Mark Zuckerberg: Person of the Year

On Wednesday, Time magazine named Mark Zuckerberg Person of the Year. Zuckerberg, who, only a few short years ago started a small social network website in his college dorm room, has changed the way we communicate online. Since the launch of Facebook, millions of people from around the world have found a new way to catch up with long-lost friends, share stories, and explore new ways to find information about the world them.

This should come as a wake-up call to people in the marketing world who have written off Facebook and its peers as flavor-of-the week Internet hype. In the past few years, we have heard countless success stories from business owners who took advantage of Facebook. With that in mind, I want to give you a few quick tips on how to make Facebook an effective tool for your marketing strategy.

Stay updated
I’ve said many times on this blog why it’s you should keep your Web content fresh. Nowhere is this more important than on social media.

Staying updated doesn’t just mean keeping your information current; it means offering new content—and often! Take a look at the most popular Facebook Pages and Twitter feeds. You’ll notice that they are updated every day. Our lives and our businesses are constantly in motion, and our Web presence should reflect that.

Being social means building relationships
It’s one thing to have someone “like” your Facebook Page, but it’s another to actually develop a relationship with your audience. A Facebook presence means very little if it doesn’t interact with others people on the social network.

When people leave feedback, respond to it. Even if it’s negative feedback, responding can turn a bad experience into something positive. In the end, your ability to reach out and develop social relationships with customers will humanize their experience with your brand and make a lasting impression. That is how social media has changed the online experience. It’s now a two-way conversation.

Facebook provides a remarkably effective way of advertising. Because people post information about their interests, activities, age and education, Facebook has become very accurate at collecting demographic information. When you advertise with Facebook, you can bet that your ad is hitting the right audience.

Ads on websites tend to hit everyone, which is good for maximum exposure, but in terms of bang-for-your-buck, targeted ad campaigns are very effective. With so many different groups of people now on Facebook, and the information and means to reach them, Facebook advertising is great way to get brand exposure.

For now, Facebook is king
If Time magazine’s Person of the Year is any indication, Facebook has come into its own and entered our lives in ways we wouldn’t have imagined 5 years ago. It’s impossible to say what is in store for the future, but for now, Facebook is one of the fastest-growing and cost-effective ways to reach our target audiences.