Corporate Eye

How Brands Can Leverage the Social Impact of Facebook

social networkYour brand is probably already represented on Facebook. It probably has a Facebook Page, and one or more people from your company probably publish content on that page and respond to comments published by other users throughout the day. You might even place ads and hold promotions or other marketing campaigns on Facebook. But is your brand truly leveraging the social impact of Facebook?

According to the Social Media Update 2013, from Pew Research Center, social networkers have been significantly impacted—psychologically, behaviorally, physically, and socially—be social media tools. A study of adult internet users from the United States found that social network usage has improved social relationships and reduced isolation. For example, the average social networker is half as likely to be socially isolated than the average American. According to the data, nowhere is that shift more apparent than Facebook.

There are several social effects that brands can leverage on Facebook. By understanding varying social behaviors and how Facebook users’ social relationships and support systems work, the more successful brand marketing investments in Facebook will be. Here are four of those social effects that brand managers can leverage.

Trust

The Pew Research Center report found that Facebook users are more trusting than users of any other social network studied (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn). Building brand trust is essential to brand growth. Knowing that Facebook audiences tend to be more trusting than other social network audiences should be factored into your marketing decision-making.

Social Ties

The report also found that Facebook users have more close relationships than users of any other social network studied. In other words, there are fewer arms-length relationships on Facebook and more personalized and committed relationships. People are more invested in each other on Facebook, and that closeness can lead to stronger word-of-mouth marketing.

Support

According to the report, Facebook users get more support from their social relationships than users of any other social network studied. This social support can lead directly to powerful brand advocacy and word-of-mouth marketing.

Politics

Facebook users are significantly more politically engaged than most people, which is very important if your brand is tied in anyway to politics (directly or indirectly). The Facebook audience is more likely to be interested in and interact with politically-relevant brand content. Tread carefully in this area, but for some brands, it’s a natural fit.

Of course, you need to analyze your brand and target audience to ensure the content and conversations you publish on Facebook are representative of your brand promise and help you reach your goals. Use these Facebook social nuances to develop better brand marketing initiatives and your results should improve.

Image: Iwan Beijes

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as MSNBC.com, BusinessWeek.com, TodayShow.com, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.
 
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