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How to Market Your Business on Facebook

New research suggests companies must rethink how they use Facebook marketing, or at least reconsider why their customers are on Facebook in the first place. Usually, when a marketing campaign on Facebook fails it’s because a company ignored one or more of the following:

The reason your customers are following you on Facebook. Most consumers that have “liked” a brand are not interested in receiving marketing communications from them. In fact, ExactTarget points out in its report, a previous study found that 70% of consumers who “liked” a brand on Facebook didn’t feel they’d given this company permission to market to them. Instead, they did it to express their personal endorsements and approvals of companies with other Facebook friends. Only 31% of consumers become fans to get freebies or giveaways and 25% to receive sale notification.

The fact it wasn’t fun. Consumers use Facebook because it’s fun. In fact, 30% of consumers think of it as a guilty pleasure much like the secret pint of ice cream in the freezer.

Facebook is not a search channel, it’s a social networking channel. Consumers don’t go to Facebook looking for something specific. The greatest strength of Facebook as a marketing channel results when consumers discover things they didn’t set out to find in the first place. Friends’ recommendations, for that reason, are particularly valuable and this can be a powerful way for marketers to increase their brand awareness, even when consumers aren’t consciously looking for brand messages.”

It wasn’t useful. Consumers are less tolerant of brand messages on Facebook than most other channels. If your marketing conversation isn’t perceived as valuable, consumers tend to ‘unlike’ you to save precious space on their Facebook walls.