Building the image of a brand, and informing your target audience about the products and services you have to offer, is a daunting task in itself. It becomes all the more challenging in the absence of thousands and millions of dollars to spend on advertising campaigns, and giveaways for innovative contests.
Is money everything? Isn’t there a way for small & medium business to showcase their offerings, and entice customers to their stores without going bankrupt?
This is where viral marketing steps in. And Facebook, being one of the most popular social networks today, is the best channel for effective viral marketing.
Timeline – Getting noticed
Most people log on to Facebook to keep in touch about their friends’ and families’ lives. Not surprisingly, in an average, users spend almost 40% of their time on their Facebook Timeline.
For viral marketing to be effective, visibility is essential. And it is this Timeline that hogs the most attention bandwidth. Facebook knows it too. That is why they have recently launched a new set of social enabled ad boxes right on the timeline itself which invite consumers to ‘become a fan’ or ‘read a story’ that has been popular and suggested by one’s friends.
But that’s not enough. Brands need to create resonance with their fans to encourage purchase, engagement and loyalty.
Facebook Pages – Making fans out of consumers
For any brand or product, Facebook pages is one of the most effective marketing channels today. Recommendations or likes by common friends with similar interests and tastes drive relevant consumers to the page.
Official fan pages not only update existing and potential consumers about products or services, but also act as a channel to directly interact with consumers. This can help the brand judge how well the product or service will be received in the market, what improvements can be made and what consumers’ expectations are. Moreover, it can also help identify gaps to launch new products or services in the future.
Since Brand pages permit active interaction with consumers, they often gain more audience compared to their corresponding brand websites.
Viral marketing acts like a domino effect. It starts with one user engaging with the brand when he likes, shares or posts a message from the brand. Considering an average Facebook user has a few hundred friends, his activity is seen by a large number of these friends on the Timeline.
Even if a small percentage of these users like, share or post the message, it ensures visibility among hundreds of their friends, and the process continues like a chain reaction.
Since the message is compounded with a like or share by common friends, the credibility of the message is further enhanced. Thus a brand can get a large base of potential consumers who can be converted to users and loyal consumers.
And all it takes is a second for a Facebook user to click ‘like’, ‘share’, ‘comment’ or ‘check-in’.