By now everyone has heard of the social networking service, Facebook. The company isnt all that old – it launched in February 2004, and quickly grew into an internet sensation that currently has more than 500 million active users.
The population of Facebook, if it were a country, would be 3rd in the world after China and India. Those 500 million users spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook, and 250 million active users log on to Facebook any given day.
Smart companies are learning how to harness the power of Facebook – with its vast amounts of information regarding consumer preferences, trends, and like/dislikes, it has never been this easy to reach your target market. However, we recognize that Facebook can be very intimidating for businesses used to operating in the traditional marketing realm of TV advertisements, newspapers and magazines, or radio announcements.
The following information will not only demystify some of the questions surrounding using Facebook for professional purposes but also prove that Facebook is an invaluable and increasingly essential part of a growing business.
How Facebook can help you build your business:
Continue to build brand awareness for your business and create a unified presence across the internet by creating a Facebook profile that uses your company logo and biography. Static FBML also allows you to create customized Facebook tabs. This creates a cohesive image and solidifies your brand in peoples minds.
2. Customer Engagement
Making your business available on a medium that your customers are already using regularly can only increase exposure and engagement. This is a great place to offer special deals, contests and promotions to current customers and to entice new ones to interact with your business.
3. Reputation Management
Facebook is about real people, which means real opinions. This shouldnt scare you off, but rather be seen as an opportunity to grow. If a customer is expressing displeasure at some product or aspect of your company, it should be seen as an opportunity to engage with them and rectify the problem in an open and transparent way. Remember, negative feedback isnt necessarily bad feedback if it allows your company to grow and gain a reputation for quickly solving customer complaints and problems.
4. Customer Feedback
Similar to reputation management, Facebook allows you to have a conversation with your customers by asking questions and responding to replies in a comfortable, non-threatening environment.
5. New Customers and Retention
Potential customers you may not have considered will be able to find and interact with your business online. Facebook also helps you stay connected with the customers you already have, and show them your appreciation for their business through communicating and providing great content.
6. Drive Web Traffic
Facebook shows up very high in Google search results because of the sheer number of people searching for, and interacting with, the social networking site every day. Your business on Facebook will also show up very high in Google search results which is where most people first look when researching a product or business. You can also drive traffic to your official website, or business blog, by including a link on your profile page which encourages fans to explore your business outside of Facebook as well.
7. Research Competitors and Business Leads
Other businesses are also on Facebook including competitors and potential allies. Its easy to view competitors profiles to see who their customers are and how they engage customers with content. This can give you tips to improve your profile. Facebook can also generate new business leads by exposing your business to other companies that may be interested in collaborating with you and vice versa.
8. Viral Marketing
The very nature of Facebook is viral. People see a comment or story they like, and they share it with their friends. Harness this power by providing exciting and engaging content to your customers and they will share it with their friends, who will share it with their friends, and so forth. Essentially, let your customers help promote your business!
9. Humanize Your Business
People like to buy from other people, and having a profile where you post company photos and interact with customers in a friendly way makes your business more approachable than a professional website. Facebook is also an excellent medium for content marketing because it engages customers with your business and entices them to share your information with their friends.
10. Targeted Advertising
Paid advertisements can be targeted to specific demographic targets and consumer preferences. Results can be easily tracked through Facebook Insights so you know exactly how effective your advertisements have been.
If you are interested in using Facebook for business purposes, but still a bit wary about tackling it by yourself, Out-Smarts Marketing can help – we provide social networking training and consulting services to help you use social media tools effectively. Contact us now to find out more.