How should brands approach Facebook marketing now?

MarkWallrapp650

To the average user, Facebook can be nearly anything — a way to learn new recipe ideas, play games, check out photos, connect with family, and more. But for those trying to build a business through Facebook marketing, it might be better for them to find one or two things to accomplish and really zero in on that.

Speaking at the Silicon Beach Fest last week in Santa Monica, Calif., Facebook’s Director of Strategic Accounts, Mark Wallrapp, talked about how many brands on social media (including Facebook) try to do too much or spread their focus too thin, in hopes of casting a wider net:

If you zoom out, we’re in this world where there’s just infinite amounts of information. The way to build a business or stand out among all that clutter is to tap into emotion, or is to stay authentic to the brand voice. I think a lot of smaller companies try to be all things to all people. Identify what you’re good at and then own that and go a mile deep. I think sometimes companies try to go a mile wide and you’re just never going to land.

Another major topic of discussion — Wallrapp was on a panel titled, “Big Brands, Startups and Social” — was the innovative ways that brands are not only reaching out to fans and customers, but talking with them.

Taco Bell does a great job of this on Facebook and other social channels. Jeff Jenkins, Taco Bell’s Resident Disruptor, discussed how the brand-customer relationship is now a two-way street and companies should use Facebook and other sites to listen to what fans are saying:

We’ve changed the model of how we market and how we operate. The old way of marketing has completely changed. We have a whole other model. If you think about what brands are today — they are content distributors. Content is the great connector. That’s what resonates with consumers. How do you find those things that do resonate? How do you translate those across the multiple channels that there are? How is your audience across different channels? … We’re always listening. You should always listen to consumers. The message is 24/7.

Wallrapp admitted that one of the things marketers are still trying to figure out is an accurate way for conversion attribution. Until that nut is cracked, Facebook is still efficient at building relationships with fans and customers, with the giant caveat that paid and organic reach is becoming costlier.

One of the main ways that panelists suggested reach can be achieved is through brand advocates. By getting consumers and fans to willingly share the message (whether it’s for a prize, or just because they’re in love with the product), that can cause organic and paid reach to rise. Many of the top brands are trying to find ways to reward fans for sharing the message and extending reach.

Readers: How has your approach to Facebook marketing changed over time?

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