Every time a new medium comes along, it takes a while before marketers break out of the old mold and adapt to the new.
For instance, early television ads were typically stand-up announcers reading radio spots on camera. It took some time before advertisers took advantage of the power of television to visually demonstrate product benefits.
Likewise, most early websites were nothing more than the company brochure replicated online. It took a while before companies took full advantage of the web’s unique capability to provide dynamically generated content and easy access to personalized information through site search.
Now, a similar phenomenon is happening with Facebook. Many marketers are treating it as just another avenue for “push” marketing, serving up a steady stream of ads and links to other marketing vehicles. While Facebook-only offers may reward users and make them feel special, Facebook’s real power is in its ability to create a two-way conversation with customers.
Used well, Facebook can provide superb feedback on what you’re doing well, what needs improvement, what other product categories you should pursue, how your audience perceives the competition, what your marketing priorities should be, and more.
Social media is often compared to cocktail party conversation. If you could hold a cocktail party with your best customers and prospects and have the opportunity to say to each one, “Let me pick your brain for a minute…” – what would you ask them? Think of Facebook that way, and you’ll be well on the way to putting it to good use.