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Marketing on Facebook, 5 Types of Marketing on Facebook

Marketing on Facebook is a new and growing field that combines that blurs the line between social media connections, personal branding, product advocacy and product loyalty, paid advertising and just plain fun. In the end, where the lines are drawn between these different areas and whether there are any lines in the evolving online marketing and social media sphere is one of the major issues circulating the online world. Marketing on Facebook can be straightforward or subtle, implicit or merely implied- but no matter which route a product or service takes, marketing on Facebook is happening and changing everyday.

Marketing on Facebook: Here are 5 of the biggest ways I see it having an effect:

1. Facebook Ads
Facebook has done a good job of making its PPC ad service easy to use and visible without taking over the page. Anyone can register an ad, and the ads can be aimed at specific demographics based on Facebook’s own public profile information. This gives a product or service an easy, cost effective way to get their message out there. But it is still traditional online advertising in that it is an ad waiting to be clicked on, not taking advantage of any of the social media aspects of the service hosting it. I am currently using a Facebook ad to promote a Fan Page as part of Facebook Marketing for business growth.

2. Facebook Fan Pages
Marketing on Facebook through a fan page is the first step in taking a product or service into the social media world. A fan page is still explicitly run by the company (or in some cases, like Coca Cola, by a dedicated and media-savvy fan) and pretty much revolves around the product or service. Fan Pages allow companies and brands to create a strong voice for themselves and be part of the conversation around their brand. It is a great way to get new information and opportunities out there to people who are fans of your brand- it still doesn’t reach the people who don’t consider themselves “fans” of your product, though. In that sense, you are marketing to people who already know you and like you- good for consumer loyalty but not too useful for brand building.

3. Social Media Marketing
The strength of social media marketing is when people who are generally unaffiliated with a brand or product start talking about it or pass on information about it. Marketing on Facebook this way has an incredibly viral effect just because of how Facebook is set up, with Wall Posts showing up to hundreds of people at once. In theory, if your brand can get one person to post something, hundreds of their friends will see it and that harnesses the power of “word-of-mouth” marketing, with the implicit support/approval of the poster. There is real power here in creating something branded or an article about your brand/product that people will want to talk about or pass on. The only downside could be that they may not all have something nice to say!

4. Personal Branding
Marketing on Facebook for individuals is a growing use and field in social media marketing. Utilizing the many features of the personal profile or fan page is a way to mix who you are, what you stand for and what you do for work all into one- and Facebook is set up to mix all of these pieces of your life in the first place, so it works well. The ability to post things from you personally as well as re-post and link to multi-media content all over the internet affords a huge opportunity to build your own personal brand while maintaining relationships- very powerful. The snag, of course, being that mixing work and self means on a social media network means that you are, in a sense, always working and always representing your brand.

5. Product Advocacy
Marketing on Facebook by asking people or offering them the opportunity to say they like something or want something and have that desire broadcast to their friends is taking root. While right now it is not the practice of most people on Facebook to say on their Walls “I love product X” or “You should all go buy product X,” when it does happen it is powerful. This is happening a lot with charity causes and political causes, and as the lines between brand and lifestyle continue to converge, I expect more and more of this to happen in a public way, as well as run into similar issues as bloggers who are dealing with the ethics of writing about expensive product samples. Do companies give samples or new products to active Facebook users with thousands of friends? Not yet.

Marketing on Facebook will continue to grow as the channel itself grows. With over 250 Million users, expect both the frequency and the strategy to grow.

Marketing on Facebook, 5 Types of Marketing on Facebook

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