Facebook is by far the largest social media site. Many know its IPO and its profit margins. But it’s also common to think, “How is Facebook relevant to small business?”
To answer that, let’s put it this way. If a small business owner is not using this social media site, more than likely they are missing out on some great returns on their marketing investment. (If you’re guilty of this, you do know there’s no cost to using the site, right?)
Put on your marketing hat for a moment and consider the following benefits of giving your product or service business its very own Facebook page and site.
- You get to access a huge audience of potential customers to you. They come to you.
- You have an international audience, not just a local one, to network with and connect with in the hopes of making a profit from.
- It can help you to get your business out there, in the public’s eye. As a result, it is a fantastic tool for you to build your brand.
- It is not expensive. Even if you do invest in advertising on the site, the costs are highly affordable. You do not need to do this, though. Through effective marketing, you can use the site with no cost.
- It’s where the competition is. Hands down, that is one of the key components of building a business – finding out what the competition is doing so you can do it bigger and
Is Facebook an option? You do not want to spend a lot of time and money on the process if it isn’t going to work for you. That’s a given. Of course, you can outsource these tasks, which is something that you can do at any time. The key factor to consider here is the fact that any business and every business can and should be on Facebook if they are:
- Trying to build an audience
- Building a brand
- Growing traffic to a website
- Finding new customers
- Increasing sales
- Building a better image
The list goes on and on. The fact is that Facebook is one of the best tools you can turn to for increasing your marketing without increasing your costs.
The foundation of your success on Facebook depends on many things. One of the key factors you should focus on first is getting it off the ground successfully. To do this, you need to pull back and ask some key questions. It will ultimately help your business to achieve the success it should on Facebook.
Who is Your Customer?
You need to know who your customer is so that you can work your marketing to achieve that person’s needs. Ask yourself who your customer is then consider the following.
- Is that person on Facebook? Chances are good some of the demographics for your customer will be present online.
- What does that person or company use Facebook for? Are they using it for a social site like you are for marketing or are they using it to find friends and family?
- What other companies, including other competitors of your organization, is your ideal customer networking with already? If you are unsure of this, do a bit of research to determine who your ideal customer is and locate them on the site. Then, determine what they are doing already.
- Who is your competitor on the site? You probably have more than one that you could consider a competitor. The key is to pinpoint those customers attracted to the competitor so that you can see how the customer is reacting to the ads and promotions that competitor is offering. This is a good way really to see what you are up against, too.
- What do you think your customer wants from you? As you market, using this tool, you will need to know what your customer is going to want and even expect from you through this process. It is very important to consider this.
Knowing who your customer is outside of the Internet world is one thing. Knowing who your customer is online is very different. Knowing who your Facebook customer is happens to be different, too. You need to consider who is going to:
- Friend you on the site
- Interact with your organization on the site
- Benefit from the products and services you have to offer
- Learn from you
- Be working with you
- Be working against you
You need to know who your customer is so that you can target every one of your Facebook posts to that person. Yes, it’s more labor intensive than you though it would be, but there’s more to the process than just putting up some ads.
(Recommended reading: Facebook Audience Building 101)
What’s the Goal?
One of the most important elements to get out of the Facebook marketing platform is more along the lines of getting sales through socialization than it is about selling directly. In other words…
You want to sell product XYZ. Instead of creating a short commercial or print ad for your product, you start talking about it on Facebook. This is not a sales ad. You are simply sharing your new product and you ask for opinions and thoughts.
This opens the door to the marketing aspect of Facebook. Now, people can talk to you about it. They can say, “Wow, that sounds like a great idea!” Or, they can say, “You know I wish I had that.”
Then, this is the key… they share it.
They share your product, idea or information with their followers on the site. Unlike Twitter, though, there is a direct impact. It’s visual. You have a great graphic or a fantastic tool that you can use to showcase your product or service.
- People see it.
- They can talk to you about it directly.
- They can talk about it with your other followers right on the post.
- They can talk to their friends about it.
- Their friends can see it and share it.
In other words, unlike word of mouth advertising, this is visual and impactful on a much larger scale. Unlike Twitter, there’s no need to even take an action to click away from the site to learn more. Rather, it is there, in a picture format or a comment. People have access to it immediately.
Your goal, then, is to create socially interesting content that people want to share and build on. You need to lure them in without all of the sales- talking, foolish “Look how great this is!” type of talk. Rather, you want your followers to do that part for you.
Targets Really Do Matter
One of the key concepts to remember about Facebook is it is a huge audience of people wanting to interact with those businesses that have something to offer to them.
You need to find the ideal customer for your needs.
Your customer needs to find the right company for their needs. How can picking a target customer really matter?
It’s More Than Just Likes
Here’s one of the key factors you need to consider about Facebook. Getting more likes is a good thing, but it is still relevant to get the right likes. In other words, you need to attract the right people to the process so that you get the sales you desire.
- Targeting the right customers can help you to spend less time getting
- Getting the right likes on your posts means, those posts will go longer for you. More people react to them and share them – the ultimate goal.
- You attract fewer people who are going to be “naysayers” or those who want to stir trouble with negative comments.
- You have more opportunities to interact directly with your customers rather than just people who are on the site with you.
- You ultimately have better results in terms of sales as well as brand recognition, company awareness and productivity of whoever is posting these ads for you.
By targeting your customer, you are able to achieve much more with less time and money spent.
Realize the Vast Functionality and Incredible Reach
Before you begin creating a page or starting a group on Facebook for your product or service, it’s critical for you to build on what you know. Do you realize just how versatile this site is? Do you understand the huge amount of functionality it can offer to your marketing campaign? More importantly, do you see the incredible reach it has to offer to your business?
Know the Promises It Offers
One of the things you need to realize before getting started is that Facebook is more than just a social site. Many people are addicted to it. They log in every time they sit down at their laptop at work or at home. They interact with it on their smartphones. They log in just to post where they are and what they are doing.
Every single time they do this, they have the potential of seeing the message you’ve put up about your product or service. This is an outstanding resource, then because you do not:
- Have to pay-per-use
- Have to spend a lot of money on the right time to air your ad on television or radio
- Have to invest time in constantly updating your status so that the latest feed catches it (like Twitter)
- Or have to invest a lot of money to get in front of millions of people.
The fact is, for any type of business, Facebook can be incredibly useful and resourceful. If you put the time and effort into it, your small business or brand new product can do fantastically on the site.
Use It Your Way
It is also important to understand that this site gives you the ability to use it as you would. What does your business need right now? Do you need to build a following so that you get traffic to your website or blog? If so, then you can create unique updates that lure people in to the site to read more. People will do it.
Do you need to build your brand? If so, you can use Facebook to help this be possible. To do so, consider:
- Using posts to build on who you are by introducing your employees or your business leaders.
- Network with your readers to learn what they want and then give it to them in informative posts and helpful tools.
- Become the leader in the industry by simply educating others on the disease, problem or concern they have.
- Develop a helpful image by interact with your followers on their pages not as a “we can help you” type of comment but rather a “have you tried this?”
- Develop posts that get people information they need to know about why your company is best to work with when they have a problem you can solve.
Do you want to use Facebook to develop a better sales level for your business? If you need more sales, you can easily use this site as a tool for advertising what you have to offer. It may be easy for you to create the type of following that not only want to buy from you but also that is looking for the deals you have to offer.
The bottom line is Facebook is an incredible tool that any type of business can benefit from. If you have a product to educate others about or a service to help them with their needs, you have a place on the site.
Whether you do it for the free marketing resources or you do it to help your business seem more in-touch with the modern crowd, do not overlook the value of building your business by using Facebook as a marketing tool.