Thursday, November 8, 2007/
We all know that Facebook is huge, what hasn’t been targeted yet is the massive market it offers.
Leveraging Facebook for online sales and profit
Lately I’ve been digging around Facebook, and the more I look, the more impressed I am with its potential for online marketing. One thing Facebook offers in spades is a huge online membership and highly targeted demographic profiling.
Facebook has really got cracking since it began allowing external developers to create their own applications in May this year. It expects to have 60 million global members by the end of December 2007, and today there are currently 1.8 million Australian users (up from 1.7 million when I looked last week).
You can see from the Google trends graph below that in terms of online search activity it won’t be long before Facebook overtakes MySpace for social media dominance.
According to alexa.com, Facebook is the 7th most visited website in the world, just behind MySpace.com at 6th.
Once you’ve signed up and got past all the addictive social networking side of things, there appears to be a world of opportunity within Facebook.
FaceBook Ads is a sensational method to target your brand or banner offering to a carefully selected demographic profile, as you can see from screenshot below:
You can refine the list even further by adding keywords to target particular interests within a group.
This is a major point of difference from Google AdWords advertising, which chiefly focuses on keyword targeting and has extremely limited demographic targeting.
Aside from Foxtel, Weight Watchers, Optus and Amex, there don’t appear to be too many other major brands engaging in advertising at Facebook, but my guess is that this will change rapidly as awareness grows.
How Facebook members react to this is another matter entirely. Only time will tell if members get upset about the way their published personal information is used (exploited) by advertisers. At the moment it appears members don’t seem to mind too much.
The Facebook Marketplace is another system members (and businesses) use to sell goods, from iPhones to jewellery. It has the potential to take considerable market share from www.ebay.com.au as it’s completely free (for now!). Last week there were 150 items for sale. Today there are 3679. The Facebook Marketplace is also experiencing an explosion in job ads, from just 85 last week to 1075 today. That has implications for www.seek.com.au and www.mycareer.com.au et al.
I’ve only just scratched the surface here. I could mention how you can create groups, just like TopDeck where Facebook members have become champions, uploading photos and videos of their holiday experiences.
You can now also add “share on Facebook” buttons to your own website or blog.
Anyway you cut it, Facebook needs to be kept on your radar when thinking about marketing and advertising your brand, products or services to a highly targeted audience.
Chris Thomas heads Reseo a search engine optimisation company which specialises in setting up and maintaining Google AdWords campaigns, Affiliate Programs and Search Engine Optimisation campaigns for a range of corporate clients.
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