What’s Facebook Got to Do with It?
In a world ran by social media, it is hard for a business owner to keep up with new and evolving trends. Many times it doesn’t even make sense to be on every social media outlet, but I always encourage clients to be on Facebook. Well, everyone except Santa Claus. My 5-year old daughter’s picture printed out with the Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat logo, which immediately made her question the credibility of the Santa Claus we visited because even five year olds know, as she stated, “Santa Claus wouldn’t be on social media.” So, unless you’re Santa Claus….listen up!
Facebook has become a source of information for consumers throughout their buying decision. Think about how you search for information. If you want to know if a business is open or having a special sale, how many times do you look to Facebook? Unlike a website, a business owner can post real time information from virtually anywhere, which helps a consumer stay up-to-date and allows the business to stay at the front of mind with their customer base. But it’s not enough to just have a business Facebook page. To truly benefit from this social media giant you have to use it effectively. Here are some ways you can take your Facebook presence to a new level.
Create a Call to Action: Facebook now has a call to action button that you can add to your page. You can choose from things such as call now, shop now, book now, send a message etc. With a click of a button you have made it easy for your customer to connect with your business. If you log into your page this button already exists on your cover photo. You simply need to click and tell it what you would like it to do for your business!
Effective Target Marketing: For Facebook to be effective for a business you need to “pay to play”, after all, Facebook is a business too. Instead of this being a deterrent in interacting with Facebook you should really embrace this feature as it can allow you to create extremely targeted marketing campaigns on your budget. This type of specific ad campaigns could cost you thousands of dollars through other outlets. When you post on your page you’re not guaranteed that your post will show up in the newsfeed of those individuals that have already “liked” your page. If you have something happening in your business that you need to communicate, your best option is to boost your post. When you do this you can choose to either market to all of your connected patrons or you can even expand it to reach their friends or a selected audience that can create even more awareness. You can also create ads through Facebook and select a specific targeted market such as 21 to 35 year old women, with some college education, who live within 10 miles of Terre Haute with an upcoming birthday or whatever demographic you are trying to reach with your ad. If you have a website you can even choose a feature that will let you place an ad in the newsfeed of individuals that have already visited your website which can increase the likelihood of them connecting with you, since they have already expressed interest by visiting your site.
Use Photos and Videos: Let’s be honest for a moment. When you’re scrolling through Facebook and a business has posted more than three sentences, do you really read it? We’re living in a world where people want information in the most condensed way possible. Whenever you post, think, could this be said in a picture? There are many editing apps that can allow you to take a picture and add text which will increase the chance that your viewer will actually digest the information, after all a picture is worth a thousand words. Facebook also has a new auto-play feature so if you post a video it will automatically play in their feed so make it interesting and you’ve captured their attention!
Positive Interactions = Positive Attention: Many business owners struggle with ways to get current “likes” to interact while also increasing new member “likes”. My best suggestion is to create strategies within your business that encourage interactions on Facebook. When a person checks into your store through Facebook their friends see this in their newsfeed which allows you access to potential new customers. These customers are “low-hanging fruit” as if they’re friends with your current customers they more than likely have characteristics of your target market. You also immediately have a higher likelihood that they will trust you as they know a friend that shops with you. Any way you can encourage check-ins while in the store the better. You could have a promotion where they receive something once they show you they’ve checked in on their phone. Also, Facebook has a review area and people are much more likely to review you if you ask. Make it a habit to ask your customers to write a review on Facebook for you. Facebook has become a socially acceptable way of contacting a business, so make sure that you’re checking your Facebook and responding to messages. It isn’t out of the norm for a potential customer to either post on your wall or message you to ask hours, specials or other information. If you don’t answer it’s the exact same as having your phone ringing off the hook with no answer. The customer won’t just think you’re busy they will think you don’t want their business and will search elsewhere. If you’re going to have a business Facebook page you have to have a strategy for interaction through in-store promotion, posting creative shareable content and providing relevant business information.
Don’t Just Share Your Products…Sell Them: Many small businesses use Facebook as a sales platform. I recently responded to a post of a cute Christmas dress that I simply put in the comments the size I needed with my email and within five minutes I had a PayPal invoice in my inbox and finished the transaction with the business. This is one way to sell products through Facebook but there are also services such as Shopify that will actually integrate with Facebook to create an online store for you. This can be a great way to dip your toe into e-commerce for your business.
These are just a few ways to utilize Facebook for your business. Your business may benefit from other social media outlets as well but be cautious as it is much better to be on one or two and do those exceptionally well than to be on all and not have time to make your presence relevant. As always if you need assistance implementing these strategies the WC-ISBDC is a resource for you and your small business at no-cost.