The danger with social media is that it is easy to get lost in the fray. There are so many different sites out there. How do you know where to start?
It’s very easy to see the hot new shiny toy and think “that’s where we need to be.” You see a company have success on Facebook, or has a video go viral on YouTube, and you think the same will happen with you. This is a common misperception that can cost companies millions of dollars and thousands of hours.
So it is incredibly important to find out who your audience is and where they hang out.
**DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP**
Due diligence and research here will ultimately prove to be the most important factor when you begin your social media strategy.
OK, so you found out that a key portion of your audience are actively using Facebook. How important is it that you reach them?
Here are some numbers from digitalbuzzblog about Facebook in 2010.
(*Updated for 2011.)
- 845 million active users*
- 12% of the entire world is on Facebook*
- 250 million logged in daily
- 72% of Internet users in US are on Facebook
- 80% of entire Facebook users are outside of US*
- 130 friends on average
- 74% increase among the 18-34-year-old demographic
- 48% of 18-34-year-olds check Facebook when they wake up
- 30% of entire user base is 35-year-old+ demographic
- 700 billion minutes spent a month on Facebook
- 20 million applications installed per day
- 250 million interact with Facebook outside the Web site
- 425 million have Facebook on their mobile phones*
- 48% of young people get their news on Facebook
- 72 million links shared per day/ or 1 million every 20 minutes
- 3 million messages sent
Talk about reach! If Facebook was a boxer, we would all be saying Muhammad-who? To dumb down these overwhelming numbers. If you can capture just 1% of Facebook’s audience for your Web site, you would have 5 million “Friends” or “Likes.” Or heck, let’s just say that you have just an average number of “Friends.” If they all “Liked” something on your page you can reach about 17,000 others all from just an average Friend List.
“Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life.”
Let’s look at creating a fan page with the help from our buddies over at Search Engine Land. To create a page you need to choose what kind of industry you”re in (i.e. Local Business, Company, Brand, Artist, Entertainment, Cause…). Then you choose your category, name your page, and accept terms of conditions. From here you are live to the public.
Now you can update and edit your info, comment and post on your wall, and upload videos and photos. You can put your Web site on your “About” section, and “Like” other Facebook pages. And you can add a profile picture.
All you these visual displays will help your social media strategy and be nice for your audience to look at. You can see that having an authoritative brand like Search Engine Land can help with accumulating fans, as can be seen by the nearly 35,000 “Likes,” and the dozens of comments and shares received on each post.
Search Engine Land makes their Facebook page a place for their audience to not just obtain valuable information, but also interact with others who have the same interest.
The drawing power of Facebook is too big to ignore, and the measure of your R.O.I. is easily quantifiable, but don’t make the mistake that Facebook end-all/be-all for your social media strategy. Just as in SEO, the larger the pool doesn’t necessarily mean the most fish. Niche social networking sites, might not have the number of audience that a Facebook has, but it could provide more qualified viewership. Guess what we’ll talk about next?