Facebook is one of the most recent and widely used social network innovations and a strong platform for business sales and marketing. This has been approved over the past 10 years where Facebook has and is still counting a population of about 500 million people connected through this social network pages. In marketing, the key thing to consider before good sales is the access to a large population of potential customers to whom you can market products and services. There are over 400 million global users of Facebook every month, and about 5.3 billion connections are created every year. “Born in a Harvard dormitory, Facebook has moved off-campus and now everyone from the original teenagers to their great grandparents check their pages regularly” (Jeff Ente).
Jeff Ente asserts that according to the recent changes in social networking, the Facebook pages now may not only belong to individual persons; businesses can also create and maintain pages. According to Maddy Coon 2010 analysis on social networks, “the most fascinating fact is that it took 38 years for radio to reach 50 million users, 13 years for television, 4 years for the Internet, only 3 years for the iPod and Facebook added 100 million users in less than 9 months and most recently, iPhone applications hit 1 billion in only 9 months”. Most businesses cannot ignore the strength of the wave which Jeff terms as “monstrous size of Facebook market”. Facebook is an innovation that all types of businesses should ensure they have a window on.
In this context, I would recommend our organization to follow or stand on shoulders of this giant. We deal with alternative energy, and our products are mainly all the alternative energy appliances. Alternative energy can be broken into four areas which include solar, wind, biomass, and biogas. These are the core areas of renewable alternative energy that we deal with. Products delivered from these areas include lanterns, solar panels, wind generator, energy storage batteries, plastic biogas bags, gasifiers, fitting and pipes for biogas plumbing among others.
Our previous marketing strategy was to use website where we would post an advert about green solution, or eco-friendly energies, or renewable energies and provide our office contact address, email, and website. Customers would come from all over the country to purchase some of these products due to the current awareness of environmental issues and the global warming trends. We also tried newspaper adverts but found out that it was expensive and had limited impact; therefore, we discontinued it after a little while.
I would recommend using Facebook as a marketing tool and as the best strategy the company can adopt in this current economic trend. This is one of the relatively cheap forms of advertising the brand of products without limitation of time compared to other advertisement medias. Facebook like other social networks will open up the company/ products to a market beyond its working target boundaries prompting importation of demanded products. Facebook unlike a lot of other online marketing platforms has a high success rate and proven track records. In accordance with Pr firm Burson- Marsteller’s that carried out the study in the US on the social networks, 79% of the 100 largest companies in the Fortune 500 list use Twitter, YouTube, Facebook or corporate blogs for the purpose of communication. This is so because the daily population traffic in Facebook is extremely high, referral is much easier there given that satisfied customers will often post their success stories. Customers will rate the company and recommend its services or products hence increasing the number of people visiting our website. These will automatically expand our market both locally and internationally and increase our profits incredibly since not much will be spent on advertisement yet we will reach millions due to Facebook uses worldwide. It is advantageous since the company can reach its targeted market with little or no cash invested in advertisement. The audience is readily available for the information and can chose to follow the company. The flow of information about the company’s products and services will be extremely fast since the viral nature of Facebook enables each person who reads your posts to have the capability to spread the news farther within their own network hence information reaches many people in a short period of time (Tracey Sandilands 2012). This innovation is not only effective for marketing but also keeps track of visiting consumer trend/traffic and change of preferences though written post from the consumers. This innovative tool becomes alive when integrated in the company’s working strategies.
Like all online businesses, exposure to a risk of online/cybercrime is high among other existing demerits of using Facebook as a marketing platform. The risk of counterfeits emerging from company’s original products is high. Due to daily posting, the newer posts tend to cover up older posts which may have been important to customers. The company needs to keep a specific person or team in charge of posting reviews and notification as well as responding to customers daily for 24 hours. This calls for time and effort related to cost for the bossiness to keep the team in place. The team is important since such online social network needs us to keep track of changes and brainstorming on new angles to keep the customers enthusiastic and updated. Nevertheless, the Facebook remains an undeniably effective marketing tool.
It is very easy to open and run a Facebook account effectively for marketing purposes. Through our past indoor and outdoor exhibitions, we register all our potential and interested customers. Similar to that, all our previous clients provided the company with contact details which we can use to search them through Facebook search engine. After opening the account, we will engage with our audience through constant posting on different offers the company has while addressing queries from audience. The company’s profile should be captivating; then we would make referral through sending people to the page. We must ensure that the page is always interesting and audience ‘Like’ it in that if 25 people put ‘like’, the company gets a custom URLS. There is a need to think outside our industry when posting content on the Facebook page. We engage all diverse interest of the audience and bring them down to our offers. We will use as many visuals as possible as well as plain text for easy audibility. The page should give more attractive and unique offer than the usual market to keep the audience engage. Finally, I would recommend the company to engage in this innovative social trend, because the merits prevail over the demerits.