Why building and maintaining your Facebook community will still matter in 2015

Whilst everybody has been talking about Ello, SnapChat, and other competitors to Facebook’s crown, it is worth noting that Facebook is still the social network with the largest number of members, and is growing in membership across almost all age range, locations and demographics. Since the people interested in your brand are here, your brand should be building its community here.

Facebook is also the social network most tailored to working with businesses and brands who want to build a community of followers, so unless your business is a B2B company with a niche following or you are targeting the teenage market, you will find that many of the people using your services or products are still active on Facebook, and by not utilizing Facebook you are missing out on the opportunity to promote your business.

If you choose to spend money on Facebook advertising, you can usually fit it into your budget needs. Facebook offers paid ad options for a few dollars a day up to big bucks spending for big brands, so unlike other platforms like LinkedIn or Pinterest, this is often the most affordable and effective place to spend your marketing dollars. Being able to specify exactly who you want your ads to target helps you to build the community that is more appropriate for your product.

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One of the big advantages of marketing through Facebook as opposed to other social channels is the option to retarget directly from your website using Facebook’s custom audiences options. Facebook offers more targeting and retargeting options than nearly every other platform except for Google search, making it the social network of choice for marketing directly to your community.

As noted above, since many of your customers or clients are still active on Facebook then it makes sense for you to have a presence there. But simply posting your promotional content on your page isn’t enough to build your community. You must also be active in discovering and promoting content which is interesting to your audience, and which will encourage them to participate in a discussion with your brand. Facebook now penalises brands for trying to grab likes with posts along the lines of “like this post to get this” or “share this photo to see Y” so brands have to get more creative to keep the interest of their Facebook fans.

Another factor for focusing on your Facebook community is that Facebook fans are more likely to reach out to your brand via the private message function, especially since you can limit your wall so that only your brand can post directly on it. This is a huge advantage for brands over using Twitter as their primary community tool, where most customers publically address brands with any issues or complaints they have. The ability to address complaints within a private setting means that brands using Facebook for customer service purposes are less likely to deal with social media PR disasters than brands using just Twitter.

So until another social media network truly manages to overthrow Facebook it will continue to be one of the largest, most cost effective and brand friendly ways to build your online community.

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