Facebook buttonFor most businesses, Facebook is a force-to-be-reckoned-with when it comes to social marketing. It is by far the most popular social site on the web–at the moment–as shown in these stats from eMarketer.

Is Facebook really the best social marketing site for your biz?

According to the latest data from eMarketer, Facebook is by far the largest social network, with more than 900 million monthly active users. It also leads in average time on site with 405 minutes per visitor. Tumblr follows next at 89 minutes (tied with Pinterest). Twitter runs third at 21 minutes. LinkedIn comes in 4th at 17 minutes, and MySpace 5th at 8 minutes. Google+ plods in a distant 6th at just 3 minutes.

By all appearances, Facebook would seem to be the best choice for any marketer looking to drive business with social media. But that’s not always the case.

Facebook’s size can actually be detrimental for social marketing in several different ways:

  1. Unless you know who your target market is and how to reach them–and only them–among the millions of FB users you’ll pour a lot of time, trouble and resources into marketing that will end in disappointment.
  2. As big as Facebook is, it may not be where the majority of your target market hang out. Depending on your industry, very often niche-specific forums and social sites will yield much richer marketing results than Facebook.
  3. YouTube is morphing from a “video-sharing” site into a social network wrapped around video interests. In our experience with several different niches, treating YT as a social networking site, where we spend time building and engaging a following for our clients, YT yields much better ROI than Facebook.

So, the moral of the story is… before you jump too deeply into Facebook, make sure you have a specific purpose. Make sure it’s a rich field for your target market. And don’t ignore other social properties simply because Facebook appears to be the 800-pound gorilla of the moment.

What kind of ROI are you experiencing with your Facebook social marketing? Would you consider it excellent, good, acceptable or dismal?


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