Monday, February 01, 2010

Facing the Female Facebook Facts

from Mediapost last week:

Facebook Is Fertile Ground
Facebook has become the whipping boy of privacy wonks and business analysts. For the rest of us, it has become the dominant place to keep in touch with friends. But it also offers a valuable opportunity for businesses -- once businesses recognize this opportunity and act on it.

Years ago, email changed the way consumers and businesses communicate. Today, Facebook has provided us with a social network that trumps the communication potential of email. The power of this social network has significant marketing potential.

Businesses often don't recognize or perhaps just forget how powerful Facebook can be as a communication platform. It might be that they are so trained to run display advertising that even when they hear about ads performing poorly on social networks, they're unable to identify the new opportunity. This opportunity, however, is NOT advertising -- It is a chance for enhanced communication, which leads to better relationships and improved services. That's what people want.

Facebook is especially attractive to marketers who are trying to connect with moms because moms' limited time and fragmented attention (they're busy!) make it crucial to market to them using methods that fit into their lifestyles and that adapt to their habits. Lisa Finn and I recently completed a study and report on marketing to moms on Facebook. Moms on Facebook are especially appealing to marketers because of the way that moms use this social network -- to interact and share experiences with other moms as well as to talk about the products and services that play important roles in their lives.

Here are a few interesting nuggets from our study that will help you connect with moms on Facebook:

  • They log on frequently. More than eight in 10 moms log on daily, and three in 10 log on five or more times a day.
  • They use the site primarily to interact with others in their social networks - which translates into a lot of potential referrals.
  • They are receptive to marketing on the site, as long as it follows their rules. Sixty-four percent said they either like ads on Facebook or feel neutral about them.
  • Moms are wary of offers that sound too good to be true and want marketers to respect their boundaries by not overloading them with updates. They welcome coupons and other ways to save money, and they are open to sharing their opinions and ideas with the companies they like.
  • Three-quarters of moms are fans of at least one company on Facebook, and parenting-specific sites are moms' top picks.

There are businesses taking advantage of the marketing and communication opportunities on Facebook. Businesses that moms in our research called out include Cool Mom Picks, 24/7 Moms, Janie and Jack, Sesame Place, Crayola, Starbucks, Kodak, Whole Foods and Trader Joes. There can be so many more.

Facebook is fertile ground for marketers to engage mothers and drive sales, but communication must be on moms' terms. While they don't have time for brands that don't get it, they embrace the brands that play by their rules. So seize this opportunity to use Facebook to connect with moms, a market segment that can add tremendous value to a customer base.

Kevin Burke works with businesses that appreciate mothers and want to build relationships with them, to deliver marketing experiences that moms value. He is founder of Lucid Marketing, and a partner in Reach him here.

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