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Facebook’s new Timeline layout and advertising options give marketers and brands new ways to connect with users on the site. But as Facebook grows, the relationship it has with companies is also evolving, a new report from eMarketer finds.
The new report, “Facebook Marketing: Reaching Consumers in a Changing Environment,” analyzes findings from dozens of third-party research providers and interviews with industry executives, answering key questions about Facebook’s changes and their impact on marketers, including:
For years now, brands have been using Facebook for unpaid marketing, paid advertising or a combination of the two. By 2013, eMarketer forecasts that 86% of US companies with more than 100 employees will be using Facebook for marketing purposes. This is up from 83% in 2012 and 73% in 2011.
Facebook has introduced several new marketing tools in the past year, including the Timeline format for brand pages; Sponsored Stories, Reach Generator and other advertising offerings that incorporate regular posts; and metrics that go beyond counting fans, incorporating reach, sharing and engagement into measurements.
“Many of these updates improve on Facebook’s free tools,” said eMarketer. “But marketers beware: Subtle changes behind the scenes mean brands will need to incorporate paid advertising in the mix if they want to get much traction using Facebook’s free services.”
As Facebook continues to evolve as a company, its offerings for users and brands will mature as well. Marketers should pay the closest attention to Facebook’s mobile initiatives, improved analytics and enhanced user experience.
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