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A great deal of successful marketing today depends on closely understanding consumer behavior. As a marketer, you may always be curious to understand what excites or motivates your customers into buying either your products or those of your competitor. Depending on the buying and consumption cycle of your product, there can be several factors that will determine the sales conversion ratio for your product.

Marketing as an activity is all about reaching the right customers with the right products, and the result sought is delighted customers who are more than willing to open their purses wide enough to boost your revenues. For many years, marketers stalked their target customers through various means and by trying to get their message across to spread awareness about their wares.

The Internet brought about a sea change in the science and practice of mass communication and hence the process of marketing itself. But much before common users could take control of the content on the World Wide Web, the way we see it today, there was a time when content creation was the forte of those well-versed in HTML programming and web scripting languages. However, with the advent of services, such as blogs and social networking sites, the power of mass communication moved to the common user on the Internet.

Research has shown that buyers do a great deal of product research on the Internet and most of the time choose to purchase the product either online or offline. The power of the Internet as a research and information resource has been realized to a great extent by customers worldwide.

The basics of consumer behavior, learning, reference groups, and buying decisions have remained exactly the same. But what has changed significantly is the speed with which everything happens. Technology has brought down the barriers in global communication. Social networking sites, and more importantly the rising popularity of Facebook, bears a strong testimony to the growing power of the Internet as a mode of communication and a source of information.

Right Learning and Right Conversations

At this very moment, you may be reading this article on your laptop or desktop. Remember the day when you had decided to buy your first computer. You must have considered many factors before finalizing which computer to purchase. One of the important decision points for a buyer is his circle of reference. It is natural for you, as a buyer, to discuss with your informed friends about the best brand. Positive references from friends and acquaintances help one make a decision.

The power to create and distribute content is equally available to every user, irrespective of him/her being a customer or a marketer. In the earlier forms of media, that power rested with the editorial staff of the channel or the advertiser, but hardly ever with the user.

The basics of consumer behavior, learning, reference groups, and buying decisions have remained exactly the same. But what has changed significantly is the speed with which everything happens. Technology has brought down the barriers in global communication. Social networking sites, and more importantly the rising popularity of Facebook, bears a strong testimony to the growing power of the Internet as a mode of communication and a source of information.

Create branded applications: Applications can range from entertaining games with your brand to useful tools related to your product.

Facebook – the powerful media tool

The possibilities provided by Facebook to reach out to customers are endless, and all of this can be done at minimal cost with maximum impact. But while doing all of this as a marketer, you need to remember that the customer and you are on a level playing field, with both having equal opportunity to express. The customer is free to share his positive as well as negative experiences with your brand, which can influence other customers watching your brand carefully.

A user interface that allows for quick communication and the ability to create fan pages and groups at the click of a mouse button are what make Facebook extremely popular. Another important reason for its immense popularity is the wide variety of social applications that have been developed and made available within the Facebook environment.

These applications can allow users and friends to do joint activities like playing games that run endlessly, sharing photos, videos, and web links, and many more.

Engaging Customers with Facebook Applications

On an average, a user would spend no more than a few seconds on the homepage or any other text rich section of a website. Similarly, on Facebook, text-based sections have their own limitations when it comes to holding attention of the users on the same page. That is where rich content and applications come into play.

There are many ethics to be followed on Facebook and social media, which can be easily grasped through active participation in the medium itself. A company must ensure that its trained representatives have marked presence on Facebook and social networking avenues as true online custodians for the brand. For many companies, it also makes sense to engage an agency that is experienced in handling brand reputations on Facebook and online avenues.

Advertising: The first opportunity, which is the most obvious one, is advertising on Facebook. The difference, however, is the fact that you can create your own advertisement in a matter of minutes and also specify the details of your target group in terms of demographics and types of discussions where you want your advertisement to appear.

That is the reason why it is a critical part of any brand plan to feature positively on social networking sites, such as Facebook. Engaging consultants who have experience in managing brands through the new era of social networks is a growing practice that can help brands manage the new wave.

Come out with an effective and intellectual way to engage users towards creating an application.

What makes Facebook even more exciting is the way it allows you to target your communication sharply just to the customer segment you want to attract. It also provides analytics and page insights that give good feedback and measurement on the activity done.

The options provided by Facebook can be creatively explored and used judiciously for bringing about maximum benefits to any brand.

This is where you need dedicated efforts of professionals who understand the dynamics of the medium, which is very different from what conventional media marketers are generally used to. Facebook can hence help you come face to face with your customers. It becomes extremely important for you to know how this medium and conversations should be managed.

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