Today I am going to introduce you to a quiet wide but very interesting topic- using Facebook for business.
It is proven by various researchers that Social Media (SM) can be a very rich potential source of customers and other stakeholders for any business and doesn’t matter whether it is a local start-up or a well-know international organization (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010). It is important to mention why Social Media has experiences a high growth of popularity and attention paid to this topic that emerged with the development of Internet and technologies related to it. Goffman (1959) cited in Kaplan and Haenlein (2010, pp. 59-68) mentioned that in any type of social interaction person wants to have a total control of the impression that other people form of him. Ability to express yourself and show your presence online is gained by individuals through creating their personal webpage (Schau and Gilly, 2003).
Kaplan and Haelen (2010) stated that the social media classified into blogs (e,g MySpace, LiveJournal, WordPress), social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, MySpace, Google+ ), virtual social worlds (e.g. Second Life), collaborative projects (e.g. Wikipedia), communities (e.g. YouTube, Flicker), and virtual game worlds (e.g. World of Warcraft).
Based on the studies by Fogel and Nehmad (2009) Facebook (Social Networking tool invented by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004 just to stay in touch with his classmates from Harvard University) is considered to be the most popular SM tool among students. However, nowadays the range of users of Facebook is not just limited to students, there is a tendency that more and more members of older generations are opening their profile online. Madden (2010) in his work mentioned that the number of adults over 50 has increased by 88% in the period of time from 2009 to 2010. Carmichael (2011), cited in Rauniar and Rawski et al. (2014, pp. 6-30) showed in his report that over 40% of users on Facebook are over 35 years old. Does this high growth of number of people using Facebook and increasing diversity of users presents a red flag for businesses and marketers? There are definitely a whole lot of opportunities that are waiting for businesses to register their profiles on Facebook and reach their potential customers. (Vahl, 2013)
Many researchers find Facebook as a very effective marketing tool that allows them to post pictures, set up discussions and attract more attention from their potential customers. Stelzner (2013) said that if the company has a physical or online product, as well as program or services, Facebook business page can be tremendously advantageous, since this type of page allow the company talks about its product on a regular basis. On the other hand, according to Hutter and Hautz et al. (2013) mentioned that customers have turned to a position of being able to actively and constantly create and influence the content rather than being only inactive recipient. However, Goehst (2014) affirms that it is difficult, especially for small businesses, to determine correctly their marketing in order to have advantage of Facebook page, as these companies got used to use the traditional ways of marketing and advertising, such as newspapers, TV and radio and the same formal tone that was used for many years just wont work anymore. In addition, Butters (2014) agrees that it is necessary to keep the language simple and understandable, as the Facebook prefer more casual way of communication rather than traditional way of advertising. The Facebook page can be set up easily, it does not require specific skills to manage and absolutely free tool for promoting businesses. (“Facebook can transform your business”, 2013). On the other hand, according to Kaplan and Haenlein (2010), companies are used to carefully filter information that is being delivered to their target market, with the help of press releases, advertisement and good public relations. Does it mean that business are risking to loose control over what is being said about them online? Management of Facebook understands the importance of attracting businesses to work on the “spacious fields” of their online platform. This is why they are trying to stay as business friendly as possible, by setting up tutorial and publishing eBooks in order to show businesses how easy and useful Facebook marketing tool could be for them.
To conclude with, there is much more to say about Facebook and how it can influence the business, doesn’t matter small one or globally known, especially nowadays when the Social Media rising up so quickly. Brands are becoming more socially orientated and the companies are admitting that Social Media in these latter days is a key marketing channel (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010).
(2013) “Facebook can transform your business: How one small start-up stimulates sales”, Strategic Direction, Vol. 29 Iss: 9, pp.9 – 1
Butters, K. 2014. 4 Ways to Improve Your Facebook Ads |. [online] Available at: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/improve-facebook-ads/ [Accessed: 4 Apr 2014].
Fogels, J. and Nehmad, E. (2009), “Internet social network communities: risk taking, trust, and privacy concerns”, Computers in Human Behavior, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 153-160.
Goehst, D. 2014. Facebook Pros and Cons for Businesses | Social Media Today. [online] Available at: http://socialmediatoday.com/freelancewriter/1843866/facebook-business-pros-and-cons [Accessed: 3 Apr 2014].
Goffman, E. (1959). The presentation of self in everyday life. New York: Doubleday Anchor Books
Hutter, K., Hautz, J., Dennhardt, S. and F\”Uller, J. 2013. The impact of user interactions in social media on brand awareness and purchase intention: the case of MINI on Facebook. Journal of Product \& Brand Management, 22 (5/6), pp. 2–2.
Kaplan, A.M. and Haenlein, M. (2010), “Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media”, Business Horizons, Vol. 53 No. 1, pp. 59-68.
Madden, M. (2010), “Older adults and social media”, Pew Internet and American Life Project, available at: http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Older-Adults-and-Social-Media.aspx
Rauniar, R., Rawski, G., Yang, J. and Johnson, B. 2014. Technology acceptance model (TAM) and social media usage: an empirical study on Facebook. Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 27 (1), pp. 6–30.
Schau, H. J., & Gilly, M. C. (2003). We are what we post? Self- presentation in personal web space. Journal of Consumer Research, 30(3), 385—404.
Stelzner, M. 2013. Facebook Marketing Plan, How to Grow Your Business With Facebook. [online] Available at: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/facebook-marketing-plan-with-amy-porterfield/ [Accessed: 4 Apr 2014].
Vahl, A. 2013. How to Set Up a Facebook Page for Business |. [online] Available at: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-set-up-a-facebook-page-for-business/ [Accessed: 3 Apr 2014].
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