How and why you should make Facebook indispensable for your business
Facebook, can you remember a time when it didn’t exist? O.K, maybe that’s going a bit too far. But in just 9 incredibly brief years it has become ingrained in our everyday lives. Many keen social networkers check it hourly (o.k, make every 10 seconds) and it has formed its own part in modern consumerist society.
And in spite of all the benefits – first being that 43% of b2b customers have gained new business through Facebook and 77% of b2c have too – there are some people that are still sitting on the fence, and then there are some that are practically hiding from it.
But when faced with the undeniable fact that 4.5 billion likes are generated daily, and 699 million people log into Facebook daily, it’s clear to see that using Facebook’s online marketing powers to their full potential will benefit business, big, and small.
So for those that think Facebook is just for poking, here’s how and why you should use it like a pro.
1. Engage with your fans
1 billion people like and comment on Facebook an average of 3.2 billion times per day. Suddenly you feel like you’re missing a trick? Well you are. Your audience, clients and prospects are likely hanging out on Facebook and you need to be there too. Get to know your audience and in turn they will get to know you.
Do your research and find out what your fans like, and what interests them. Then you can target your online marketing campaigns around them. Travel company Tropical Sky witnessed a 200% increase in fans and a 500% increase in Facebook referrals to their site by doing this.
There are a number of ways that you can drive customer engagement including promotions, competitions, events, sales, and special offers, all of which can be advertised on your Facebook page.
2. Build Your Brand
Facebook is a great platform through which you can establish your company’s brand and let the whole world know about it. By creating a very specific brand that people can easily identify with your company, you are more easily recognisable amongst the companies competing for online floor space.
3. Drive Web Traffic
Sounds obvious, but sometimes even the simplest of things are forgotten when it comes to Facebook. By including a link to your website, and posting links to the latest news and blog posts on your website, you are directing people who are on your Facebook page back to your website. Traffic leads to business, and new business leads to more money. As such, every business is after as much relevant traffic as possible. So use social media wisely and you can really transform how your business generates new leads.
4. Use Sponsored Stories and Page Adverts to your advantage
Sponsored stories can be a great way to gain your company likes. The English Cheesecake Company were able to gain 4,500 likes by using this technique. By optimising specific times of the year such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, they were able to successfully develop new business opportunities.
Sponsored stories and page adverts are a great way to launch new products, and assess how they are received by your fans. But they can also be used to get your company’s name out there and seen by potential new clients.
5. Manage Your Online Reputation
Word-of-mouth is incredibly influential in the consumer buying process – read more about that here – and as such, having a Facebook presence is increasingly essential. It allows a company to speak directly with the people that will make or break their business, that’s right – the customers.
A Facebook account will give your customers direct access to your business, a place where they can air their thoughts and opinions, and where you can respond, seek suggestions for improvements, and nurture those essential relationships. Hopefully turning your customers into your best advocates, but that’s an entirely different story…
6. Use the Facebook ‘Offers’ Business App
Using social media to promote your business is a simple way to generate public interest. The Facebook ‘Offers’ app allows a free first posting for small businesses, and shares your posting to a wide audience. The app allows you constant communication with your customers, and you can schedule timed posts, give quick responses to customer queries and keep your site spam-free.
7. Make The Most Out of Photos
You’ve probably got a smartphone or a camera – let’s face it, even children have them – so you have no excuse not to use it to your online marketing advantage. So get snap happy taking pictures of your satisfied customers and employees. Take photos of your new products, and post them regularly to keep your customers up-to-date with your latest developments.
It’s important to remember that posting irrelevant photos may be fun, but it won’t necessarily generate any new business. A one size fits all approach doesn’t work for every business, so if you specialise in IT, your clients and prospects probably won’t be interested in your baking skills. So keep it relevant.
8. Get Posting!
Stand out from the crowd, and your competitors. Research exactly what your competitors are doing, and make sure that you do it better. When it comes to building a community of Facebook followers, the way to every fans heart, is through their brain, (and free stuff).
Make sure that you stand out by posting regularly, creating and engaging in conversations, responding to all feedback – positive and negative – and generally getting involved.
According to Eloqua research, 80% of prospects that don’t make the grade today will go on to buy from you or a competitor within the next 24 months. When they do, you’ll be glad you stayed in conversation with them.
Facebook is an unbeatable resource for business, whether B2B or B2C, small or multinational corporation. And tackling it requires nothing more than a little time and planning. So go get em tiger!