Many people claim that the primary benefit of Facebook is for managing existing customer relationships rather than starting new ones — but this should not be an either-or proposition.
Yes, Facebook is a great platform for customer relationship management. Facebook accounts for more than 12 percent of all time spent online, and a whopping 38 percent of all page referrals.
Based on these stark numbers, does any sane marketer believe that all they need to do is talk to their existing customers or fans?
Social media marketing generally, and Facebook specifically, matured into measurable drivers of consideration and acquisition.
Customer acquisition on Facebook functions in three simple ways:
- First, we are now able to mine the social graph, including Facebook, for purchase intent, based on relationships and published gestures and comments. In this way we can target or re-target consumers based on affinity and conversation;
- Second, for many of our clients Facebook is the number one referrer of traffic and online sales. Simply by optimizing the website and brand page, integrating paid, owned, and earned media across a more social customer journey including Facebook, and understanding the behavior of our Facebook customer (what, when and where they like, click and share), we can create models to predict referral traffic;
- Third, social commerce and social sampling demonstrate positive immediate return on investment if we create unique, curated experiences on Facebook rather than duplicate website or advertising content.
Consumers on Facebook alternately claim that they do not want marketing, and the number one thing they want from a brand is something of value in terms of incentive, status, or experience. Marketing on Facebook is also not linear, since traffic can arrive indirectly through the newsfeed.
So, why isn’t everyone using Facebook for acquisition?
Companies typically don’t integrate customer relationship management across the entire enterprise and every single contact channel.
That limitation tends to separate Facebook interactions with other points of customer contact and marketing efforts instead of integrating across channels.
Each channel in marketing requires its own message and offer, integrated with customer interactions across all other channels.
Confining Facebook marketing to the bins of buzz or advocacy diminishes the biggest change in media in our lifetime.
Guest writer Curtis Hougland is founder and chief executive officer for Attention.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.