You’ve probably been either amazed or concerned recently when you went to your Facebook page and found that, amongst your friend updates and news feed posts, ads appeared that seemed to way-too-coincidentally match a recent online shopping search you did for, say, a pair of shoes . . . or an online search for local roofing experts that seemed to migrate from a Google search straight into your Facebook news feed.
This was no coincidence, and it’s in large part because Facebook has realized that the tremendous amount of personal information we publicize on our pages, and equally in light of the tremendous amount of online products and services research and buying we do, that their site is now the easiest way to target you, the consumer, in evermore pervasive ways. In fact, a recent article on VentureBeat noted that rather than trying to “engage” customers with surveys and coupons, online retailers will be increasingly attempting to “convert” (marketing speak for getting people to buy).
With this new trend and the impressive amount of data Facebook garners from its users, it’s of little surprise that advertising and marketing firms are now helping businesses – both local and national – understand how to navigate Facebook’s advertising services to best attract customers looking for the services they provide.
Local-One.com, a Phoenix-based search and web design company, realized early on that this shift from conversationally engaging consumers to utilizing direct social media advertising was at the forefront of emerging online trends.
“We found that in terms of initial investment and the gains local businesses could realize from these small advertising expenses, that we can tremendously impact a business’ revenue line by reaching out on Facebook and other social media sites,” states Alan Earl, Local-One’s founder, consummate small business advocate, and featured CNN commenter. With clients throughout Phoenix and nationwide, Local-One is now one of the preeminent social media marketing firms and has seen the market bear out their prediction: Facebook business marketing is now one of the most effective and most inexpensive ways to increase revenue for his clients.
Pundits throughout the web are now echoing what Earl’s been showing his clients: Facebook is the cheapest and most effective way to reach people, period. This is particularly important when looking at the upcoming peak holiday shopping season, which the National Retail Federation predicts this year will top $656 billion.
“Facebook advertising offers a few key items that search does not: deeper demographic targeting and matching advertising to the interests of target consumers are key,” comments Earl in a recent interview, adding, “When you couple this with better branding opportunities and advanced re-targeting offers as well as interest- and shopping-habit-based intelligence, you then have a significant advantage over traditional advertising routes such as print media and the Yellow Pages.”
In spite of this new trend, though, Earl is careful to note that business should not abandon their other, more traditional online marketing activities. He says businesses need multiple advertising strategies to buffer each individual strategy and to complete a well-rounded business marketing platform.
“We love and will continue to support our client’s SEO and PPC campaigns indefinitely. There is inherent value in having a good search engine marketing strategy that cannot be overlooked,” notes Earl. “The current trend is definitely going toward utilizing the online advertising and marketing opportunities Facebook offers and encourages.”