Advantages And Limitations Of Using Facebook As A Marketing Tool


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Advantages & limitations of using Facebook as a marketing tool

Though Facebook made its appearance as a social networking platform, it soon became a marketing tool with great potential. According to data, Facebook had 25 million user groups and annual revenue of over $150 million as in 2009. No wonder that people have jumped on the bandwagon of making the most of Facebook to promote new products and services, find new clients, and stay in touch with the existing ones. If you are still unsure of how Facebook can help, here are some of its benefits:

Advantages:

  • It’s Free:

    You can reach out to a wide clientele base and promote your offerings, all for free – thanks to Facebook.

  • Improve SEO Efforts:

    You can help your content spread through the viral channels of Facebook like the invitations, news feed, and messages. By using some SEO tactics for your Facebook page, you can reach more and more Facebook fans. Since Facebook has its own SEO techniques in place, you can even reach its entire user base and benefit directly. No wonder that a properly created Facebook page can improve your SEO efforts by quite a few notches.

  • Multimedia Features:

    You can use multimedia features of Facebook such as product images and video demos to entice customers – prospective and existing ones alike.

  • Simplicity:

    Since it’s pretty simple to create your Facebook account and use the same, you won’t need any exhaustive training to bring this marketing tool into action.

  • Third Party Applications:

    Since the Facebook platform allows developers to put up third-party applications for use within its user interface, you can now promote your website and offerings to the Facebook audience easily.

  • Advertising:

    Facebook offers a lucrative business-networking platform for advertising, self-promotion, and multimedia interaction. With new apps as well as add-ons for use, you can now send other Facebook users a virtual drink, use social ads to advertise your business, create and host events, and much more. You can even purchase a link on Facebook to sponsor your own group and host message boards, ad content, and the like, thereby making the most of Facebook marketing tool.

  • Allow user to search new and old friends:

    By using the search feature of Facebook, you can now find your old pals, include them in your friend’s list and even make new friends, all of whom help you to expand your client base – that too without any investment on your part.

  • Provide Dating service:

    As a Facebook user, you can use several dating applications to find like minded people, meet and chat with them online, thereby furthering your business interests.

  • You can join groups having similar likes and dislikes:

    By joining groups that have similar interests as yours, you can connect with people having some common interests and activities, thereby building your own community on Facebook that can be used later to serve as your potential client base.

  • You can maintain and increase your social circle:

    You can expand your networks and business opportunities greatly by maintaining and increasing your social circle via Facebook, which is counted to be one of the most important Facebook advantages.

    Disadvantages:

    • Time Consuming:

      Since peo¬ple who fre¬quent Facebook are usu¬ally look¬ing for enter¬tain¬ment, free infor¬ma¬tion, or a chance to social¬ize, you will need to do exten¬sive and continuous work to make it work as an effective marketing tool.

    • Facebook Addiction:

      Amidst finding old friends, scheduling events, playing games, connecting with people and sending them virtual gifts, you tend to become addicted to Facebook and may even like to stay in your virtual world rather than meet people face-to-face, which is one of the serious Facebook limitations. Such an addiction can do more harm than good to your business.

    • Privacy Considerations:

      While you can share a lot of information about your business, products and services publicly on Facebook, the amount of control that you will have over some of your personal data, the security of these data and the exposure on such a platform may often be a bit scary.

    • Risk to Professional Life:

      If you are an active Facebook user, your professional and personal life may often collide despite your best efforts. What’s more, a casual message or photographs of a fun-moment can wreak havoc on your corporate image if you are not careful about what you share and upload on this social networking platform. This acts as one of the big disadvantages of Facebook.

    • Invites unwanted Spam:

      You may often get unwanted spam, inappropriate marketing messages or third-party app invites on Facebook. Some spam campaigns in the past have even tried to hijack user accounts and post objectionable messages before being acted upon by Facebook administrators.

    • Controversy in Terms of Service:

      A recent change in Facebook’s terms of service according to which the site gets to keep your content indefinitely, even when you close your account has given rise to a huge controversy. Many people believe that the changed terms pave way for using, modifying or even sub licensing all the content that you have ever uploaded on Facebook, that too in every possible way that the Facebook people deem fit.

    • Lack of Control:

      Since you can’t control the public criticism of your company or its offerings once you decide to use Facebook for business purposes, many users fear to tread the path. With several security concerns over shared data and information, as well as the blurring of lines between “professional” and “personal” use of Facebook, it becomes really difficult to decide if you should use Facebook as a marketing tool or not.

      In a nutshell, despite its cons, Facebook continues to hold its ground as a lucrative marketing tool that big brands and small businesses are embracing as a mechanism to connect with their customers directly.