Facebook has astounding numbers no matter which page you’re viewing.
The company’s prospectus claims that 845 million people log on every month, and that’s counting only once those users who check-in, post pictures, and updates several times a day.
Wall Street is valuing those users at roughly $100 billion, but the people who can benefit most from Facebook — business owners, entrepreneurs, marketers — still haven’t grasped how they can profit from these users.
Facebook is without a doubt the most powerful form of direct marketing available today. Whoever is in second place isn’t even on the marketing map.
Do you want to find females, living in San Diego, aged 22 to 23, under the Scorpio sign who read US Weekly and like yoga? You can find them on Facebook and communicate directly to them if they LIKE your Facebook page. Are you looking for wine lovers, living in New York City’s East Village, who are single and love to eat out? Facebook can introduce you to them.
We already know about the Facebook privacy concerns. Privacy advocates have criticized the company from day one for learning too much about us. The voluminous information that Facebook collects may be bad for privacy junkies, but for marketers, businesses, and entrepreneurs, it’s a treasure trove of data that can help you grow your business and market directly to new customers.
Since my company started — BigBirdFans.com, which helps businesses collect real Facebook fans for their business pages — we have been deluged with emails asking us to explain why these fans are valuable. One person sent me a tweet asking how are Facebook fans contacted after their “names are bought.”
First off, names are not bought. That is the old way of direct marketing. You don’t buy names with Facebook LIKEs. Instead, you buy access to a ream of data that gives you intimate insight into their daily lives. Once they like your business page, you have a direct route to communicate with them through their news feed.
Think of it this way. If you go to my Facebook page, you will see that I like philosophy, I traveled to Prague for New Years, I read Too Big to Fail, and I watched a political documentary on Ayn Rand last week. I also checked into the Gansevoort Hotel on a Tuesday night when most people were likely at home. And that’s not including the obvious data Facebook has on me, like my birthday, employer, and LIKEs on my page.
Based on that date, you can make assumptions that I have disposable income, I follow current events, and I will probably vote in the primary election. For marketing purposes, you can assume I will buy airfare specials, political books, and subscriptions to magazines like Entrepreneur and the Wall Street Journal.
And you don’t need to be a sociologist to analyze these demographics. Technology is enabling marketers to correlate and run programs to find distinct personalities based on their Facebook profiles. These programs can also help with deductions that you may not even think of. For example, did you know a Rolex watch, Aspen, and Ultimat Vodka are all related to one profile? In simple terms, a person who LIKEs Aspen on their Facebook page is highly likely to wear a Rolex watch and drink Ultimat Vodka.
In hindsight, this projected profile makes complete sense since an Aspen skier will likely want a stronger cocktail and has the disposable income to buy a Rolex. But it’s unlikely, you as a business owner would have connected those three distinct profiles on your own.
This marketing data will only get better with time. And as Facebook collects more information from your profiles and companies analyze this data, marketers will have yet another tool to find and target new clients. And the best part is you won’t have to send out any more unsolicited emails.
Mark Macias is the co-founder of BigBirdFans.com. He produces social media videos for all kinds of clients and consults on publicity campaigns. You can read more at www.MaciasPR.com.