Facebook has 42 million users, and they’re smart, affluent, Internet-savvy people whom marketers can no longer ignore.
However, traditional marketing methods won’t work here. In Facebook, the users are in charge, not the marketers, and that’s a fact we have to live with.
Facebook members can comment on your brand, and there’s not much you can do about it. The marketing channel is reversed—rather than top-down, things now move from the bottom up. Now that your customers can talk back, for good or ill, it pays to listen to what they have to say.
Learning to live with the new rules of social marketing is what this book is all about. If you want to survive and thrive in this world, you have to provide content, not just ad copy. Rather than interruptive advertising, you have to go viral. And spam can get you kicked out.
Facebook has tons of profit potential. Facebook users are not averse to marketing—they’re just averse to unilateral marketing that feels like marketing.
What’s in This Book
This book is a survey of Facebook and where marketers fit in. Facebook has many nooks and crannies that aren’t obvious to the casual user, and ferreting them out can be tough. Here’s what’s in this book:
Chapter 1, “Targeting Your Profile”
Most social interaction on Facebook revolves around your profile, and this chapter is all about setting up this most basic of Facebook tools. You’ll learn about the various sections of the Facebook profile, which is essential knowledge for the rest of the book.
Chapter 2, “Facebook Groups”
Facebook groups allow Facebook members to congregate and discuss issues—including your brand. Users can post text items, photos, and videos and hold discussions. This chapter shows you how to use groups and create your own group.
Chapter 3, “Creating Your Own Pages”
People have profiles on Facebook. Brands, bands, and companies have Facebook pages, which are much like profiles. Facebook members don’t become friends of a page, however; they become fans. This chapter shows you how Facebook pages work, as well as how to create your own Facebook page.
Chapter 4, “Hosting Your Own Facebook Events”
Facebook events are, as their name implies, pages about one-time events that you want people to know about. For example, your store could be having a big sale, a company picnic, or a sponsored event, such as a music event. This chapter shows you how to get the word out.
Chapter 5, “Introducing Advertising”
Facebook now allows ads (it didn’t used to). These can be displayed in various places, and you can pay using cost per click or cost per impression. Social ads tie into the actions that users perform on Facebook. We’ll explore all the options in this chapter.
Chapter 6, “Optimizing and Monitoring Your Advertising”
Having spent money on advertising, you’d like to know how effective those ads are—what your click-through ratio is, how many impressions you’re getting, and so on. Facebook recently added ad analytics, and they’re improving all the time, so we’ll take a look in this chapter.
Chapter 7, “Using the Marketplace”
If you have items to sell, Facebook is up to the task with its marketplace. You can list items for sale here, and people can get in touch with you about them. In other words, the marketplace is Facebook’s classified section. It’s free, and it works, and it can be useful to some marketers.
Chapter 8, “Beacon, Polls, and Networks”
Chapter 8 discusses some more-advanced marketing techniques—Beacon, polls, and handling networks.
Beacon is Facebook’s effort to “Facebookize” the entire Web for the benefit of marketers. Using Beacon, sites around the Web can add Facebook users’ actions on their sites to the news feeds on Facebook (for example, “Ethmoid Studge bought a book on booksbooksbooksetc.com”) and include a link. Because the news feed is the chief way that marketing goes viral on Facebook, that can be pretty powerful.
Facebook polls allow you to ask your potential customers questions and get immediate results. Polls are displayed in users’ news feeds, and users seem to have no problem letting their voices be heard—which is a great marketing tool.
As you’ll see in this book, much of Facebook centers on what network(s) you belong to. You’ll discover how to use this to your advantage—such as by posting on the network pages, which is where Facebook comes the closest to tolerating outright spam. You’ll also see how to suggest a new network to Facebook.
Chapter 9, “Facebook Applications”
Facebook has recently been thrown open to third-party developers, who create applications that can be displayed in users’ profiles and pages. There are many ways for marketers to take advantage of this. Many applications can display advertising, and you can buy space in them, using various ad networks. You can also use many applications to further your social networking on Facebook. And finally, you can hire developers to build your own applications, dedicated to your brand. You’ll see all of that in this chapter.
Chapter 10, “Developing Your Own Applications”
The last chapter gives you an overview of what’s involved in creating your own Facebook applications. You’ll build an actual Facebook application and get it running. And you’ll explore—and get working—various calls to the Facebook API.
What You’ll Need
All you need in this book is a Facebook account. So if you don’t already have one, go to http://www.facebook.com and sign up. As soon as you’re on Facebook, you’re ready to turn to Chapter 1.
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