Facebook is the New TV
Facebook is the new TV. What does that mean exactly? In the terms of online marketing and advertising initiatives, it means we view the platform more like TV and less like websites or search marketing.
There are several big reasons why marketers have begun looking at this platform more as a TV-style advertising solution and less like digital ad space. Those reasons are:
- Quality time spent on Facebook
- Consumer reach
- Targeted demographics
- Community interaction
- Mixing ads within the content
Targeting your perfect customer
As marketers, we have never been so precise in targeting our audiences and had the ability to access extremely detailed consumer data until now. With social media sites like Facebook, we can narrow our advertising efforts to the most ideal consumer a business is looking for. Facebook’s ability to understand its users likes, preferences, age group and community has led us into a highly targeted and segmented age of advertising. Businesses do not have to build giant communities: the average Facebook user has close to 200 friends. So, if that business has 500 fans and each fan has at least 200 friends, their advertising reach is over 100,000 users. Not to mention within that 100,000 we can get even more specific with our advertising efforts, by focusing on those likes, demographics, preferences and engagement Facebook has already collected.
According to a study done be Nielson last year, the average person spends nearly 8 hours on Facebook a month, which is roughly 17 minutes a day. That may not be as much as TV, which is close to 34 hours a month, but social media is climbing and “TV watching” is evolving with people beginning to watch video from smartphones and tablets. And many of us are engaging on social media platforms while watching TV—forcing those hours to integrate.
The Newsfeed Channel
If we stop and think about the Facebook newsfeed, it’s similar to interactive television. Users are on the platform scrolling through content from videos, photos and conversations, to strategically placed ads thrown right into their newsfeed. These ads are breaking up the content just like commercials on TV.
According to Facebook, ads within the Facebook news feed have an eight times higher rate of reach than sponsored stories or ads on the right-side column.
In early October at the IAB MIXX marketing conference, a Facebook spokesperson stated that the proof is not always in optimizing the click, but reach, just like in TV advertising, is also a crucial driver for consumer spending.
This approach changes the way we think about marketing through social media platforms. So often when marketing online, we look for immediate conversions. We put a deal or ad in front of the consumer in hopes to turn them into an immediate customer, or we directly advertise on specific search engine inquiries and keywords. However, if we consider social media similar to TV advertisements, our goals change into brand awareness and reaching wider and highly targeted consumers.
Advertising on TV can be targeted and segmented, but where online marketing excels over this initiative is in analyzing and cost effectiveness. A car dealership may want to advertise on TV during a popular show that’s aimed at certain demographic, but it’s extremely difficult to track the effectiveness of that ad campaign. Whereas with a Facebook ad campaign, we can track how effective the message is, the reach, how many viewed it, who the specific audience is, and we can change the ad in real time.
With TV, it’s so difficult to measure the size of the audience and if they received the ad—but Facebook advertising can guarantee audience reach and frequency of ad delivery.
The Call to Action
Similar to TV, Facebook advertising carries a call to action. The biggest differentiator between the two mediums is Facebook’s ability to engage the consumer by having them “like” the brand. By liking the brand, consumers are now following the brand’s updates—allowing them to be remarketed to without having to run additional paid advertisements on the platform. Once a brand has captured a consumer’s “like,” the brand now has the ability to advertise to that consumer’s friends—ultimately increasing their reach exponentially with every “like.”
Similar to TV commercials with celebrities endorsing brands, Facebook has created a platform where ordinary people promote a brand or business that interests them. It is far more trusting and authentic to see someone you actually know supporting a brand than a paid celebrity. Real consumer interaction and brand advocacy is driving the new digital marketplace with quality word-of-mouth actions.
Social media advertising for businesses is all about community building and brand awareness. Businesses have to look beyond the conversion and the offer; these initiatives must be focused on retention, getting in front of the right audience at the right time, and building relationships.
Social and TV – An excellent integration
By combining Facebook advertising with a TV campaign, brands have the ability to reach targeted audiences in very short periods. Coordinating these efforts creates an extremely valuable marketing mix that will build consumer engagement and brand advocacy.
As consumers increasingly integrate their TV watching hours with social media, we see an excellent area for brands and businesses to begin cross-promoting on both platforms. Many brands have already begun doing this with hashtag watermarks during commercials, or posting the Youtube version of their commercials on social media. However, with new technology and Facebook’s constant attempt to reinvent online advertising, we will continue to see TV and social media integrate into a combined effort.
The Fractured Consumer
Going into 2013 and beyond, brands and businesses must continue to broaden their marketing initiatives. The consumer is in all places at all times. From mobile Internet devices, to billboards and TV commercials, businesses have to understand that widening their marketing and advertising net will create the best returns on their investment for the future. However, brands must also understand the strengths and weaknesses of all their advertising initiatives. Social media sites are for word of mouth and community building. PPC and SEO efforts focus attention closer to the conversion and seek the consumer searching for exact services and products. Ultimately, you have to ask yourself, “Am I looking for quick conversions and coupon crowds, or am I looking for exposure and brand advocates?” Hopefully you’re looking for both and more business, but the only way to do that efficiently is by knowing your ideal customer and knowing the platforms you’re advertising on today.
To learn more about digital marketing and social media, contact one of our digital experts today.