This is the fourth excerpt from the second edition of our book on „Social Media Marketing“ by Philip Kotler , Svend Hollensen and me which is globally availabe via Amazon.

Get the latest publication from the ‚Father of modern Marketing‘ Phil Kotler now:

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Link to UK amazon site: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1549540408

Link to Indian amazon site: https://www.amazon.in/Social-Media-Marketing-Practitioner-Management-ebook/dp/B0755CH9Q6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507552835&sr=8-1&keywords=kotler+social+media

The book has been ranked No 4 of the best advertising books in the world (e.g. https://amzn.to/2PAOIQV) (https://bookauthority.org/books/beginner-advertising-books

4.2.1 Facebook

Facebook is an American company and online social media and social networking service based in California. The Facebook website was launched on in February, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg, along with fellow Harvard College students and roommates. Facebook, Inc. held its initial public offering (IPO) in February 2012, and reached an original peak market capitalization of $104 billion after three months on the stock market. On July 13, 2015, Facebook became the fastest company in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to reach a market cap of $250 billion. As of January 2017, Facebook was the most popular social networking site in the world, based on the number of active user accounts.

In 2015 Facebook reached revenues of US$17.9 billion. Most of Facebook’s revenue comes from advertising Facebook generally has a lower click-through rate (CTR) for advertisements than most major websites. The cause of Facebook’s low CTR has been attributed to especially younger users enabling ad blocking software and their ability to ignore advertising messages, as well as the site’s primary purpose being social communication rather than content viewing. Facebook is the social media giant and as such businesses cannot overlook this global communication channel. Thus, developing a business presence on Facebook is a must, but this is far from simple. First, many people view Facebook primarily for communicating with family and close friends. This means that business connections, advertisements, and intrusive messages may not always be welcome. Consequently, businesses need to carefully plan their interactions in ways that respect typical Facebook use. This is not to say all people prefer to avoid any commercial contact on Facebook at all. In fact, on any given day, millions of Likes are given to corporate pages and business content is viewed, downloaded, and commented upon.

 

Pages, Profiles and Groups

The fine line between business and personal use is reflected in Facebook’s organizational structure in the form of profiles, pages and groups. These structures are intended to give different levels of interaction and have been used to varying degrees by businesses and individuals.

Profiles are the basic structure in Facebook and are intended for individual use (Figure 4.2).

Another feature on Facebook is groups. Groups are meant to allow a subset of people to interact and share information. Groups are a private space that can be configured in different ways.

Groups can be private so only members can see it, know who is in it and what other members post. A secret group could be used for company employees or a set of business associates (Bulygo, 2010).

Closed groups, on the other hand, can be seen by everyone and everyone will be able to see the membership list. However, the content is only open to members.

Finally, open groups can be seen by anyone, membership is open and all content can be seen by the public. Groups are intended for use with profiles but can be used in some business settings.

Facebook pages, on the other hand, are specifically designed for business use. These do have many of the same features as a user’s profile. Users can connect with a page and become a fan of it. Pages can have public messaging walls, events, photos, and custom applications (Figure 4.3).

One of the most useful aspects of Facebook is the ability for people to ‘like’ and ‘tag’ the things you do on the site. When users like your page or something you posted on it by pressing the little thumbs-up ‘Like’ button, the fact that they like it will eventually on their Facebook profiles for their friends to see.

The same thing is true when you tag something, which is when you identify people within a post or a photo on Facebook. When you tag people, they automatically get notifications that point them to the tagged content.

However, as with other forms of web content, you should always bear in mind not to use social media platforms to overtly sell. Instead, create information that people will want to share as it adds value (Bulygo, 2010).

How to Set Up a Business Page

Business pages are valuable for many reasons, the most obvious being that more than a billion people use Facebook and it is important to meet customers where they congregate. Users become fans of a business page simply by clicking a ‘Like’ button. This creates a like between their profile and the business page if they are logged into Facebook. Each time a person presses the ‘Like’ button, the business icon will be placed onto the user’s profile page. This provides visibility for the enterprise and helps information to move through networks of friends. Smith (Smith, 2010) provides information regarding the development of a Facebook page for business use. At the beginning, it is advisable to study other Facebook pages to get a sense of what users currently expect. Facebook’s directory of pages can be a good starting point to do so (Figure 4.4).

Smith then recommends a six-step approach to building a business Facebook page. The first step is to determine the page objective. By definition, a page is a single unit of information and not an entire website. This means a primary purpose is paramount. The objective might be leveraging the brand awareness, developing a contact list, driving traffic to a corporate website, developing a sense of community, or gathering ideas for new products. The second step is to devise a design an appropriate strategy. By understanding what needs to be accomplished, decisions regarding the type of media, posts, and other material can be determined. For instance, if the objective was to develop a sense of community, then infrastructure for posting questions and polls can be given a prominent location to support develop a sense of an ongoing conversation with fans (Smith, 2010). Next, a content strategy should be determined. This means deciding whether photos, videos, posts, updates, events, and links should be used and in what kind of mix. Connections to favorite blogs can be supplied in line with custom developed material. The fourth step is to promote the new Facebook page both inside and outside of Facebook. Facebook promotion can be done using a variety of methods: Widgets can be added to Websites, Facebook ads can be placed, blog entries can be written and links back to the page incorporated. In addition, Twitter and print media can be used to drive traffic to the page. Following promotion, engagement and retention are instrumental. Organizational resources will be required to enable the page to be monitored and moderated. Additional page administrators may be required depending on how much traffic is generated. Depending on the page objectives, it may be key to have immediate responses to customer posts or questions. Other forms of engagement might include regular posts, polls, personalized messages to fans and the addition of a discussion board. Finally, the sixth step is to begin converting fans into long-term, loyal customers. Practitioners recommend to wait until the fan base is approximately 500–1,000 strong. This will enable efforts to achieve measurable results. Conversion can be tricky but it generally involves providing coupons, discounts, special events, or other incentives to give fans a call to action (Smith, 2010).

Facebook pages are the simplest, easiest way to get started marketing with Facebook. They are free, relatively easy to set up (at least in their basic forms), and very flexible. There is not much of a downside, either. Unfortunately, many companies do not use them to their full potential; or even worse, they use them badly. The following tips will help you avoid making those mistakes (Bulygo, 2010):

·        Profile Photo and Cover Image: Your profile photo should ideally be your logo. The cover image is a different story. It is up to you to decide what to put here. Some use photos of employees, while others use fancy artwork and put their contact information in the cover image. Pick a photo that will enhance your page and draw the eye of your visitors.

·        Info/About Section: The ‘About’ section is prominently placed right below your company logo. This is your chance to tell anyone coming to your page what your business does. Make sure you put clear information here, telling people what your company does, why you are different, and other appealing details. If you can, take the time to write it specifically for your Facebook audience. Always remember to keep it friendly and informal as a casual tone usually works best on Facebook.

·        Post powerful information: What you post to your wall will show up in the news feeds of everyone who has ‘Liked’ your page, just as it does when you post something to your personal profile. For this reason, make sure that what you are posting is useful to your fans. Do not post endless updates about the same thing, and do not post too many updates, clogging the news feeds of your fans. Here are some ideas for the kinds of things you might want to post to your wall:

o  Links to articles related to your company or your industry

o  Links to your blog posts

o  Coupon codes for fans to save on your products

o  New product announcements

o  Links to online tools your fans might find useful

·        Ask Your Fans Questions: Getting your fans involved with your page is a great way to inspire and enhance loyalty. Asking questions in your updates gets people engaged and involved, but on their own terms. What you ask depends largely on your product and your niche, but asking open-ended questions usually gets you the best responses. Asking opinions on a new product idea can be a good way to convince your fans that your company cares about what they want. If you outperform others in this respect, you may even reach the top of the Facebook News Feed.

·        Do not Spam: Spam is one of the quickest ways to lose fans. If you do nothing but send out predominantly promotional information about your company and your products, without ever adding anything of value, then you are going to have a hard time getting and keeping fans. Before you send out any update, ask yourself if it honestly adds value to the conversation. If not, do not send it.

·        Study Your Statistics and Results: Facebook offers useful analytics for pages. Pay attention to them. If you see a big surge in fans (or a drop off), look at what you have posted recently and see if you can figure out a reason for the trend. Consequently, post more of that kind of content (or less, if you’re losing fans).

·        Run competitions: Some of the most successful marketing campaigns done by Facebook pages are via contests. If Facebook competitions are run correctly with good applications & are sufficiently promoted, they can be extremely useful for your Facebook page.

·        Be human: In addition to putting a face/name to your social media presence, your page also needs to respond like a human by taking into consideration the following aspects:

o  Reply to comments using the person’s first name

o  Show Empathy

o  Treat people with Respect

To be continued…Have a look into the book:

Link to US amazon site: http://amzn.to/2xxsJCj

Link to German amazon site: https://lnkd.in/gNk6T6V

Link to UK amazon site: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1549540408

Link to Indian amazon site: https://www.amazon.in/Social-Media-Marketing-Practitioner-Management-ebook/dp/B0755CH9Q6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507552835&sr=8-1&keywords=kotler+social+media

Prof. Dr. Marc Oliver Opresnik

Chief Research Officer Kotler Impact, Inc.

Chief Executive Officer Kotler Business Program

Kotler Impact Inc.