Facebook: A Place for… Part 4

The final installment of my internship paper, Facebook: A Place for Friends and Businesses, offers conclusions based on research and some suggestions for businesses who are going to use Facebook and other social media as supplements to traditional marketing and advertising strategies. Works cited & consulted follows the last section of the paper.

Don’t want to read it in parts? The whole paper can now be viewed and read on this page: Facebook: A Place for Friends and Businesses.

Conclusions and Suggestions for Using Facebook
In five to ten years from now, we might look back and ask ourselves “what were we thinking?” when it comes to Facebook and similar websites like it. Social networking websites as we know them today might be nonexistent, if the novelty of using them finally wears off or if the websites are run into the ground after one too many occurrences of violating user privacy, or they might still exist in harmony with the regulations that have – and will ultimately be – put into place to regulate them. For now, however, Facebook and social networking websites are here. They are viable, modern tools for businesses like Victoria Secret, Chick-fil-A, and many others, large and small, to use to get in contact with their consumers at a very personal level.

Business should keep in mind the reasons why people are using social networking tools – to interact with friends and family members, primarily. Marketing and advertising strategies should be planned accordingly, or otherwise the business might face the consequence of being “unfriended” for spamming. A few good “dos” for marketers to keep in mind when using social media are as follows:

  • Do keep in mind that Facebook is, first and foremost, “a place for friends.” Facebook’s creators first established the site with college students in mind, and businesses did not enter the website until sometime later.
  • Do establish reasonable, manageable guidelines for the amount of posting that will be done. Monitor the frequency of posts coming from your business’ Facebook page and keep in mind the ratio of one promotional post for every six posts.
  • Do have a budget, plan, and goals for all social media campaigns. Take advantage of built-in tools, such as analytics and user feedback, to determine the effectiveness of campaigns.
  • Do keep the viral nature of Facebook and the internet in mind. Facebook is a great resource to be used for passing content and messages – both good and bad! – among users around the world. It is good to monitor where and how your company is being mentioned online. Negative remarks about your company can spread virally, so a quick response to counter these comments is essential to prevent permanent damage to your company’s brand image.
  • Do keep the laws in mind. It is important to have a policy regarding piracy and copyright infringement, two of the largest concerns on the internet today, and have it clearly posted where users can see it. If your company runs a contest where there is user-generated content created, make it clear that there is content which should and should not be included in submissions and establish that there is no affiliation between your company and what the users create.

Works Cited (Annotated)

Buttell, Amy E. “Taming the Social Networking Beast.” Practice Management Solutions, May-June 2010, 6-7.

“6 ways to manage an effective social networking strategy.”

“Company Timeline.” Facebook. http://facebook.com/press/info.php?timeline (accessed October 12, 2010).

Facebook company timeline.

Inyoung, Hwang. “Facebook, Twitter Influence Holiday Gift Buying.” BusinessWeek Online, December 10, 2009. http://businessweek.com/technology/content/dec2009/tc20091210_511199.htm (accessed June 10, 2010).

Results from a ComScore study on social media and holiday gift buying.

Morrissey, Brian. “Chick-fil-A’s Strategy: Give Your Fans Something to Do.” Brandweek, October 3, 2009. http://brandweek.com/bw/content_display/esearch/e3i505f5fdeedc76b42315eeabfe5c3b450 (accessed October 12, 2010).

Chick-Fil-A as an example of a business effectively using social media.

Shih, Clara. The Facebook Era: Tapping Online Social Networks to Build Better Products, Reach New Audiences, and Sell More Stuff. Boston: Prentice Hall, 2009.

All about how Facebook can effectively be used in business.

“Statistics.” Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics (accessed October 12, 2010).

Statistics for www.facebook.com.

Victoria’s Secret. Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. http://victoriassecret.com/fashionshow (accessed December 5, 2010).

The VS Fashion Show microsite, an extension of the main VS website created exclusively for updates and promotions related to the VS Fashion Show.

Victoria’s Secret. Victoria’s Secret on Facebook. http://facebook.com/victoriassecret (accessed December 5, 2010).

Official fan page of VS on Facebook.com.

Works Consulted (Annotated)

Funk, Tom. Web 2.0 and Beyond: Understanding the Online Business Models, Trends, and Technologies. Westport: Praeger, 2009.

Social networking is discussed among many other topics related to Web 2.0.

Morrison, David A. Marketing to the Campus Crowd: Everything You Need to Know to Capture the $200 Billion College Market. Chicago: Dearborn Trade Publishing, 2004.

Information about internet marketing.

Steinman, Melissa Landau, and Hawkins Mikhia. “When Marketing Through Social Media, Legal Risks Can Go Viral.” Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal 22, no. 8 (August 2010): 1-9.

Applying policies and laws to social media.

Tuten, Tracy L. Advertising 2.0: Social Media Marketing in a Web 2.0 World. Westport: Praeger, 2008.

Engaging customers through social media marketing on the web and internet advertising. Good suggestions for planning a social media marketing campaign are on pages 27-28.