Facebook: What Marketers Need to Know Now [Research]

Can You Trust Facebook?

Facebook is notorious for changing its privacy and data security policies without warning, only to amend them later when there’s user outrage.

Further eroding faith in Facebook is the fact that of it 955 million monthly active users, 4.8% or 45.8 million are duplicate accounts and 1.5% or 14.3 million are undesirable based on their latest SEC 10Q filing. Should you trust Facebook?

Roughly 300 million Facebook customers don’t trust Facebook

Only one out of three customers trusts Facebook according to The Alert Shopper III research by Placecast. While one third of users may sound low, when applied to Facebook’s massive user base, the numbers aren’t insignificant. In fact, it’s 298.3 million users after eliminating duplicate and undesirable accounts.

5 Other Facebook concerns users have

Facebook is a source of concern for social media savvy consumers based on 2012 Life on Demand Research by Performics and ROI Research.

  1. Over 40% of social media participants are “extremely concerned” or “very concerned” about their privacy on social networks.  By contrast, only a mere 5% aren’t concerned about social media privacy at all. Given that information posted on Facebook and other areas of the Internet are forever, what’s more surprising is that 100% of respondents aren’t extremely concerned! (Here are some social media privacy tips.)Social Media Trust
  2. Almost three out of four users have changed their Facebook privacy settings. This data point underscores the lack of trust people have in the social media platform since most Facebook users are security savvy. Facebook Trust Research Chart
  3. Roughly three out of five Facebook users restrict their profile and post information as well as limiting applications that wish to access their information. These high levels of proactive security measures underscore users’ lack of trust in the platform.
  4. Roughly three out of five users restrict who can view their Facebook posts. While users choose to limit viewers, their images and name can appear on Facebook if a friend, colleague or other person posts a photo or other content with a tag.
  5. About one in four participants users a social media platform to log into other social media sites either always or frequently. By contrast only one in five never takes advantage of this form of login. While attributable in part to the proliferating number of social media platforms and the difficulty managing the ever growing number of passwords, this still provides an entranceway for a privacy breach. 

What does Facebook’s lack of trust means for marketers?

Here are five marketing tactics to help you navigate Facebook for marketing purposes.

  1. Think location, location, location. You must be where your prospects, customers and fans are. On social media platforms, that’s Facebook despite how consumers feel about trust. Here are nine surefire Facebook tips inspired by Amy Porterfield (affiliate link).
  2. Follow the marketing majority. At a minimum, you should ensure that your Facebook content and interactions are as frequent and fresh as your competitors. Therefore, post at least once a week and respond to comments.
  3. Skip the promotions and socialize on Facebook. Social media provides a venue for consumers to socialize. As a marketer, it’s where you should engage and interact with your prospects, customers and fans. To this end, provide short messages and photos. (Here’s the Facebook data via Dan Zarrella to support this tactic.)
  4. Use advertising to direct propsects to your Facebook page. Since consumers are on Facebook to be socialize, leverage your Facebook ads to send them to your Facebook page. It makes your Facebook advertising more effective.
  5. Send consumers to your website to gather information.  Once you’ve engaged with your prospects and fans on your Facebook page, then entice them to go to your website to become a lead or a customers. (Of course, don’t overlook the need to streamline your on-site conversion process.)

Regardless of how you feel about Facebook as a part of your social media marketing plans, understand that consumers don’t trust the social media platform. Where possible, encourage prospects to register with your website or blog to build your housefile.

What other Facebook suggestions do you have?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Here are some related articles you may find of interest.

Photo credit:  http://www.thecharmingplace.com/wp-content/gallery/free-hand-drawn-social-media-icons/facebook-social-media-icon.gif


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