Remember Facebook’s Virtual Gifts of yore? When you could send your Facebook friends a “beer”, “rose” or “birthday cake?” Facebook closed its virtual gift shop in August 2011, and has replaced it with the ability to send Facebook friends real beer, roses and birthday cakes (or at least cupcakes). Facebook is going to have to expand their gift selection to appeal to more buyers. Which is great news for brands who are interested in coming aboard.
Facebook is a phenomenon. With 400 million active members, if Facebook was a country, it would be the 4th most populous on the planet. "But," my clients ask, "Does it work?"
It depends on what you want it to do. Is it a brand building or an e-commerce platform?
Some clients want to adopt a social sensibility. They aim to build brand awareness and amass large numbers of fans hoping to better engage customers and prospects in conversation leading to brand preference, loyalty and maybe goose a few more sales. Others want to reduce the distance between a brand and its clientele quickly and build intimacy necessary to accelerate the number, frequency and value of sales.
The guys mounting the campaigns and buying the ads aren't so sure themselves. While 49% of marketers surveyed by MarketingSherpa think Facebook is very effective at brand awareness only 12% think it increases sales revenue. As if to validate this perception, only 25 percent of the top 100 online retailers have Facebook pages.
And yet the evidence of effectiveness or efficiency for either marketing objective isn't really clear in spite of these stunning statistics.
86% of American women have a social network profile and 95% of... Read more