Following on from last month’s article around Twitter, we are going to look at how Facebook can be used effectively to increase your marketing channels to ultimately reach a wider audience.
How can you make the most out of social media to help support your business. Here we will be exploring the benefits of Facebook for small businesses and look at the best ways to engage with it on a business level.
With 1.71 billion monthly active users, Facebook has become a daily part of so many people’s lives and routines. Not only is it used on a personal level, engaging with friends and acquaintances through status updates, photos and videos, its use is now so much more than its early beginnings.
If you have a business, you should already be on Facebook.
What are your objectives?
Again, having a purpose behind your facebook interactions is a vital starting point in moulding what activity you will engage in. Creating brand awareness, promoting an offer, a blog or resource, an event are all valid reasons to use facebook, and you will be surprised with how quickly you can increase your following.
Facebook is preferred by many because it has space for more text than Twitter allows, is user-friendly and allows for simple engagement with customers. Similar to Twitter, it allows hashtags to be used to highlight keywords as well as the ability to tag other FB people/accounts into your post.
Customer Interaction, Support and Personalisation
By creating a Facebook business page it allows you to give your business a “face”. You may not have a website yet if you are a new business, so having a facebook presence is a good starting point. Customers are also able to comment on your posts, increasing interaction which can in turn aid relationships and increase your customer service reputation, allowing you to reply to posts within minutes, offering support or answers to any customer queries.
When you have your website, having links to this profile will give customers another way of getting in touch with you. Let’s face it, many of us prefer to text or message than pick up the phone these days, when we don’t have time for a full conversation but have the time to send an initial enquiry and await a reply, this allows a simple option.
Increasing your SEO
Search Engine Optimization is a vital aspect if you are looking to make an impact online. If you have a Facebook business page, this will assist in your SEO efforts as the links placed within will help your site to be indexed by Google. If you regularly update your Facebook page with relevant content and links, this will help you in the search engine battle. .
Raising your profile
Increasing your Facebook profile is very achievable. Encouraging people to “like” and “share” your posts with incentives such a prize draws, offers and promotions can be a big motivator. Once people have liked your page, your customers will then receive updates when you post, which will pop up on their own newsfeed, keeping your brand in their minds, raising your profile at the same time as increasing your reach. We are very visual in our engagement; facebook is ideal for this as you can post pictures and videos on your profile. TV advertising costs a fortune, but posting a video with relevant messaging on your facebook page costs nothing but has the potential to reach a vast audience of customers and potential customers.
Beat your Competition
Again, keeping an eye on your competitors is a massive reason to make sure that you are not getting left behind in terms of your marketing strategies. Keeping afloat of any campaigns or offers that your competitors are running, and looking at how they are engaging customers will help you in devising your own.
If you are looking to expand your reach even further, targeting a wider audience, facebook promotion campaigns can be a great and inexpensive way to run an advertising campaign, giving you the option to choose the types of people you wish to target based on things like demographics, interests etc
In 2010 Facebook Places was launched, initially as a way for friends to see which of their friends were in the same locality, but has since quickly branched out to be used as a business application. With a “check-in” function, allowing customers to share with their friend list their location is another way of promotion. For example, if you are at a hotel and someone “checks-in” at your premises, this will appear in the newsfeed of that person’s friends, raising awareness of your business. People are also able to comment on this.
Facebook offers a vast opportunity to promote businesses. With many options on how to reach people, target the right audience and market your business effectively, there are many different uses for Facebook. Whether you decide on the free or paid advertising route, there is something that can be beneficial regardless of your business size and budget.