Have you heard that Facebook turned 10 last week?
Of course you have, as the Facebook ‘Look Back’ videos are clogging up users’ newsfeeds. In fact, according to Forbes, around 200 million people have watched their Look Back video, 50% of whom shared it.
So as Facebook users look back, it’s only natural for the social network to consider how it will serve its 1.19 billion+ users over the next 10 years. And what is evident is the necessity for Facebook to not only keep innovating, but to work more closely with companies in order to help promote businesses and to develop the channel as an online retail offering, just as Google is doing with the shopping page.
Facebook is already known as a useful channel for building brand awareness and developing a relationship with customers. Some GForces clients have already seen incredible results by converting customer enquiries via Facebook into sales. It proves that with the correct resources in place and with a quick turnaround from the first point of contact, the return on investment can be immense. Meanwhile, consumers are also satisfied having received the excellent customer service that they expect, and through their channel or method of choice. It’s an all-round winner.
The following video gives an insight into how automotive retailers can best exploit their social media presence:
Considered as one of Facebook’s main rivals, Instagram is showing signs of taking over as the social media channel of choice for the ‘selfie’ generation. As a result, Facebook bought the then-loss-making company for $1bn in April 2012 – just 18 months after it launched. If you can’t beat them, join (with) them.
Instagram is certainly the one to watch when it comes to social media channels that should be exploited by retailers. The picture and video-sharing network already has 150 million active users, and, more importantly, research shows that it has an incredibly high user engagement rate.
Users even interact with brands that do not have an official Instagram presence. For example there are 2.7m images posted with #Chanel. It’s also worth noting that 40 percent of the top 1,000 most shared Instagram videos have been posted by brands, and 65 percent of the world’s top 100 brands have an Instagram account.
Although originally a strictly advertisement-free channel, Facebook inevitably needed to start making a profit, which saw the introduction of promotional posts appearing in user’s news feeds. The same goes for Instagram, as promotional posts were introduced in November last year with Ben & Jerry’s and Levi’s reaching 7.4m and 9.8m people in just over a week with their pilot Instagram advertisements. It’s still in the early stages, but it’s clear that there is great potential for automotive retailers to engage with a targeted consumer group of 18-29 year old Instagram users.
So, what’s next for Facebook? Mark Zuckerberg’s answer is simple – just ensure the rest of the world is connected.
In an interview with Bloomberg, he stated: “Only one-third of the world’s population has access to the internet today, and for many of those their internet experience remains pretty weak.
“In 2014, we’re going to focus on deepening our relationships with mobile operators around the world and working to develop new models for internet access. Helping more people get connected is important to developing the global knowledge economy.”
As ever with Facebook, making money – by helping businesses make money – will remain the ever-present challenge.