Facebook sales customer acquisition is essential for businesses to expand their customer base and increase sales. With billions of active users on Facebook, businesses have a massive opportunity to reach new customers and build brand awareness.
Facebook’s advertising platform allows businesses to create highly targeted ads to reach their ideal audience based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. By utilizing Facebook as a means of customer acquisition, businesses can generate leads, increase conversions, and ultimately grow their revenue.
Furthermore, Facebook provides a platform for businesses to engage with audiences through social media, which can help to build brand loyalty and trust. In today’s digital age, Facebook sales customer acquisition is a vital strategy for businesses to remain competitive and succeed in the marketplace.
Customer acquisition is a critical aspect of sales because it involves gaining new customers and expanding the customer base, which is essential for the growth and sustainability of any business.
Acquiring new customers allows businesses to increase their revenue, market share, and brand recognition. Without new customers, businesses would eventually reach a saturation point and struggle to maintain profitability. Therefore, customer acquisition is crucial for businesses to remain competitive in the marketplace and grow.
Additionally, customer acquisition is often less expensive than customer retention, making it a cost-effective strategy for businesses to increase sales and revenue. Ultimately, the success of a business depends on its ability to acquire and retain customers, making customer acquisition an essential aspect of sales.
This article aims to provide you with the necessary information and tools to acquire new customers through Facebook sales successfully. You will learn about the necessary strategy and tips that will help you acquire more customers and increase sales. Let’s get started.
Understanding Customer Acquisition
Customer acquisition is the process by which businesses attract and convert potential customers into paying customers. It involves a range of marketing and sales activities designed to identify and reach out to individuals or organizations likely to be interested in a particular product or service.
Customer acquisition aims to establish a customer base that can generate revenue and drive business growth over time. Some common strategies for customer acquisition include advertising, email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO).
You can build a loyal customer base by focusing on customer acquisition. This can also help increase your brand awareness, ultimately driving revenue and growth.
Importance of Customer Acquisition for Businesses on Facebook
Customer acquisition is crucial for businesses on Facebook because it allows them to tap into a vast audience and cost-effectively connect with potential customers. Here are some of the key reasons why customer acquisition is vital for businesses on Facebook:
- Reach a Large Audience: As Facebook has over 2.8 billion monthly active users, it is one of the largest social media platforms in the world. This allows businesses to reach a large audience and connect with potential customers.
- Cost-Effective Marketing: Facebook provides businesses with various cost-effective marketing options, such as targeted advertising and sponsored posts, which can help them reach their target audience without breaking the bank.
- Increased Brand Awareness: By engaging with potential customers on Facebook, businesses can increase brand awareness and establish a solid online presence.
- Targeted Advertising: Businesses can target their ads to specific audiences based on demographics, interests, behaviors, and other factors using Facebook’s advertising platform. This means that businesses can reach out to people most likely to be interested in their products or services, increasing the likelihood of them becoming customers.
- Social Proof: Because Facebook is a social platform, people are likelier to believe recommendations and endorsements from friends and family. Businesses can use social proof to attract more customers by acquiring new customers on Facebook and encouraging them to leave positive reviews and share their experiences.
Understanding Facebook’s Advertising Platform
Facebook Advertising is an advertising platform that allows businesses to promote their products, services, or content to a large and diverse audience of users on Facebook and its family of apps, including Instagram and Messenger. Facebook Ads offers various ad formats, targeting options, and budgeting strategies to suit different business goals and budgets.
Facebook Ads can be displayed in various formats, including photos, videos, carousels, collections, stories, etc. Businesses can create campaigns for different objectives, such as brand awareness, engagement, traffic, app installs, lead generation, and conversions.
Targeting Options for Customer Acquisition
Facebook Advertising offers various targeting options to help businesses reach their desired audience effectively. These options include:
- Demographic Targeting: You can target people based on age, gender, language, education level, job title, etc.
- Location Targeting: You can target people based on their country, state, city, or address.
- Interest Targeting: You can target people based on their interests, hobbies, activities, or pages they have liked on Facebook.
- Behavior Targeting: You can target people based on their behavior, such as their purchase history, device usage, or travel habits.
- Lookalike Targeting: You can create a custom audience based on your existing customers, website visitors, or app users and then target people with similar characteristics.
- Custom Audience Targeting: You can upload a list of your customers’ email addresses or phone numbers, and Facebook will match them with Facebook profiles to create a custom audience.
- Retargeting: You can target people who have already interacted with your business, such as those who have visited your website, added items to their cart, or watched your videos.
Businesses can use these targeting options effectively to acquire new customers, increase brand awareness, and drive conversions efficiently.
Budgeting and Ad Optimization
Budgeting and ad optimization are critical components of Facebook Advertising.
Facebook Ads offers different budgeting options to suit different business goals and budgets. The most common budgeting options include the following:
- Daily Budget: With a daily budget, you can set the maximum amount you’re willing to spend each day on your campaign. Facebook will optimize your ad delivery to maximize results while staying within your daily budget.
- Lifetime Budget: With a lifetime budget, you can set the maximum amount you’re willing to spend on your campaign for the entire duration. Facebook will allocate your budget accordingly throughout the campaign.
- Bid Strategy: With bid strategy, you can choose how you want Facebook to optimize your ad delivery. You can choose from different bid strategies, such as Cost per Click (CPC), Cost per Impression (CPM), or Cost per Conversion (CPA), depending on your campaign goal.
Facebook Ads also offers various optimization options to help businesses achieve their campaign goals effectively. Some of the essential optimization options include:
- Ad Placement Optimization: You can choose where you want your ads to appear, such as on the Facebook newsfeed, Instagram feed, or audience network. Facebook will optimize your ad delivery based on your selected placements.
- Audience Optimization: You can show your ads to people most likely to take the desired action. Facebook will optimize your ad delivery based on the audience you’ve selected.
- A/B Testing: You can test different versions of your ads to see which one performs better. Facebook will optimize your ad delivery based on the winning ad.
- Automatic Optimization: You can let Facebook automatically optimize your ad delivery based on your campaign objective, such as maximizing conversions or link clicks.
By effectively budgeting and optimizing your ads, you can ensure that your Facebook Ads campaigns are cost-effective and drive the desired results.
Organic Customer Acquisition
Organic customer acquisition refers to attracting and converting new customers without paid advertising or promotions. It involves creating and sharing high-quality content and meaningfully engaging with your target audience. The goal is to build trust, establish your brand as an authority in your niche, and encourage word-of-mouth referrals.
Strategies for Organic Customer Acquisition on Facebook
Organic customer acquisition can be achieved through various strategies, these include:
- Creating a Compelling Brand Message: To attract customers organically, you need to have a clear and compelling brand message that resonates with your target audience. This message should communicate your brand’s values, mission, and unique selling proposition (USP). Your message should be consistent across all your Facebook communication, including your profile, cover photo, posts, and ads.
- Posting Engaging Content: Regularly posting engaging content on your Facebook page is a great way to attract organic traffic. Your content should be high-quality, visually appealing, and relevant to your audience’s interests. Use various formats like images, videos, and infographics to keep your content fresh and engaging. Additionally, you can use Facebook Insights to track your content performance and adjust your strategy accordingly.
- Utilizing Facebook Groups: Facebook Groups are a great way to connect with potential customers and build a community around your brand. Joining and participating in relevant groups can help you establish yourself as an expert in your niche and promote your brand to a broader audience. Additionally, you can create your own Facebook Group and invite customers and fans to join. In your group, you can share exclusive content, offer promotions, and engage with your customers more personally.
- Networking With Other Facebook Pages: Building relationships with other pages in your industry or niche can help you reach a wider audience and organically attract new customers. You can engage with these pages by commenting on their posts, sharing their content, and tagging them in your posts. This can help you build a network of influencers and brand advocates who can help promote your brand to their followers.
- Leveraging User-Generated Content: Encouraging your followers to create and share content related to your brand can be a powerful way to attract organic traffic. User-generated content (UGC) can include customer reviews, photos of customers using your product, and testimonials. You can incentivize UGC by running contests or offering discounts to customers who share content. Sharing UGC on your Facebook page can help build social proof and credibility for your brand, attracting new customers.
Paid Customer Acquisition
Paid customer acquisition refers to the process of using various paid marketing channels such as paid search, social media advertising, display ads, and other forms of paid advertising to acquire new customers for a business. Here are some benefits of using paid customer acquisition:
- Faster Results: With paid customer acquisition, businesses can expect immediate results in traffic and leads generated. This is because paid advertising can reach a large audience quickly and drive traffic to a website or landing page.
- Targeted Audience: Paid customer acquisition allows businesses to target specific audiences based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. This helps ensure that the ads reach the right people more likely to convert into customers.
- Measurable Results: Paid customer acquisition allows businesses to track and measure the success of their campaigns in real time. This means businesses can quickly identify what is working and what is not and adjust their strategies accordingly.
- Increased Brand Visibility: Paid advertising can help increase a business’s brand visibility by reaching a wider audience and creating brand awareness. This can ultimately lead to increased customer loyalty and advocacy.
- Competitive Advantage: Paid customer acquisition can give businesses a competitive advantage by allowing them to reach potential customers that their competitors may not be reaching. This can help businesses increase market share and grow their customer base.
Strategies for Paid Customer Acquisition on Facebook
Here are some strategies for paid customer acquisition on Facebook:
- Facebook Advertising: Facebook advertising is a paid advertising platform that allows businesses to target their ads to specific audiences based on age, location, interests, and behaviors. Businesses must create a Facebook Ads account, set their advertising budget, define their target audience, create ad creatives, and launch the campaign, to set up a Facebook advertising campaign.
Several types of Facebook Ads exist, including images, videos, carousels, etc. Facebook Ads also provide businesses with detailed analytics and reporting, allowing them to measure the performance of their campaigns and make necessary adjustments.
- Boosted Posts: Boosted posts are an easy and cost-effective way to reach a larger audience on Facebook. A boosted post is a regular Facebook post that a business can pay to appear higher in the News Feed of its followers or to reach a larger audience beyond its existing followers.
In order to boost a post, a business needs to click the “Boost Post” button on their Facebook post and define the target audience, budget, and duration of the campaign. Boosted posts can be valuable in promoting sales, events, and new products.
- Sponsored Stories: Sponsored stories are a type of Facebook ad that allows businesses to promote user-generated content such as check-ins, likes, and comments.
These ads can help increase social proof and trust in a business by featuring content created by other users. In order to set up a sponsored story, businesses can select the “Sponsored” option when creating a post or select the “Create Ad” option and choose “Sponsored Story.” Sponsored stories can target specific audiences and are available in multiple ad formats.
- Lookalike Audiences: Lookalike audiences are a targeting option in Facebook Ads that allow businesses to reach potential customers who share similar characteristics and behaviors with their existing customers.
To create a lookalike audience, you need to upload a list of your existing customers or website visitors, and Facebook will use its algorithm to find similar users. Lookalike audiences can be a powerful tool for businesses as they can help them reach new customers likely to be interested in their products or services.
- Dynamic Ads: Dynamic ads are a type of Facebook ad that allows businesses to automatically promote products or services to users based on their previous interactions with the business’s website or app.
For example, suppose a user visits a product page on a business’s website but does not purchase the product. In that case, the business can use dynamic ads to show the user an ad featuring that product on Facebook. Dynamic ads can help businesses increase conversions and drive sales as they are highly personalized and relevant to users’ interests and behaviors.
Using a combination of these Facebook advertising strategies can be an effective way for businesses to acquire new customers and grow their business. Testing and optimizing campaigns to achieve the best results continually is essential.
Retargeting, also known as remarketing, is an online advertising strategy that involves targeting users who have previously interacted with a website or a brand but have not converted into customers. It involves displaying ads to these users as they browse the internet to bring them back to the website and encourage them to complete a desired action, such as making a purchase, filling out a form, or subscribing to a newsletter.
Retargeting is essential for several reasons, some of these are:
- Increases Conversions: Retargeting allows businesses to target users who have already shown an interest in their products or services, making them more likely to convert.
- Improves Brand Recall: Seeing retargeted ads can help users remember a brand and keep it top of mind, which can increase the likelihood of future conversions.
- Enhances Engagement: Retargeting ads can be highly personalized, making them more engaging and relevant to users.
- Provides Cost-Effective Advertising: Since retargeting targets users who have already visited a website, it can be a cost-effective way to advertise to a highly qualified audience.
Strategies for Retargeting Existing Facebook Customers
Facebook is a powerful platform for retargeting existing customers, and there are several strategies you can use to maximize your success. These strategies are:
- Dynamic Product Ads: Dynamic Product Ads (DPAs) are a highly effective way to retarget existing Facebook customers who have interacted with your website or app. DPAs use Facebook’s robust algorithm to display personalized ads to users, featuring products they have previously shown interest in or abandoned in their shopping cart.
To set up DPAs, you must create a product catalog on Facebook that includes your products’ details and images. You’ll also need to install Facebook’s Pixel on your website to track user behavior and feed it into Facebook’s algorithm to optimize your ad campaigns.
Once you’ve set up DPAs, Facebook will automatically display ads to users who have previously browsed or added items to their cart, reminding them to complete their purchase. These ads can be displayed across Facebook and Instagram, making them highly visible and effective.
- Retargeting Website Visitors: Retargeting website visitors is another effective way to engage with existing Facebook customers who have previously interacted with your website or app. This strategy involves placing a Facebook Pixel on your website to track user behavior and create custom audiences based on their actions.
To set up a retargeting campaign, you’ll first need to create a custom audience based on users who have visited your website or specific pages on your website. You can then create a retargeting ad campaign that targets this audience, reminding them of your brand and encouraging them to take the desired action.
Retargeting website visitors is highly effective because it allows you to target users who have already shown an interest in your brand or products, making them more likely to convert. By showing them retargeted ads on Facebook, you can keep your brand in mind and encourage them to return to your website and complete a desired action.
- Re-Engaging Inactive Customers: Re-engaging inactive customers is an effective retargeting strategy for businesses looking to boost their sales and drive conversions. This strategy involves targeting users who have previously made a purchase but have not engaged with your brand in a while.
To re-engage inactive customers, you can create a custom audience on Facebook that includes users who have made a purchase but haven’t returned to your website in a fixed period. You can then create a retargeting ad campaign that features new products, promotions, or incentives to encourage them to return to your website and make another purchase.
Re-engaging inactive customers is effective because it allows you to target users who have already shown an interest in your brand, making them more likely to convert. By showing them retargeted ads on Facebook, you can remind them of your brand and encourage them to return and make another purchase.
- Email Marketing Campaigns: Email marketing campaigns are another effective way to retarget existing Facebook customers. This strategy involves sending personalized emails to previously engaged users with your brand, featuring retargeted content and promotions.
To create an effective email marketing campaign, you can segment your email list based on user behavior and create personalized emails that speak directly to their interests and needs. For example, you can create emails that feature products they have previously shown interest in or abandoned in their shopping cart, reminding them of your brand and encouraging them to complete their purchase.
Email marketing campaigns are effective because they allow you to target users directly in their inboxes, where they will likely engage with your brand. By creating personalized and engaging emails, you can keep your brand top of mind and encourage users to return to your website and make a purchase.
Utilizing Social Proof
Social proof refers to the psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation. In simpler terms, people are more likely to adopt a specific behavior or decision when they see others doing the same.
Social proof is necessary because it is a powerful tool for influencing people’s behavior and decisions. When people see that others are engaging in a particular behavior, they are more likely to follow suit because they perceive it as the correct or popular thing to do.
Social proof can encourage desired behaviors, such as purchasing a product or signing up for a service, by demonstrating that other people have already done so. It can also be used to build credibility and trust, as people are more likely to trust a business or individual if they see that others have had positive experiences with them.
Examples of social proof include customer reviews, testimonials, social media likes and shares, celebrity endorsements, and statistics and numbers to demonstrate popularity or success. By utilizing social proof, businesses and individuals can increase the likelihood of success by tapping into the power of social influence.
Strategies for Utilizing Social Proof to Drive Customer Acquisition on Facebook
Here are some strategies for using social proof to attract and convert customers on Facebook:
- Encourage Customer Reviews and Ratings: Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews and ratings on your Facebook page. These reviews and ratings serve as social proof for potential customers considering your product or service. Make it easy for customers to leave a review by providing clear instructions and responding to all positive and negative reviews showing that you value customer feedback.
- Share Testimonials and Success Stories: Share success stories and testimonials from happy customers on your Facebook page. These stories demonstrate the value of your product or service and can help to build trust with potential customers. Use real customer names and photos whenever possible to increase authenticity.
- Showcase Social Media Influencers: Partner with influencers who align with your brand and have a large Facebook following. These influencers can showcase your product or service to their audience and provide social proof for potential customers. Be sure to disclose any sponsored Facebook advertising policies.
By utilizing these strategies, you can leverage the power of social proof to drive customer acquisition on Facebook. Always prioritize authenticity and transparency in your social proof efforts to build trust with potential customers.
Harnessing the Power of Video
Videos have become an essential part of Facebook marketing strategies, as they allow you to engage with your target audience more visually and in an immersive way. Video content has been proven highly effective in driving customer acquisition on Facebook, as it captures users’ attention and helps build brand awareness.
It also allows businesses to showcase their products or services more engagingly and memorably, which can lead to increased conversions and sales.
In addition to driving customer acquisition, video content can also be used to build a strong relationship with existing customers by providing them with valuable and relevant information, entertaining content, or behind-the-scenes glimpses of the business.
To harness the power of video content on Facebook, you should create high-quality, engaging videos that align with your brand values and speak to your target audience. It’s also essential to optimize the video for Facebook by adding subtitles, including a clear call-to-action, and using Facebook’s video ad targeting options to reach the right audience at the right time.
Strategies for Utilizing Video Content
There are several strategies businesses can use to utilize video content on Facebook effectively. Here are some of them:
- Creating Facebook Live Broadcasts: Facebook Live allows businesses to interact with their audience in real time, providing a unique opportunity to engage with viewers and answer questions. This can be especially useful for product launches, events, or Q&A sessions.
- Sharing Product Demos and Behind-the-Scenes Footage: Videos that showcase how products work or give viewers a glimpse behind the scenes of the business can be highly effective in building brand trust and increasing customer engagement. This type of content can also help to humanize the brand and create a more personal connection with the audience.
- User-Generated Video Content: Encouraging customers to create and share their videos can be a powerful way to build brand awareness and trust. User-generated content is often more authentic and relatable than brand-produced content, making it more appealing to viewers. Businesses can incentivize customers to create and share their videos through contests or giveaways.
Regardless of the strategy, keeping the video content engaging, informative, and aligned with the brand’s values and messaging is essential. This can help ensure the videos are well-received by the target audience and effectively drive customer acquisition and engagement.
Partnering With Other Businesses
Collaboration with other businesses on Facebook can provide several advantages. These include:
- Increased Exposure: Collaborating with another company can help increase your brand’s exposure to its audience, allowing you to reach new customers and raise brand awareness.
- Collaborative Marketing: By collaborating on marketing efforts with another company, you can create more effective and efficient marketing campaigns.
- Shared Resources: Working with another company can give you access to shared resources like customer data, marketing tools, and expertise, which can help you improve your overall marketing efforts.
- Cost Savings: Working with another company can help you cut marketing costs by splitting expenses and sharing resources.
- New Opportunities: Collaboration with another company can provide new opportunities for growth and expansion, such as entering new markets or launching new products/services.
- Improved Credibility: Partnership with a reputable business can help improve your brand’s credibility and reputation by signaling to potential customers that you are associated with a trusted and established brand.
Strategies for Partnering With Other Businesses to Drive Customer Acquisition
Collaboration with other companies can be an effective strategy for increasing customer acquisition. Here are some strategies you can follow:
- Joint Promotions and Giveaways: Because they provide a unique and engaging customer experience, joint promotions and giveaways can effectively drive customer acquisition. Businesses can leverage each other’s strengths and customer bases to create a more compelling offer that attracts new customers and retains existing ones.
- Provide Cross-Promotions: Create cross-promotional opportunities with your partner businesses to offer exclusive deals or discounts to each other’s customers. This can encourage customers to try your partner’s products/services, which can help both businesses drive customer acquisition.
- Collaborate on Content: Working together on content, such as blog posts or social media posts, can help you reach a larger audience and increase customer acquisition. Share your partner’s content with your audience, and consider creating joint content that emphasizes the benefits of your partnership.
- Identify Complementary Businesses: Look for businesses that provide products or services that complement your own. This will help ensure your collaboration adds value to businesses and their customers.
- Co-Host Events: Co-hosting events with your partner businesses can reach a larger audience and drive customer acquisition. Consider hosting joint webinars, conferences, or meetups to promote your companies and share your knowledge and expertise with potential customers.
- Use Referral Programs: Consider establishing a referral program with your partner businesses that reward customers for referring new customers to either. This can encourage customers to spread the word about both businesses, increasing customer acquisition.
You can create a successful partnership with other businesses by implementing these strategies, which will help drive customer acquisition and growth for both businesses.
Measuring the success of Facebook customer acquisition strategies is critical for businesses to understand the efficacy of their efforts and make data-driven decisions to improve future campaigns. Here are some of the reasons why measuring success is important:
- Determine ROI: Measuring success assists businesses in determining the return on investment (ROI) of their customer acquisition efforts. You can determine whether your efforts are profitable and whether you need to adjust your strategy by weighing the costs of the campaign against the revenue generated by new customers.
- Identify Opportunities for Improvement: By measuring success, businesses can determine which aspects of their customer acquisition strategies are compelling and which need to be improved. This can assist businesses in optimizing their campaigns, resulting in better results and, ultimately, more customers.
- Measure Success Over Time: Measuring success over time allows businesses to track their progress toward customer acquisition goals. This can assist businesses in staying on track and adjusting their strategies if they are not meeting their objectives.
- Effective Resource Allocation: Businesses can allocate resources more effectively by measuring success and identifying which strategies generate the highest return on investment. This can assist businesses in focusing their efforts on the most effective strategies and avoiding wasting resources on ineffective ones.
Metrics to Track and Tools to Use for Measuring Success
As a business owner, you should track various metrics and use data collection and analysis tools to assess the success of your Facebook customer acquisition strategies. Here are some key metrics to monitor and tools to think about:
- Conversion Rate: The conversion rate is the percentage of people who take a desired action, such as making a purchase, after clicking on a Facebook ad. This metric assists businesses in determining how effective their advertisements are at driving customer acquisition. Conversion rates can be tracked using Facebook Ads Manager and Google Analytics.
- Cost Per Acquisition (CPA): The cost of acquiring a new customer is measured by CPA. This metric is critical for businesses to monitor because it allows them to assess the profitability of their customer acquisition efforts. Businesses can track CPA using Facebook Ads Manager and Google Analytics.
- Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): ROAS is a metric that compares the revenue generated by an ad campaign to the cost of the campaign. This metric assists businesses in determining the effectiveness of their ad campaigns in revenue generation. Businesses can track ROAS using Facebook Ads Manager and Google Analytics.
- Engagement Rate: The number of interactions with a Facebook post (likes, comments, and shares) about the number of people who saw the post. This metric assists businesses in determining how engaging their content is to their target audience. Facebook Insights is a tool that can assist businesses in tracking their engagement rate.
- Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): The total value a customer brings to a business throughout their relationship is measured by CLV. This metric assists companies in determining the long-term profitability of their customer acquisition efforts. CLV can be tracked using Google Analytics and CRM tools like HubSpot and Salesforce.
Businesses can measure the success of their Facebook customer acquisition strategies and make data-driven decisions to optimize their efforts by tracking these metrics and using data collection and analysis tools.
Facebook advertising has proved to be a powerful tool for customer acquisition. A successful Facebook sales customer acquisition strategy involves understanding Facebook’s advertising platform, creating a targeted strategy, measuring and analyzing results, and continuously improving your approach.
It is also essential to define your target audience, set clear campaign objectives and KPIs, and choose engaging ad formats and creatives. Personalizing customer experience and building a strong brand identity are crucial to driving growth and engagement on Facebook.
To further drive growth and engagement on Facebook, keep up with changes to Facebook’s advertising platform and adjust your strategy accordingly. Use social listening tools to monitor customer sentiment and adjust your messaging accordingly. Use social proof, such as customer reviews and testimonials, to build trust with potential customers.
Also, Leverage user-generated content to increase engagement and brand awareness. Most importantly, use chatbots, like Chatsilo, to encourage sales and manage customers more efficiently.
In conclusion, Facebook advertising can be a highly effective tool for customer acquisition and driving growth on the platform. By following best practices and continuously refining your strategy, you can achieve success on Facebook and reach new audiences. Don’t forget to use tools like Chatsilo to manage your customers and encourage sales on the platform.