What is case appears to be the major strengths and weaknesses for companies advertising through Facebook?
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Having become a platform frequently employed for advertisement, Facebook has adapted and now allows five different strategies for the placement of marketing content. In particular, on Facebook, advertisements may appear in five different areas—as postings within the major newsfeed, on the right side (on the user’s desktop newsfeed), on the left side (ads that are common to all users regardless of the pages they view), on the mobile applications, and the main news feed of the mobile Facebook app (Bhele).
Thus, based on the information provided in the case study, the primary advantage of using Facebook for advertising is the exclusive contact with the target audiences based on specific aspects of the consumer segment of interest (Hof 64). Second, advertising via Facebook is beneficial in terms of its cost. To be more precise, it is very cheap to place and maintain marketing content on this social network; in fact, some forms of advertising powered by Facebook are free. However, the cost of other types of ads may vary depending on the purpose of the marketing content.
Moreover, the platform provides such options as friends’ recommendations that help the marketing content and information to travel to the users who would be the most interested and producing the maximal effect. Besides, it is known that consumers tend to trust the opinions of their friends and relatives more than any other source. By enabling people to share marketing information, Facebook also benefits the companies behind the marketing campaigns, contributing to the reliability of their content and the users’ interest in that specific type of content.
One more advantage is the extensive reach of Facebook as it can run on users’ smartphones as well as their computers. Moreover, it can support different forms of marketing content, such as written advertisements, pictures and posters, and videos (Bhele).
As mentioned in the case study, one of the major concerns that bother users when it comes to advertising via Facebook has to do with issues of confidentiality and privacy; the social network allows marketers to use individuals’ data for product and service promotion. Using Facebook to advertise their products, marketers can track any user’s data, including the individual’s location at any time, interests, and likes, to name a few examples. In that way, Facebook tends to gather and monetize the personal information of its users without their consent or knowledge. Besides, marketing strategies on Facebook are based on the tactics of seeding and the transformation of the members of the general public into facilitators of the marketing content as they share and like various posts, thus making content visible to more people and targeting specifically the part of the population interested in a particular kind of content.
Also, one more disadvantage of the commercial use of social marketing is that once an advertisement is placed, its managers have very little control over where it is shown as well as its association with other kinds of content. Hence, the desired media presence of different companies is threatened by a set of potential dangers and accidents that may produce an adverse effect on their brand reputation and awareness. Marketing is a sphere of knowledge where information communicated to consumers is very carefully selected and organized to achieve the desired effects and results. Social marketing prevents advertisers from monitoring where their content ends up and in what context it is seen by social network users.
Marketing, in the age of social media, has significant value for marketers. However, there appear to be significant challenges that Facebook’s management has faced. Identify and critically assess these challenges.
Today, when the use of social media and communication technologies is almost ubiquitous in most of the developed as well as many developing countries, the largest social media platforms are regularly employed for marketing and advertisement. Facebook is one of the biggest and most popular social networks in the world. As a result, it serves as a source of many different kinds of advertisement employed by various companies. One of the primary benefits of this social platform that is appreciated by marketers is the fact that it enables them to reach out to particular individuals and groups within the population-based on sets of specific characteristics such as location, gender, age, health status, interests, worldview, and preferences (Bhele). Besides, placing advertisements and running marketing campaigns on social networks allow the managers of these campaigns to monitor their progress and success and adjust the instruments used for the product and service promotion by the reaction of the general public (Bhele).
The collection of personal data to employ it as the findings of a marketing research effort and an instrument to power a company’s future marketing campaigns does not translate well to the users, who feel violated and watched by the network even as it encourages them to share as much private information as possible. In 2007, Facebook officials decided to launch a new beacon system that would track users’ activities, planning to use this information to place targeted advertisements; this action caused a massive backlash on the part of the general public. In practical terms, individual users’ activities could be shown to their friends on Facebook, a violation of their privacy. The Facebook authorities were forced to change their strategy and find new ways to foster social marketing without causing a groundswell of social dissatisfaction.
Further, the team of professionals responsible for the development of social marketing tools and techniques available on Facebook came up with another innovative strategy—the ‘Like’ button, with its capacity to be placed on any website or application that wanted it for the users to be able to communicate the content they liked on Facebook. This innovative strategy was extremely beneficial for multiple brands and companies; however, the disadvantage for Facebook itself was the fact that the button was free. In other words, the team of developers did not have a share in the overall monetary success of the companies whose brands and products were promoted with the help of the ‘Like’ button.
In the case study, it is emphasized that, apart from these challenges, the major struggle for Facebook is the development of new forms and types of social advertising that could be placed on the platform and monetized. It is important to mention that regardless of the form of advertisement and its purpose, Facebook will always have to face privacy concerns and handle the public response to the mechanisms employed by the network to target content and distribute it to the users. Making people the major driving force for marketing content is the only strategy that will allow Facebook management to avoid accusations of the abuse of private user information.
If you were a marketing executive for Facebook, propose two to three new kind of advertising that can be appealing to both users and marketers.
The contemporary world is oriented to favor an individualistic worldview where the highest value is attributed to services and products designed specifically to satisfy the unique tastes and needs of each consumer. Customized and personalized items have very high levels of popularity as marketable products. This means that since the major strategy of the advertising team on Facebook is to engage the social network’s users in the process of viewing and sharing the application’s marketing content, it is important to achieve a higher level of personalization. User experience is the key to attracting masses willing to participate. Thus it follows, first of all, that users could be provided with the ability to modify and control the marketing content that is shown to them, as well as how it is provided and in what form.
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This approach to content sharing and marketing could be beneficial for both the advertisers and the users because the latter would receive an ultimately relevant flow of marketing information that would include only the items and services that interest the users the most; at the same time, the advertisers would have an opportunity to benefit from the most focused allocation of their marketing content, thus creating cost-effective and practical targeting of the consumer segments that are the most likely to purchase the promoted products and services. The concept of this form of marketing is limiting the stream of content in the newsfeed not only according to the activities of the individual users and the information they like and share but also based on their personal preferences that they would purposely communicate to receive the most interesting content. Also, the users could be able to choose the forms of advertisements that they find the most effective: video, written text, banners and posters, gifs, podcasts, and reviews, among others.
The second form of advertisement that could be employed by Facebook in the future is based on the use of augmented and virtual reality. This technology is relatively new, and it is only gaining popularity. However, it is likely to become more developed within the next few years and set to occupy one of the largest niches in the market, creating a new tool for user-oriented and personalized advertisement. The proposed form of marketing works similarly to many helpful mobile applications that find and show various organizations and businesses located nearby. It could add specialized content visible to the users of the augmented reality devices and applications, helping them find different places, participate in discount offers, and communicate the information they find interesting or useful to their friends on Facebook. This type of advertisement would benefit the consumers using raising their awareness of the new offerings from businesses and also help the firms and brands improve their visibility. Facebook could launch an application specialized for AR and VR that could enable users to view advertisements in real life (for example, while shopping at a department store or having lunch at a restaurant). The users would only need to request the AR ads and then choose the ones they would prefer to see and the ones that they would want to be hidden or minimized. This form of advertisement could replace banners and billboards, moving advertisement to the digital space and making it both more ubiquitous and more flexible for the target audiences.
Bhele, Rainu. “Facebook Advertising – Advantages & Disadvantages.” Hallam, Web.
Hof, Robert D. “You Are the Ad.” MIT Technology Review, Web.