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Use Facebook to help your business get found, find customers and nurture relationships

What started off as a way for college students to keep in touch has evolved into a much more powerful communication tool. This is where users discover what matters most to them. The newsfeed feature of Facebook updates you on what you care about- local business news you are subscribed to or what your best friend is up to.

Did you know?

  • 16 MILLION local businesses are active on Facebook
  • There are almost 3 MILLION connections between people and local businesses
  • 61% of people on Facebook are connected to at least one local business.
  • Facebook has a greater monthly reach than the top 100 UK consumer magazines
  • More than twice the daily reach of ALL UK national daily newspapers combined
  • Based on hours per month per user on desktop (UK), Facebook ranked highest with almost 8 hours beating BBC, Microsoft, Yahoo and Google in the process.

When you think of why someone is on Facebook and why he or she would connect with someone else, think of the value that user is getting out of that connection. And then as a business try and provide that value. Identifying that value will help drive your business or brand to the front of recognition.

Starting your own business and then trying to market it can be quite daunting. Fortunately Facebook has some handy (mostly free) features that can help your business:

  • Get found
  • Find customers
  • Nurture relationships

A recent Facebook webinar (27 June 2013) with Felicity McCarthy, Head of SMB Marketing Communications at Facebook covered exactly these topics.

Here we break down how you can best use Facebook for each of the above to help grow your business.

1. BE FOUND:

As a business, how do you “get found” on Facebook?! Quite simple- create a Facebook Page for your business. It all starts here.

Image showing the benefits of Facebook Business Page

Facebook is one the most popular apps on mobiles and having a page on Facebook gives you an instant mobile marketing strategy- which for a business, is great!

When you create a page on Facebook, you need to make sure the following information is complete:

  • contact details
  • location
  • profile photo
  • cover photo
  • vanity username

Felicity shared some top tips of how businesses should interact on their Facebook page.

Your posts should:

  • be short and sweet
  • include eye-catching photos/videos
  • be timely and relevant
  • times consistently; no long gaps of silence

Facebook also launched its Pages Manager app so you can manage your page and post on the go. As a business page that focuses on B2B, it’s great to include testimonials, top tips, advice and other industry updates so you are creating that value and giving consumers a reason to connect with you and stay connected. This is a great way of using Facebook as part of your lead generation strategy.

2. FIND CUSTOMERS:

Before the advent of main stream digital media and the likes of Twitter and Facebook, how did businesses market their services and what mediums did they turn to?

For:

small reach: newspaper, print media

large reach: TV

Today, Facebook has over 1.1 Billion users EVERY month. There is a huge opportunity here to reach the right audience.

Image showing stats of Facebook reach

 

How can you achieve that through Facebook? Use targeting options on Facebook.

Craft your ad creative and don’t be shy about including offers and promotions. This is the time to use them!

When creating ads, create at least 4 different variations and test them. See which one fares the best, has the greatest reach and use that one!

A great way of targeting your customers is running the same ad but with different targeting options under different campaigns. This helps you target each demographic separately.

Screenshot of Ad Variations in Facebook for Business Webminar

Facebook insights makes it easier for you to keep track of your posts, the reach of your posts, how many people have clicked on each post and lets you tweak your future posts depending on the response you get.

3. NURTURE RELATIONSHIPS:

So far you’ve learnt about how to get found on Facebook and find the right customers for your brand. But what about nurturing those relationships you’ve worked so hard to create? Connections are a long lasting relationships and an opportunity for your brand to grow alongside your fans. You may ask, what are the benefits of investing and nurturing these connections?

  • Every time a fan interacts or shares your posts, they drive your word-of-mouth.
  • They often provide personal and honest feedback as well as insights.
  • you can also ask your fans for feedback on your new products/services.

Other than all the free options to reach and interact with your audience, you also have the paid options like Facebook Offers or Promoted Posts or Sponsored Stories.

Facebook’s News Feed is very tricky. It is extremely dynamic and it keeps on getting updated at a rapid pace so if you are relying solely on consumers finding you organically then it will be quite hard for you to ensure your posts are always visible.

This is where Facebook will make money off you. But if you really want to make your Facebook Page work and find your target audience then you have to consider this option.

What is a Facebook offer?

Facebook Offer image by Einstein Bros Bagels

Facebook offer is a post whereby you can attach a bar code so people can redeem you offer in store. It works really well if you have a bricks and mortar presence as well. Facebook offers will drive foot traffic and sales for your business if used efficiently.

How can sponsored stories help your brand?

A friend recommending or liking a brand says a lot more for the brand than none of your friends endorsing it. There is more impact on a friend’s association with a brand than just the brand on its own.

Image of the Sponsored stories reach on Facebook

Facebook also helps drive B2B growth through brand building, lead generation and an opportunity to grow relationship especially for local businesses.

You also have an option of building your audience by inviting personal friends from your own personal account on Facebook.

But what if you have a list of contacts in your CRM database you want to notify and update about your new Facebook Page? There’s a contact importer option that lets you import any email contact you have and it sends a “like” prompt to those contacts.

As mentioned before, for targeting to right audience, you will need to invest a little more than your time. However the cost is not fixed and depends on:

  • your target audience
  • the reach you want to gain

Successful brands on Facebook spend a certain amount of budget on posts and some on stories so they can judge what works best for their brand. So try that for your brand and see what works for you.

Image showing British businesses that have succeeded with Facebook

This pretty much sums up the hour-long webinar that I attended. There was a Q&A session at the end and someone asked a really good questions which a lot of businesses out there ask:

What does success look like on Facebook?

It will be different for every business. The objectives for your business will be different from another business. Felicity highlighted some keys points in the webinar:

  • think of your objectives before you start
  • everything should be targeted so it reaches the right audience for your brand
  • be very scientific about what you put in front of whom

For B2B businesses, success be a little different and that could be based on:

  • how many leads they got
  • people filling in contact forms, etc

Ultimately, success will be defined by YOU.

Let us know if you have any success stories to share or need help with your business's Facebook strategy.

Disclaimer: The images used are screenshots taken from the webinar. Should you have any objection, please contact us and we will have them removed.


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