Why companies should advertise their products on the Facebook? Not all organizations use Facebook in same way and all have different types of target market. However, all organizations are required to promote their products, and to bring them closer to the end consumers. Organizations dealing in business to business or business to consumers can get a good platform at Facebook that they can utilize in increasing brand awareness and sales. Organizations often fear that getting on to the Facebook might create negative publicity as all people can talk openly and conversations can be watched by anyone. Companies also avoid using Facebook as their competitors can destroy their image by leaving negative messages. Fecebook has various advantages that attract companies to develop their page and start interacting with the customers.
Facebook was established by Mark Zuckebrg in year 2004. The website was initially launched only for Harvard’s students, but soon started accepting students from different universities. The website become very popular among all types of users and started accepting all people over the age of 13 years. Presently Facebook has more than 400 million users across the world, and every user on an average spends around one hour on the Facebook daily. Various organizations and education institutes decided to ban Facebook page as they found that employees or students are spending significant amount of time on the Facebook. Organizations consider Facebook as distraction as employees are addicted of using Facebook. Various research studies have conducted to analyze the impact of Facebook on young users (McKenna et al., 2002).
In a very short time Facebook received tremendous popularity and acceptance by all types of users across the world. Facebook changed the way how people used to interact online earlier, and brought revolution in the field of social media. Business organizations also realized the growing popularity of the Facebook, hence started engaging in social networking where large percentage of potential customers are actively participating and spending significant amount of time. Presently around 1.5 million companies or businesses are active on the Facebook.
Facebook is not the only player dealing in social media. The company is facing challenges from Google and Yahoo when it comes to internet advertising, and from Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest when it comes to social media (Hof, 2014). Facebook percentage of total U.S. digital display advertisement revenue was 18.3 percent in year 2013 and this is expected to grow in year 2014 and 2015 (Statista, 2014). Despite of increase in revenue of the competitors, Facebook is not only retaining its position but also achieving growth in revenue and customer base. Facebook is adopting innovative ways to deal with the competitors and to provide something new and unique to the customers. Other competitors may noticing an increase in their revenue, but they are far behind the Facebook. Competitors still need to go far to achieve the position owned by the Facebook
It is important for an organization if customers are talking about its products and services online to others. Companies generally spends huge amount of money in order to reach to their target market and making customers aware about new products and sales promotions. Companies ask themselves what would be the cost associated to have a brand at the Facebook. Companies think that how they can make their presence on the Facebook. Facebook is an easy and very cost effective method for the companies to promote their product on the Facebook.
Identification of Underlying Technologies:
Facebook is utilized by the companies to advertise their products and for optimization purposes. Search engine optimization technology is important for the business. Companies mention some key words or phrases in their content on their Facebook page to get searched. Companies can use company name, brand name, key worlds, videos, and pictures to increase their exposure and visibility. Facebook provides interactive medium of communication where all groups can communicate with each other. Companies optimize their content in order to top the search list and become most visited or viewed content (Oinas-Kukkonen, 2008).
Companies use Facebook to inform visitors about their products and offerings. Facebook is considered as a credible source of information with high page rank. Facebook gets updated very frequently and has multiple links: this is why Google needs to place Facebook among top searches like Wikipedia. When a company top the search list it leaves all negative comments and competitors behind. Companies achieve this by collaborating with the Facebook. They tried to come forward in the search results and Facebook help those companies.
Solution to the Problems:
Facebook products are suitable for all individuals and organizations as they reach easily to targeted audiences. Facebook has a broader reach and connects to a large number of people along with actual customers. Variety of the companies operating at local or global level can smoothly develop and manage their page on the Facebook. However, it is true that not all products are fit for all types of audience. Advertisement on other websites do not cater a customized class of customers but Facebook takes a lead on this front and serves purpose of companies (Lucas, 2008).
Facebook gives users various options to customize their search and results. Suppose if a user searches about something on google or other search engines, a number of search results appear. A majority of these results may not be very relevant for users but Facebook provides users an option of customizing their search. People can add descriptions including location, marital status, male or female while searching on Facebook. Due to its user friendly and customized features, Facebook solves the purpose of companies and broadens their reach to their targeted customers.
Customers often make a search about the products before purchasing them online or offline. Therefore, it is essential that companies increase their presence online. However, companies are also required to ensure that any negative message, feedback, or opinion does not come in top ten search results made on the Google search engine. Negative results may leave current customers in panic state and damage the brand image adversely. This is why most of the companies hesitates in going online irrespective of excellent products and services.
Standard Features and Tools:
Facebook believes in continuous innovation. Facebook has introduced a number of general and special features, apps and tools that are user friendly and facilitate users in using Facebook in a convenient way. Facebook has not only introduced new features but it also has improved various existing features. Users find these features very useful and also cost saving. Various features of Facebook help users in saving money. Making long-distance telephone calls costs much, but by using chat feature of Facebook, users can convey their messages in any parts of the world, and at the same time, they also save a lot of money (Zarrella and Zarrella, 2011).
Facebook has recently introduced video chat feature that is very useful feature for users. Other useful Facebook features include news feed, location, news feed and messages. Sharing photos and videos benefits Facebook users in various ways. Facebook has benefitted users in different parts of the world and it is evident that it has helped people in raising their vices against injustices, corruption and atrocities in various countries. The best part of using the Facebook is that it opens the whole world for its users where they can exchange information and communicate people who are sitting in different parts of the world.
Risks and Weaknesses:
Facebook has variety of benefits but it is difficult to find any business without risks and weaknesses. Major risks of the Facebook are: presently a major percentage of Facebook’s revenue comes from online advertisement, hence, company is required to identify other sources of revenue; and high attrition of talent is another risk of the Facebook. The company also requires to attract new users continuously and introduce innovative products. Facebook also faces challenges in terms of maintaining privacy, security and safety, technical challenges and advertiser’s loss. Changes in the privacy settings surprised customers when company shares information with other sites. However, new applications and software allows company to protect personal information of the customers safe and secure. Users also have options to keep their content protected from un-wanted access or users (Rosenblum, 2007).
Facebook page of any company or individuals are not controlled by them. Facebook utilizes the information of the customers for business purpose. Companies have pages on the Facebook lost their control over their brand; its customers who drive the brand. Continuous changes in the security policy, access options, and applications also create challenges for the customers. Facebook should analyze the effects brought by the changes carried out by the company over a period of time. Customers can protect their information by locking and using security options provided by the Facebook.
Business organizations often complaint that their employees spend significant time on the Facebook. However, such platforms can be used by the companies to gain business benefits. Companies are utilizing research and survey for last several decades to understand various dimensions of the business and to understand consumer behavior. Facebook, Smartphones and social networking sites can be utilized by the company in gaining insight on consumer behavior, attitude, and other relevant data. Facebook can be utilized as new way to administer surveys, data collection, and gaining information on customer’s feedback on the products. Facebook technology is capable to replace traditional, time consuming and expensive methods of data collection (Allen, 1996).
Conceptually social networking sites’ ethics deals with data privacy, integrity of the data, confidentiality, professional standards, and intellectual property issues. Evolution in technology brought ethical dilemmas associated with ethics’ elements. It is difficult for social networking sites to maintain privacy of the information. Information once posted on the Facebook becomes public and can be viewed by all people and Facebook users. It is difficult for Facebook and other social networking sites to maintain privacy and intellectual property rights (Acquisti and Gross, 2006).
Features and/or Enhancement:
Facebook is continuously evolving, updating its features and bringing latest technology to the users. Facebook tries to understand the requirements of users and also tries to change Facebook. Facebook should also try to communicate with people and improve its services as per their suggestions. When Timeline was imposed in the year 2011, a number of users did not like the new change but it was enforced on users. Facebook should provide options to users instead of enforcing its features on users.
Facebook should improve some of its existing features. Currently Facebook blocks people who send friend requests to unknown users. Facebook may have some reasons for this but it annoys users when they find themselves blocked for days and even for a month. Sometimes Facebook suggests them various people and indicate users that they may be potential friends but when users send friend request, the Facebook turns down their request. It starts enquiring about whether the user knows that person or not. Such things should be improved and Facebook should make them feel users that they have the ample freedom. A user is responsible for his or her behavior and every individual is responsible for his own acts.
Facebook function on push marketing strategy unlike its major competitor Google where people actually search for the information and products. Facebook pushes people to view content or videos or information about different type of product. Large number of people exchange information on different subjects on daily basis. Companies also utilize Facebook by developing their Facebook page and leaving it open for the customers to share their experiences and stories on that page.
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