In March 2015, Facebook reported 936 million daily users- 936 MILLION- a 17% increase from last year. So what does that mean for small business owners looking to reach new customers?
That means there are 936 million people who have entered all their necessary (and sometimes not so necessary) information- age, gender, location, likes, interests, hobbies (the list is endless!)- into Facebook's system. And Facebook can now use this information to market ads to specific groups of people, based upon whatever qualifying information has been supplied.
For example, say a gym wants to market their new antigravity yoga classes-
With a few clicks on Facebook's marketing platform an ad can be set up to be displayed to women, between the ages of 20 and 65, who all live within a 10 mile radius of the gym.
Then to take it one step further, they can also narrow it down to women who meet the above criteria, plus also have shown an interest in one or more of the following: weight loss, health and fitness, parenting, yoga, healthy eating, group exercise, and meditation. No other form of media marketing has the ability to target customers so individually- the radio plays to whomever happens to be listening, television reaches only a fraction of the customers it once did, these passive forms of marketing rely on luck to reach your target customers. Facebook's emphasis on SOCIAL Media has encouraged millions of people to feed their personal information into one giant revolving billboard, with ads specifically chosen for each individual user.
Then, once you've placed your ad and reached your target audience, a well maintained Facebook business page is the key to keeping their attention. With strategically branded posts and contests, your audience will be actively participating in promoting your business to their family and friends- that's because Facebook shares their activity with everyone they've connected with via their Facebook news feed. That means not only are you keeping a current customer engaged, but every time they like, share, comment, or post your brand is also being shared with their group of potential new customers. Giving away one free product per month via a Facebook contest can gain your brand mass visibility and generally save you much more in marketing dollars than the product actually costs.
When it comes to making your advertising budget count, social media marketing can consistently bring in more qualified customers for pennies on the dollar of traditional advertising methods.