users in the near future. According to comScore, one of every seven minutes spent online is spent on Facebook. That’s a hard habit to break.
A study by CMB Consumer Pulse and iModerate Research Technologies reports that of those who click a brand’s Like button on Facebook, 60 percent of them are more likely to recommend that brand. That gives most brands a reason to be on Facebook.
To maximize your use of Facebook for your brand, following are some of the most popular features for you to consider:
Timeline: At the end of 2011, Facebook released a new feature called Timeline. In his introduction of Timeline, Mark Zuckerberg said that its purpose is to keep a visual record of your life. As you look back through the months and years, the Timeline shows your posts, activity log, photos, and so on. This sounded like a great concept to many.
When the Timeline feature was rolled out, users realized that there were some things they didn’t want prominently displayed there. Perhaps some photos, events, comments were best left hidden. For this reason, Facebook allowed users a good deal of time to remove any items they didn’t want displayed. For businesses, Timeline helps them keep their content visible and circulating.
Cover photo: One of Timeline’s features is a large photo at the top of the page. This photo, Facebook says, should demonstrate your individuality. Brands like Pepsi have made good use of this feature.
Followers: This is Facebook’s term for people who choose to follow your brand’s News Feed. When visitors are on Facebook, brands believe there is prestige in having a high number of followers because it shows that many people are engaged and interested.
The What’s on Your Mind box: This is where you post your content, including links to your other channels, thus driving traffic.
The Like button: When you click the Like button, you’re signifying that you like or appreciate the content or the brand. This allows Facebook to include the brand’s content in your News Feed. There is some debate about whether likes translate to revenue, but no brand wants to turn away likes.
Facebook advertising: Facebook has an audience who is massively engaged with its content. The reason for this is that the content they see is from friends, colleagues, and family. In this age of information overload, recommendations by people you know are highly valued. It may be for this reason that the value of advertising on Facebook is hotly debated.
Every advertiser has to be able to convince themselves that their investment is providing a real return. A May 2012 poll by the Associated Press (AP) and CNBC found that in the U.S., 83 percent of Facebook users said they “hardly ever or never” clicked online ads or sponsored content. This is a developing story.