Facebook was created by Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg in 2004. The website was initially only available to students enrolled at Harvard. Soon after its inception, it was released nationally to college campuses around the country. Due to its popularity, the sent allowed anyone to register in late 2006. In March 2012, Facebook boasted 900 million different profiles and has mushroomed into a daily destination for millions of users. Notably, more than half of Facebook’s users log in every day.
Facebook enables companies to brand themselves within the platform and by doing so, users can customize their own page by subscribing to brands which interest them. In order to do so, users must search for the brand and “like” the brand. Once a brand is “liked” the user will be subscribed to the brand’s Facebook page and once subscribed, the brand can tailor specific marketing messages to the individual user.
Facebook also has a built-in geo-targeting option which allows a company to tailor its message even further. Messages that are geo-targeted, are only visible in a certain location. (I.e. United States). For example, symphonic metal artist Night wish, who blend heavy metal music with orchestral scores, offered an exclusive bundle which included a t-shirt, special edition album, an autographed lithograph and a chance to receive the album early. Night wish is represented by multiple labels throughout the world, and by using the Facebook geo-targeting function, each label can create a unique message for each territory. Case in point, Roadrunner Records, who represents Night wish in the United States, created a campaign tailored that only targeted US fans.
While marketing any product, a monetary commitment is needed in order for potential customers to see the message. Television, radio and online ads cost money and can potentially require a large financial commitment. On the other hand, Facebook status updates are free and require no monetary spending. By doing so, this increases any profit made since is no cost associated when marketing the item. Although how effective are Facebook status updates when selling a product tailored to a brand’s fans?
Because of the evolving popularity of Facebook, new marketing strategies in the music industry are taking prominence and traditional marketing practices have shifted. “Due to its popularity, more music companies are turning towards Facebook”. Facebook allows record labels to tailor specific marketing campaigns to a small group of consumers. Focusing on a narrowed-down audience is an effective marketing strategy and targeting to specific audiences adds more relevance to the advertisers’ needs.