Facebook is interesting. It’s growing as an incredible rate worldwide, but many people dismiss it as a resource for businesses, and most people are unaware of exactly what Facebook can do for a business or brand.
I frequently discuss Facebook as an opportuity for small businesses to connect with people that are interested in the things they do, through participation in relevant groups and through creating company and product pages for the important parts of your business.
You have a phone number (probably a few!), company email addresses, hopefully a website and maybe even a blog and Google local page to maintain, so why should you consider adding anything additional to augment your online presence?
Facebook is a bit different. Facebook can bring your company and brand something that other sites really can’t provide – it’s a social network that can introduce you to an entirely new audience of people, automatically and with incredible efficiency.
If you have a great product or service that you are offering, you need to spread the word to your target consumers or businesses. I won’t go in to the multiple ways which that can be achieved, but we all know there are countless things that can be done to promote companies, products, services and brands.
So, Facebook… the demographic of a Facebook user is changing – where it was once viewed as a younger audience, the fastest growing demographic is currently the 25 and older user. More and more people are going online and sharing previously unavailable and frighteningly large amounts of information. They’re joining groups, participating in discussions, and they’re talking about products and services.
The growth rate is spectacular, and businesses are participating in these conversations now as well. There are countless companies, brands, products and services for you to comment on and share stories about. As a business owner, you need to actively participate in these conversations and engage your clients.
The Facebook model is simple, you create an account, and become a “Friend” of people that you know, connecting with your past and present and finding new ways to keep in touch with people.
With Facebook, you can also create an information page relating to a specific brand, product or company. As an example – OSG Marketing has a fan page on Facebook. People can become a fan of my company, have discussions about experiences and interact in ways previously not available.
The pages are customizable, can have as much or as little information as you want. When someone becomes a fan of your brand, everyone they are friends with can be exposed to your information. It represents a tremendous opportunity to interact with the community, and open communications are welcomed by anyone looking to do business with you.
Facebook is an ideal platform to Inform, Advertise and Promote your business.
There are a number of additional tools and resources available, but I’d recommend exploring Facebook and getting comfortable with the content.
Here are some resources to get you started -
Finally, here are some tips for using Facebook to connect to your target audience.
- Use Facebook as a soft selling tool. Don’t use it to push products, provide a resource to answer questions and communicate without pushing. It’s a soft sell environment, pushing will alienate your Fans.
- Don’t expect anything out of a Facebook profile. Use it as an education tool, build brand awareness and build a strong relationship with your clients through open communication. Don’t expect Facebook alone to increase sales.
- Use the status updates to update your business. Communicate effectively and efficiently, but appropriately. Use status to get information across easily and effectively.
- By making the page personal, you’ll get a lot more interaction. Focus on the people behind your business, and respond to inquiries and give information as an individual, not as a company.
- Update the content frequently, keep people interested.
- Promote your Facebook page offline as well as on your website. These tools are not of much value if they’re not promoted.
- Finally, ask your fans to refer you to friends! Effective growth is built on referrals, it’s a critical component to any effective growth.
My simple advice is to try it out. It costs nothing except time, and the results can be fantastic. Sign up for a page, spread the information and let it go. Let go and grow.
Thanks and bye for now!