The Growth of Facebook as a Social Media Marketing Tool

by Stephanie Weber

in Social Media

You can trace Facebook’s humble beginnings back to 2004. Before Mark Zuckerberg became the media mogul that he is today, he was just another college student of Harvard University. Its initial goal was to provide an easy way for students of Harvard to communicate online. Now it has turned into a global phenomenon that changed personal and business communication.

A Face for Businesses

The social network allowed businesses to have a face or personality consumers can interact with. Businesses are not mere suppliers of goods; they are entities people can connect with if they have any comments or suggestions. It permitted businesses to establish actual relationships with their consumers.

Facebook Ads

In 2007, the social network launched its Facebook Advertising platform. It allowed businesses to promote their products to their target audience. The ads that appear on the side of the newsfeed are relevant to what the user searches for or “likes” frequently. It also shows them a list of ads related to his or her other activities on the website.

Business Pages

In the same year, business pages became available after troubles with Facebook Groups surfaced. Also referred to as Fan Pages or ‘Like’ Pages, these business pages turned into places where brands can communicate with their consumers. Instead of creating a profile for a person, a business page may act as the company’s website itself. They can share photos, news, blogs, links and other things to promote their business.

Whenever a user ‘likes’ a page, the social network may recommend other pages similar to the popularity of the brand. They study the trends of what most people like in the network and may suggest pages for users to ‘like’ as well.

Facebook Places

In 2010, the social network allowed users to check-in to places they’ve been. This provides free marketing for stores or businesses, acting like word-of-mouth. Companies can gauge the number of check-ins they get for their store through this feature. They may also use check-ins as requirement for promos or giveaways. Stores may grant discounts or freebies on their promos to users checking in the Place.

The Future of Social Media Marketing

Facebook is continuing to grow as more users log into the website every day. With the site’s dramatic change from 2004-2013, you can expect the social network to upgrade more if its services to fit businesses’ needs worldwide.

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