- by admin
- Posted in Innovation
- March 23, 2015
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Social networking websites are virtual communities that let users interact with each other on specific topics or to just socialize online (Murray and Waller, 2007). According to the Facebook website, Facebook Pages are designed especially for businesses, organizations and brands to share their stories, products and connect with people free of charge.
In a similar way to timelines, companies can customize Pages by adding apps, posting stories, hosting events and more. They can engage with and grow their audience by posting regularly. People who like their Page and their friends will get updates in News Feed (Facebook, 2013). According to the Syncapse (2013) study, Facebook still remains the dominant online social network in 2013, with the highest number of users (1.06 billion) and marketing investment ($5.09 billion in revenues).
The past few years have been characterized by an upward trend and a competitive race to acquire the most fan users (Syncapse, 2013). Facebook fans are becoming more and more a valuable segment of the Internet audience and a valuable group of customers. They represent a significant opportunity to increase brand value and loyalty.
Table 1 shows that in the fourth quarter of 2012 there were 1.056 billion monthly active users (Syncapse, 2013).
Table 1: Facebook Pulse 2012
|Monthly Active Users||1.056 B|
|Daily Active Users||618 M|
|Mobile Monthly Active Users||680 M|
|Mobile-Only Monthly Active Users||157 M|
|Average revenue per Users||$5.32|
Source: Syncapse (2013, p. 3)
Brand pages on Facebook have evolved from static publishing pages (video-based ads, new product announcement) to large social communities. Pages and News Feeds have become hubs, not only for publishing content, but also for sharing messages and amplifying fans’ experiences. The value of these brand pages is reflected not simply by having lots of funs, but by the opportunity to interact with them.
Used efficiently Facebook Brand Page can influence the chances for SMEs to overcome the barrier of language and culture faced by them in the internationalization process. The language and culture barrier is still one of the important barriers despite advances in globalization and liberalization of the trade around the world. However, it is generally accepted that thanks to the Internet characteristics, technologies and applications, this obstacle can be overcome.
Companies can create their own Facebook Brand Page free of charge. They can rise after the number of users on that page in order to create a community and to interact with them. How does it work? After a page is created, the administrator of that page can invite friends from his list to like this page. This is the first step to increase the number of users or fans. In turn, users who appreciate the page can also invite their friends to like this page and so on until the first community starts to get shape. After this, any information posted on this page is automatically diffused and posted on the wall of every user of that page, despite the language of the message or the country the company comes from.
Thus, using this application, SMEs can interactively communicate with their users at a low cost, using one channel, Facebook Brand Page, and one language, English. The last update on the Facebook platform also affects the brand pages. Using this feature any post on Facebook can be seen by anyone without taking into consideration the user country or the language of the post, as it was until now. So with a catchy message in English, SMEs can target almost every user on Facebook.
Dissemination of that message is not limited to the Facebook platform, but can go beyond, in real life, and so it becomes viral. Using the viral characteristic of brand page, companies can produce exponential increases in brand awareness overcoming the barrier of language and culture. However, there are some important limitations such as using a single language or the low number of users on brand page, inability to interest users or to interact with them.
The target public has to know the language in order to understand the message and has to be interested to start forwarding it. But thanks to the Internet, English is more and more the universal language in online. Hints and examples on how to efficiently use social media and on how to write an interesting post are available all over the Internet.
Beside these benefits of using Facebook Brand Page, companies have at their disposal other technical advantages such as targeting properties to specifically address messages, selecting between geo-location, language area, the gender and relationship status of the users, educational status, age and interests. Concerning this aspect, using these filters, the targeted segment of users is very accurate and the results can rapidly grow culminating in a big number of buyers, new partners and free advertising.
SMEs should focus more on customers with particular reading motivations in order to influence and encourage them positively to read about their products (Hamill et al., 2010).
Facebook can help companies to shape the culture and language of the communication that takes place on Facebook Brand Page in the advantage of their users. In this way, people will communicate among them and with the company, having the necessary comfort place in order to interact and to add value with their presence.
Companies can use Facebook Brand Page to interact with customers in order to understand fist-hand what they are passionate about, to solicit their input and to enable a feeling of ownership. It is expected that Facebook Brand Page will continue to grow more in importance in the next three years and according to O’Reilly (2007), the network effects from user contributions are the key to market dominance in the Web 2.0 era.
- Hamill, J., Tagg, S., Stevenson, A., Vescozi, T. (2010). Editorial. Journal of Marketing Management, 26(3-4), 181-186.
- Murray, K.E., Waller, R. (2007). Social networking goes abroad. International Educator, 16(3), 56–59.
- O’Reilly, T. (2007). What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software. Communications & Strategies, 1, 17-37.
- Syncapse. (2013). The Value of a Facebook Fan 2013: Revisiting Consumer Brand Currency in Social Media. Retrieved June 16, 2013, from: http://www.syncapse.com/value-of-a-facebook-fan-2013/#.Ub1kxdj9WSo
- What is a Facebook Page? Retrieved June 16, 2013, from: https://www.facebook.com/help/174987089221178/