May 13

Facebook Marketing: everyone talks about it but few do anything. The experience of an Italian company, recently mentioned by Facebook as one of the best Italian cases of success

"The essence of social media is knowing your audiences and engaging them in something they love". This was the opening concept used by Francesco Nazari Fusetti, President of Scuola Zoo, during the event aimed at celebrating the recognition recently received from Facebook for "the ability to publish products and business services in a viral and ironic way, generating traffic and fans". Scuola Zoo boasts 16 million users, reached through editorial contents that are published on more than 70 pages. Therefore, we have much to learn from him.

For example, paid advertisements on Facebook (the box at the right of the page) are not very useful: little creativity, no virality (clicks do not generate stories and shares), low attention and, therefore, an average Click Through Rate of 0.05%. On the contrary, advertisements published on newsfeeds have an average Click Through Rate of 2%. However, not all contents are displayed in the newsfeed of our friends and fans because of the Edge Rank, an algorithm used by Facebook to determine where and what posts appear on each individual user’s newsfeed through the sum of three parameters: affinity, weight and decay. As if this were not enough, the Edge Rank is periodically changed by Facebook for commercial reasons. Moreover, each user has a level of PTA - People Talking About This, which reflects his interactions with pages. Finally, even the moment in which the new content is posted affects its visibility.

We have discussed with Francesco Nazari Fusetti, President of Scuola Zoo, about business opportunities deriving from social networks, in particular Facebook and how to manage them.

Is Facebook a useful marketing tool for all companies? Does Facebook have any constraint related to product categories, or targets?

Facebook can be a suitable tool for all companies, without specific constraints. The development of an effective communication strategy requires the combination of traditional media with more modern ones, such as social networks, where the target now actually spends most of his time. However, every action should be strategic. Knowing your target and striking it with a proper content and language is essential.

What are the best ways to use Facebook?

I believe that the use of Facebook is very effective when it is implemented within a structured communication plan. Facebook cannot be used as a tool for one-off activities. Companies should have a continuously updated Facebook page, with proper contents. Moreover, they should constantly engage their users, not only for a merely commercial purpose. It is important to patiently generate a significant number of active and involved users, who will be more receptive to "advertising" communications.

What is the best way to integrate Facebook in an offline communication campaign and, more generally, in a marketing strategy?

Companies can choose among different opportunities, according to the specific needs of the communication strategy. Facebook and its tools allow companies to engage the target audience in different ways: viral images, videos, surveys or contests. Everything depends on brand needs.

To what extent can companies be autonomous in managing their own Facebook page and online campaigns?

Facebook pages and online campaigns should be managed by a person who is aware of social networks’ potential. It is important to emphasize that the proper performance of an online campaign depends on the professionalism of those who run it.

What role can Facebook have in launching a new product? What types of products and services are better suited to be launched through an online campaign?

Facebook can be an incredible amplifier of information. Scheduling an online teaser campaign, before the actual launch with standard media, has been a winning strategy on numerous occasions. Web is increasingly becoming the exclusive mean by which companies launch new products and promote them. It is not a matter of what types of products or services are most suitable for a Facebook campaign (which, if carefully managed, can be used by any brand). We must rather reflect on the proper language and communication tools for this social network, which are different from those adopted on other web channels, as well as on traditional media.

How do you imagine the use of Facebook as a marketing tool in the next 10 years? What developments should we expect?

Social media marketing is continuously and constantly evolving. In recent months, Facebook has deeply changed, with the constant introduction of new and various tools for advertising management and new targeting tools that have opened new frontiers for the achievement of targeted users, such as the latest Facebook Graph. Anyway, if I had to bet, I think that the evolution of Facebook Marketing will be increasingly linked to the mobile world and to social commerce.