Social media plays a pivotal role in marketing today, as businesses have come to use it for a variety of outreach efforts. While Facebook provides creative departments a vast consumer market with which they can leverage their products and services, it’s important for marketers to use the platform wisely if they want to see positive results.
Few marketers use Facebook to generate profit margins. Instead, the service has become more of a branding extension where businesses can engage with their loyal customers in a personal way. According to a new survey of Ad Age subscribers by Ad Age and Citigroup, marketers tend to buy ads on Facebook not to turn profits, but build brand awareness.
The research found that approximately 45.9 percent of respondents said building brand loyalty is the primary motivation behind their Facebook advertising efforts. Driving traffic to brand websites was labeled as the second most cited goal, with generating leads and “likes” as subsequent answers.
“Brands spent a lot of time and energy in 2011 building up their fan base, and fan acquisition was a top goal for many brands,” Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at eMarketer, told Ad Age. “I think what you’re seeing now is an evolution; now we have these fans and we have to figure out what to do with them.”
While using Facebook for brand awareness can have numerous benefits, marketers need to have more direct ways to convert leads to sales. Direct mail remains the most effective method in the industry, as recipients are more likely to engage with printed materials and consider responding to the brands that use them. Professionals can conceptualize a print campaign that complements the content on their companies’ Facebook profiles, but with additional calls to action. When direct mail marketing efforts create initial impressions using social media platforms and follow up those engagements with more concrete sales tactics, the likelihood of brand loyalty and profit margins to rise tandemly increases.
Social media will be an influential part of branding as time moves forward, but it’s important that creative departments remember to maintain an even balance of interactive and traditional marketing if they want to see greater success. Direct mail is proven to reach target audiences, as the articles are delivered to prospects directly, so understanding how to use this approach can be worthwhile for brands in any industry.Social tagging: Direct Mail