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Unit V Research Report

Facebook as a Marketing tool
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Facebook is a social networking giant that connects people all over the world, making the
earth a global village. Originally designed to facilitate communication of university students,
Facebook was created in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and his friends. Today, Facebook is the
largest social networking site with more than one billion users all over the world. Facebook
stands out as a unique platform compared to other ways of communication such as email and
instant messaging because of its ability to connect with and share information with people you
care about at the same time. Facebook allows a user to send messages to keep in touch with
family, friends, and groups. Also, the user can post status updates and share different contents
such as links, photos, and videos. Unlike instant messaging and email which have a relative
degree of privacy, the information shared on Facebook is more public. Hence they are usually
viewed by many people. Facebook is designed to be more open and social than other traditional
communication tools. However, Facebook offers privacy tools so that a user can limit the
information sent and restrict the audience.
With the birth of Facebook came many opportunities for marketing. For many firms,
Facebook has proved to be an indispensable marketing tool especially because of the broad
audience it commands. With more one billion users and adding more every day, Facebook has
become the preferred choice for marketers who are choosing to outsmart their competitors at all
fronts. On the downside, there have been concerns that the stream of ads that has become
characteristic of Facebook today hinders from achieving a seamless experience when
communicating with their families and friends. According to a survey conducted, users asserted
that they want to see less promotional content in their newsfeed and more chats and posts from
friends and family. It is common for overly promotional ads to pop up in users’ timelines,
something which has not augured well with most of them. To make matters worse, most of these
ads are unpaid and lack creativity. In light of these two concerns, Facebook has vowed to crack
down on unpaid ads appearing in users’ timelines. If this move is implemented, brands will be
forced to buy an add to bubble up into feeds. Firms that have previously relied heavily on the
platform for their marketing campaigns will be the most affected by this directive from
Facebook. In response, some firms such as Bacardi have re-oriented their online marketing
strategies to fully exploit Facebook’s tools. This renewed strategy ensures that firms engage with
Facebook from a paid perspective since the social platform is no longer earned media. Social
media marketing has always relied on organic reach and the discovery of content. Unfortunately,
with Facebook’s algorithm, a marketer can only access a couple of hundreds of the fan base.
These were the concerns of Sonia Carter, Mondelez’ Europe head of social and digital media.
She advocates for brands to move from “a funnel to the megaphone” which essentially means
accessing as many people as possible.
Facebook has built a solid foundation for marketing on its social network. However
marketers sometimes fail to exploit the full potential of this platforms. Marketers stand a better
chance of communicating with their fans directly through their inbox since it is difficult to catch
the attention of fans in the newsfeeds. Also, when marketers fail to respond to fans’ posts and
messages, they stand to cast a bad light on themselves which may have an adverse effect on their
firm’s reputation. In marketing, the first impression is always as important as any other
marketing initiatives. A cover photo of products sold on the firm’s Facebook marketing page can
be very useful in creating a robust and lasting impression of the firm to its fans. What’s more, a
branded cover photo that is representative and corresponds to the store or business may help to
drum up more support for the brand. Adhering to the tips above will undoubtedly help a firm to
maximize the benefits accrued from using Facebook as a marketing tool.
Facebook offers a fantastic targeted advertising platform. Firms can create ads targeting
specific geographic areas, levels of education, age and even the types of devices used for access.
These ads may be in the form of short informative videos. While some firms use Facebook
groups, which are similar to discussion forums, they can be very time consuming to create.
Facebook pages provide the simplest and easiest way to market on Facebook. They are flexible
and relatively easy to set up. Other tools used for marketing are profile photos and cover photos.
The profile photo is usually the firm’s logo whereas the cover image can by any relevant photo
ranging from fancy artwork to photos of employees as long as the picture enhances the page and
draws the attention of the fans.
Email marketing and social marketing have the same goals, to keep your business in front
of customers and stay ahead of the competition. Integrating email and Facebook creates a better
chance of getting seen in your customers’ inbox, which is less “noisy” compared to their
newsfeeds. Emailing customers on a regular basis enables customers to remember you the next
time they need to make a purchase. Using email enables firms to have a closer interaction with
their customers. Liking a page on Facebook takes little commitment. However, subscribing to an
email list is a much bigger commitment-customers must be interested in your information to
readily provide their email addresses and allow a firm to send them emails regularly (Kaur,
2016). Firms usually establish their unique fan base by posting information about their email list
in their status updates.
Facebook has transformed the way businesses interact with their customers. But as
always seems to be the case, every good thing has a downside. This double-edged sword comes
with a plethora of security risks and is a source of major concern for businesses. One study
revealed that small businesses had been compromised at least once by workers using social
media sites. Another threat to any business is the infection of systems by malware. This often
happens through clicking of malicious links, which can lead to downloading of malicious sites.
At the same time, business data can be compromised through the recent rise of malicious
applications for mobile devices (Geho & Dangelo, 2012). A multilayered security is vital to
preventing a new wave of cyber-attacks and breaches. In this model, the firm uses advanced
security at multiple points throughout the network. In the contemporary online landscape,
additional security measures such as host-based software that monitor malicious behavior on the
network have also proved to be indispensable in enhancing internet security.
Kaur, J. (2016). Facebook-as a marketing tool. ACADEMICIA: An International
Multidisciplinary Research Journal, 6(4), 215-221.
Geho, P. R., & Dangelo, J. (2012). The evolution of social media as a marketing tool for
entrepreneurs. The Entrepreneurial Executive, 17, 61.

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