Today, Facebook marketing isn’t only effective, it’s essential.
Facebook has 1.86 billion active users, it’s safe to say that businesses and people love Facebook. According to Pew Research Center, the majority of internet users are actively on Facebook. In fact, 79% of internet users use Facebook.

Getting started with a business Facebook page can be intimidating, especially when start hearing new words post, news feed, timeline, audience, the list goes on.  Facebook has made an incredible amount of changes to their platform since 2004. They’ve created many different ways to target audiences and to connect with your current and future clients.

As Facebook continues to evolve, it presents business owners and marketers an opportunity to reach and engage with customer base and community.Let’s take a dive into the history of Facebook Marketing.

2004: Old School: “Thefacebook” Flyers

Did you know that the first way to market on Facebook was through “Flyers?”

When Zuckerberg first released “Thefacebook,” he designed Flyers, which were mostly purchased by students or small local businesses for $10-$40 per day. They were mostly used by Facebook members to advertise parties or other social events on a specific college campus. These made up most of Facebook’s revenue for the first year.

Facebook later changed it to an auction based CPC model, called FlyersPro. Advertisers could set a max price for what they were willing to spend and target based on gender, age, location, political views, relationship status, education status, and even workplace.

2005:  Gwen Stefani Released “Hollaback Girl.”

No, but really. Interscope Records released Gwen Stefani’s chant-like song and felt there was no better place to market this than on a platform with such a large student-user base. Facebook was more than capable of mining profile data for targeting cheerleaders, which opened the floodgates in the marketing industry for how brands could be using information explicitly provided by users to their advantage.

These data-mining techniques would only be further developed over the years to target geographies, languages, and special interests of users (both on Facebook and other sites). TargetedFacebook Ads continue to be a basic component of Facebook marketing.

2007: Facebook Pages for Business

The Pages feature allowed businesses and celebrities to build profiles for updating fans and customers. There are many differences in a Page and a personal profile.

Facebook pages, unlike Facebook profiles, allow small businesses to quickly build a following without any limitations. Profiles force you to send a friend request before you can make connection, which can be problematic as people are hesitant to hit ‘accept’ if they don’t already know you. Pages, on the other hand, only require a “like” to start that relationship with a fan, prospect or client. Pages also showcases the business’s contact information, such as location and phone number, on the home page.

Being able to track and measure results is another reason why you should use a Facebook Page for business. Facebook Insights allow you to track the positive impact and results of your social media efforts. To improve those results, a Page also allows you to take advantage of Facebook Ads and launch contests. Think of your Page as a microsite that you can use for commercial purposes and to directly engage with customers.

Despite undergoing enhancements over the years, Facebook’s Pages has remained the persistent foundation upon which marketing on Facebook stands, serving as the first association to learning more about a business on the site

2010: Sponsored Stories

Users were now able to see when their friends “liked,” commented, or interacted with a brand on Facebook in their News Feeds. However, this ended in 2014 leaving brands wondering what the future of Facebook Advertising would be without it.

2012: Mobile Mania

While the Facebook mobile website rolled out in 2007, and the very first Facebook app was released in 2010, it wasn’t until 2012 that the company turned mobile-first with a downloadable iPhone app. Delivering ads through a mobile platform also occurred in 2012.

It was this same year that Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion. Following the purchase, Zuckerberg wrote “Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.”

2016: Facebook Canvas and Messenger

So remember when brands were worried about the end of Sponsored Stories? Cue 2016.

Since Sponsored Stories’ halt in 2014, the marketing industry has undergone a dramatic shift, one that Facebook has responded to with newer features that cater more to the storytelling that defines marketing today.

Facebook Messenger for Business rolled out in March 2016. This gave brands the opportunity to re-engineer customer service and the connections they made with their customer bases. Facebook Canvas was also released in 2016 to facilitate better storytelling through mobile ad experiences, while Instant Articles was developed to allow brands to commit to the publisher mind-set and deliver great stories to desired audiences.

Social Media Is Changing Communication

The quote, “We lived on farms, cities, and now the internet!” from the Facebook-based movie, The Social Network says it all. Today, we truly do live on the internet.

Through social networking platforms like Facebook, businesses are given the opportunity to instantly connect with their audiences. They are able to provide updates and contact information, such as phone numbers and location. Social networking is wonderful for communicating with current customers, as well as growing the customer base.

Facebook is not something to be taken lightly. Marketing on Facebook must be done correctly to be effective. With the ever-changing technology and marketing trends, it’s imperative you remain up-to-date on all the changes.

At JumpCrew, we keep up with the ever-changing marketing trends so you can keep focus on your business.

To learn more about Facebook’s features, click here.

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Blair Roberts

Author Blair Roberts

Digital Marketing Coordinator for JumpCrew

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