by Rob Sears.
Like other forms of marketing and communications, public relations efforts often focus on sending the right message to the right people. Nowadays, the "right people" are frequently using social media to connect and share information. As of this writing, there are over 400 million accounts on Facebook, and, according to a recent report, Facebook has beat out Google as the most popular site in the United States. Data like this should finally put to rest the impression that Facebook is dominated by teenagers and college students. In fact, recent data shows that more 63 percent of Facebook users are at least 25 years old. Currently, the fastest-growing demographic on Facebook is women over 55. But just because your target audience uses Facebook doesn’t guarantee that you can reach them on Facebook. Here are three simple ways to improve your odds.
The Ever Important User Data
Many companies are finally beginning to approach social media very strategically, like they would any marketing or communications tool. Today, it’s easier to do so, thanks in part to tools like Facebook's "Insights," a demographic analytics platform for company pages. The tool provides vital information on the audiences your page is reaching – and more importantly – who you are not reaching. By keeping a keen eye on this data you can more efficiently structure your campaign and more effectively target your audience.
Getting Seen on Facebook for Free, or for a Fee
Businesses can create accounts on Facebook for free, or they can incorporate a paid advertising component into their Facebook presence. Facebook's advertising platform allows companies to target very precise demographics and offers two payment structures – Pay per Click (PPC) and Pay per View (PPV). This platform can be a cost effective marketing tool for making social media connections with potential clients. PPC campaigns are good for advertisers looking to get a response from users, while PPV campaigns are most effective for getting a message to a large number of people without needing them to complete a certain action.
Harness The Power of 'Liking'
Not only is Facebook the most popular website in the U.S., but its developers are now creating platforms that will allow people to connect and share across other sites as well. The recently-announced Like platform gives outside businesses, blogs and websites the ability to let users "Like" content, which will automatically show up in that user’s Facebook page (and be visible to all their friends by default).
What Are You Waiting For?
Facebook is growing by leaps and bounds with no end in sight, and the site has done well to provide tools that can help your business interact in meaningful ways with your target audiences.