When Facebook launched in 2004, it was a social networking service designed to connect friends and like-minded individuals. In 2017, however, the site has become much more. Businesses that understand the power of Facebook are those that can tap into an entirely new marketing technique, one that has proven results.
According to Facebook’s statistical measures, the site averaged over 1.94 billion monthly active users as of March of 2017. Very few advertising mechanisms have the potential to reach a customer base so broad and diverse. In other words, Facebook is simply too large to ignore. Those businesses that do are missing out on an extraordinary marketing opportunity.
How can Facebook Help My Business?
For several years, Facebook has been steadily rolling out features to help small businesses. To maximize your marketing efforts, however, you must understand how to utilize those features. It is not as simple as creating a business page and then calling it good. You may reach a few customers that way, but your results will be limited. Instead, consider the following tips, each of which will increase your chances of developing and maintaining a successful Facebook marketing strategy.
Create a page that stands out
Your business page is your home base. Think of it in the same way you do your website’s landing page. It is the first impression you convey to potential customers. As such, it needs to be attractive enough to capture their attention so they look further into who you are and what you do. A successful business page is attractive, creative, and snappy. It should convey the essence of your brand and reflect your company’s mission and goals.
Consistently add content
Your goal is to attract followers to your page. The more people that “like” your page, the broader your advertising net will fall. To attract those users, you need to continually add content (at least 1-2 times per week). Share updates, promotions, photos, videos, etc. Your posts should be short but engaging, the kind that attract the eye and will keep your business relevant. A business page without regular content will quickly die.
Engage your followers
Today’s consumers want to feel like they are a part of the businesses they frequent. They want to feel like their opinions, wants, and needs matter. You can create this type of relationship by engaging with your followers. Do not keep an invisible wall between you. Instead, keep a friendly, conversational tone in your posts. Respond directly to comments or private messages to show your followers that you care about what they think. Create a dialogue with them and you will in turn earn their loyalty, which is the goal of advertising. A loyal customer base equates to increased sales.
Connect with the friends of your followers
Facebook’s “Places” feature allows users to add specific locations to their posts. When users “check in” at your business, a post will appear on their timeline. Anyone who is friends with that person will then see that check in, providing your business with free advertising. Your followers can also “like” and “share” your business page, which can encourage others to do the same. The social intelligence company Syncapse estimates that each “like” is worth $174.17 to a business. It isn’t difficult to see how fast that can add up.
Utilize Facebook’s business-related features
As mentioned, Facebook has steadily added features to their site that can help businesses maximize their marketing efforts. Companies that neglect these features are not likely to see the results they are looking for. Consider utilizing the following features as you start your Facebook campaign.
- Page Insights: This feature will provide you with metric data that allows you to monitor your page’s performance. You can track how many people like your page, the number of people that saw a particular post, and the demographic data of your followers. This type of information can help you determine which content most engages your readers.
- Pages Manager App: Available for both Android and iOS, this app can allow you to post content from your mobile devices. This can be a valuable tool that helps you stay connected to followers in real time.
- Scheduled Posts: To keep posting content regularly, consider scheduling posts for release at future dates/times. Utilizing this feature can help you consistently post content without having to be tethered to your computer or mobile device.
- Promoted Posts: For a fee that can be as low as $5, Facebook will label your content as “sponsored.” This will enable your posts to appear higher in your audience’s news feed for a longer period of time. Even those businesses with a limited advertising budget can take advantage of this feature.
- Facebook Offers: For a small fee, Facebook will create coupons for your followers. These can help you not only engage with your current followers, it can help you attract a new audience.
- Facebook Ads: This feature allows you to create and position custom ads that will appear in your followers’ news feeds. Attached to this feature are analytical tools that can help you determine which ads are most effective, thereby helping you maximize your efforts.
Facebook has become a tool that is impossible for businesses to ignore. The site allows you to connect to both current and future customers in a way not available through other marketing strategies. By utilizing all that Facebook offers, you can maximize your advertising efforts and create a loyal customer base. Doing so will keep your company relevant and ultimately increase your profits. After all, it’s all about the money!