The New Face of Personal Marketing is the Usual Suspect

Personal Marketing

With more users than ever before, the internet as a means to self-promote, as a social marketing platform and area of influence has never been more alive.

Some 4.66 billion people across the globe use the internet as a source of information, news, shopping, social commentary, product advice and reviews and social interaction. It is also the place where advertisers and all brands spend most of their advertising budget and secure most of their sales.

We all know that the only constant is change and yet there are exceptions to every rule and in terms of personal marketing and the development of a personal brand identity there is only one winner and that is the tried, tested and trusted Facebook. There have indeed been many changes and developments over the years, but many of these have simply served to cement Facebook as the social media platform of choice for those who have serious ambitions to communicate with the masses. Below, we explore this in more detail.

The Numbers

With 2.8 billion monthly users (yes 2 .8 billion users), Facebook, one of the pioneers of social media, is also the current leader in the field. It is a platform that is used by the widest range of people of all the social media platforms out there. Yes, there has been a move by the younger generation into a less communication-based and more visual-based platforms such as a TikTok, but the reality is that to make sales, create a brand and develop a serious tribe or following that can be monetized, Facebook has no obvious and immediate challengers.

The options

When it comes to mass appeal, Facebook beats Bebo, Instagram and LinkedIn. Facebook managed to integrate aspects of social, business and professional profiles and relationships at a level that none of its competitors was able to do. This has been the main driver for the numbers of loyal followers. Facebook was arguably also the first to realize the potential of the ‘socials’ for sales. Advertising, product reviews and pop-ups based on your specific likes and needs were first used by Facebook and although there have been stricter regulations imposed since the inception of these marketing strategies, Facebook has been and continues to be at the forefront of brand creation and development through advertising.

Facebooks business numbers

Having access to such large numbers of users and the ability to integrate your social feeds and build relationships online in a seamless fashion means that ignoring Facebook in your marketing strategy is done at your peril. With 1.4 billion people using Facebook business groups on a monthly basis, it is too big to ignore. Facebook pages for business started as early as 2007 and there are now over 60 million of these and it is a growing sector. Business has found value in social networks and Facebook generally serves as the hub for these to be integrated and streamlined.

For many brands and influencers alike, Instagram has proven to be the platform that pays, but as aforementioned you will ignore Facebook at your peril. There are many users who still use Facebook and see it as the platform to find new products and engage with reviews of such products.

What is influencer marketing

Worth about $10 billion in 2020 and growing all the time, it is about being able to influence your social media followers to either believe in a brand or buy a brand. Influencer marketing is predominantly based on your own personal observations and interactions with that particular brand or product. Based on the integration and immediacy of the platform, Facebook influencer marketing is still the best means to reach a paying audience.

From the biggest brands to the most modest brands out there, most if not all will use some form of influencer marketing. There are micro influencers, who have 10,000-50,000 followers, who will be happy to be compensated for their influencing by simply being given shoutouts, freebies and event invites. From this level, there is an accepted hierarchy of influencers, from the mid-tier influencers with up to 500,000 followers, to the top of the pile, where influencers are those who can draw and influence over a million people – these are known as mega influencers.

Those with such reach and influence will be paid huge sums to influence buyers and create interest in the specific brand.

All of the levels of influencers will have vastly different relationships with their followers and the larger the numbers the more distant the relationship will be. However, trends are followed quickly and an influencer, commenting, liking or simply re-posting something can have huge financial implications. An influencer like Kylie Jenner for example will command huge fees for simply mentioning a brand, while wearing or using a product can create such demand that brands have been known to stockpile for months before releasing something on her Instagram or Facebook, so that they can deal with the expected rise in demand.

There are a myriad of suggestions and listicles available online that would promise to guide you to influencer success. Yet, there is but one critical component that all of these sources of advice will include in their top-three tips. Build a sustainable online social following, and all else will fall into place from this.

How to create a sustainable social following

  • Have a backstory and a brand. To create a personal brand you must have a credible backstory, knowing where you come from and being able to communicate that cogently to your audience is the key.
  • Communicate constantly. There is always someone who is listening and awake so keep it real and keep it going. The accepted standard for a top influencer is to post on a daily basis. Once you embark on life as an influencer, if you want the masses to hear you, then you will have to speak. Posting from your mobile platform allows for this and no longer do you have to lug a top spec camera around the world with you to create those great lifestyle shots that influencer supremos are known for.
  • Have clearly defined product parameters. The main thing influencers are now learning and to the detriment of some, is that you cannot be all things for all products. Once you have established yourself and oftentimes even before this, ensure that you are associated with products and people that speak to your own ethos and values.
  • Know your audience and be genuine. The route to failure is to promote something that you yourself really would not use or haven’t tried. It is the ultimate betrayal and will lead to the speedy demise of your personal brand.
  • Use the analytics provided with platforms like Facebook to derive insights that will allow you to adjust and improve the manner of communication and improve your reach. Brands that are looking for influencers will pay specific attention to the statistics, likes, friends and overall reach of a prospective influencer.

If you are going to master the incredibly subtle art of brash, in-your-face marketing on social platforms it is worth remembering the power of Facebook and the fact that it can be very easily integrated into and with the other social apps and platforms that you use – just be sure that your brand is not overly diluted.

Instagram is currently rated right up there with Facebook as the preferred platform for influencers. Super influencers like Christiano Ronaldo are paid huge sums to simply comment or make a positive reference to a product or service.

Big brands will simply use a company to create the Facebook influencer campaign and they will be the ones who will be in contact with people who have the likes, views and can keep this going in a sustainable manner. However, it must be pointed out that this type of marketing is not only for big consumer brands. Even smaller niche companies and products have been known to use influencers to build widespread credibility for their products and brands.

All of the major social media and personal marketing platforms have a slightly different focus, feel and users and as such products that would target these platforms.

Final thoughts

Personal marketing, brand influencing, and social communication are all aspects that drive and keep Facebook profitable. If you are considering becoming an influencer or using influencers to drive your business and build your brand, then you will essentially have to include Facebook as a huge part of this process. Based on the facts that it is a platform that has the numbers, both of people and businesses, it provides a flexible set of publishing tools such as video, text, photos, live video and more and it is the recognized platform for most social media influencers, Facebook will remain the go-to platform for brand building-related influencer discovery and development.

Now you should have a very good idea of the numerous benefits that leveraging influencer marketing could provide your brand.

Anand Narayanaswamy is the editor-in-chief of Netans. He was recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 9 years (2002 to 2011) and again as a Microsoft MVP in Surface under Windows and Devices in January 2024. He worked as a Chief Technical Editor with ASPAlliance and was part of ASPInsider program. Anand has published several articles and reviews related to various software and hardware products for various software and technology related websites. He is also active on social media and also participates as an Influencer for various brands. Anand can be reached at admin@netans.com

more recommended stories