Love it or hate, Facebook is here to stay and is a huge player in the online world.
When thinking about an online strategy, you have to consider Facebook. I won’t list the statistics of what percentage of the planet are on Facebook, or how many people use it every day, because with five new profiles being created every second (Source: ALLFacebook 2012) – those numbers keep changing.
In simple terms, it’s huge. Really big. The biggest.
Why would you use Facebook for marketing?
After all, it’s just a load of teenagers sharing selfies of themselves, right?
Well, no. It’s become so much more than that.
In fact, many teenagers have moved off Facebook as their primary social media choice: – Do you think this might be because their parents, and often grandparents, are on there now too?
Facebook is used by millions to keep in touch and spans all cultures, ages and interests.
In terms of business, that means it is just maturing. The number of new users is slowing, but the overall usage is changing and remains enormous.
One of the great things about Facebook for your business is that when you advertise, Facebook has that individual’s location, age and a lot of information on their interests. We’ll get back to why that is important later.
What to do?
Obviously you have to have an account. I won’t teach my Grandmother to suck eggs; after all, my 80-year-old mother set herself up with a Facebook account. I’ll just assume you have an account. (And if not head over to facebook.com now and create one)
I will assume that you have a customer avatar – that is a profile of the ideal client you hope to find and attract.
Now you have to develop your presence using this mantra:
You need to create a page or possibly a group. This will depend to some extent on the nature of your business and is too long to be covered in this blog.
Setting up a page, asking some friends to like it and then sitting back is not going to work. You have to bring the page to life with content.
My pages section is littered with friends who have asked me to ‘like’ their business page and then…. nothing. No content. No information. No products. No entertainment. They just don’t get visited and I can’t think why they set them up.
It is going to take some time and effort, but then all marketing does.
This is where the avatar comes in. Put yourself in the position of your ideal client.
What sort of content is going to be interesting enough to read?
Share links to articles and blogs that will interest ‘the client’. Add pictures. Add video. If you have a short video sound bite, record it, upload it and share it. The goal is only to engage with people on your page.
Make sure you have sources of interesting and informative articles.
As you start to develop enough content, it may be worth thinking about Facebook advertising or ‘promotion’. It costs, but you can control the budget quite easily. That huge amount of information that Facebook holds on all its users? Well, now it is your friend because it means that targeted adverts are very accurate in terms of whom they appear to.
Don’t be scared to tell people what you are offering, BUT don’t simply sell. That’s boring. Imagine you are educating your staff. Now what would you post?
It is the engagement with people who are on the page or group that will lead to sales.