Consumers are creating content and uploading it on a variety of online media platforms. These platforms are increasingly becoming the “places” where people get together and converse. All over the world they are communicating online on social networking sites like Facebook, microblogging services like Twitter, content sharing services like YouTube and Instagram, and LinkedIn, the business and employment-oriented networking site.
The wide range of facilities and features that these sites offer make it easy for users to expand their network, and create and share content with friends. Social is highly conducive to viral marketing; it can fuel and propagate campaigns to generate considerable buzz and awareness for a brand.
From the consumer marketers’ perspective, since this is where their consumers are hanging out, it is where they should engage with them. Most networking sites provide the means for doing so.
This chapter covers Facebook, the most widely used social platform. The chapters that follow cover other leading social sites —Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. While there are many other big social networks, the author chose to cover these four because they differ substantially in terms of features and content, and together they capture much of the diversity among the networks.
Focussing mainly on the use of Facebook for digital marketing, this chapter dwells on organic and paid advertising on the network, and the advertising options and formats.
Facebook, the most widely used social platform, is a networking site that allows people to communicate with each other. Here are some statistics, sourced from various sites, that reflect on the platform’s scale and diversity:
Considering Facebook’s enormous reach, it is not surprising that the vast majority of firms use the network to market their businesses. Netflix for instance, has 73 million followers (Feb 2021) on its Facebook page, and uses it effectively to market upcoming movies and serials. Programmes such as Netflix’s miniseries The Queens Gambit have their own Facebook pages that keep audiences engaged through video snippets such as the one shown in Exhibit 14.1.
To illustrate how the network is used to market products the following sections examine the Facebook pages of Vegemite and Singer Sewing Company.
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