How Can Facebook Help My Business
Facebook can have huge potential as a marketing tool for your business because of the large number of subscribers to the social media platform.
This is why there has been such a massive jump in businesses turning to Facebook as a means to an end, by way of connecting to new customers by creating a Fan Page.
A Fan Page consists of an ‘audience’ or ‘Fans'; Facebook users that have chosen to become a ‘fan of your business’ allows them to receive new and relevant updates about your business.
Updates will show on the users wall when you add them to your page, there are some major players using this form of marketing including Toyota, and Starbucks have tens of thousands of fans.
As a new user you should decide how you wish to use Facebook as a marketing tool, you should create a plan before you even set-up your account.
Q. Should I Use Facebook For My Business?
A. There is no right and wrong answer as to if a business should be on Facebook or not.
Consider the following and then decide whether this tool is right for you.
Upkeep: Setting up a Facebook account ‘just to be on it’ is of no use at all. Social media is more of a continuous process – thus requiring regular attention.
Think of it as a conversation with your customers and their friends. You don’t want to ‘go quiet’ in the middle of your conversation.
You will not attract new Fans or keep your current Fans coming back if you don’t keep your Facebook Fan Page updated on a regular basis.
Time: Once you have decided to use Facebook as a marketing tool, you need to consider how much time you should spend making the most of your new marketing tool.
Although it can be a useful tool, generating fresh content and keeping the page up-to-date can be very time consuming.
Fresh Content: Keeping your page up-to-date with new content should keep your Fans coming back for more, it could also attract new Fans.
Your updates will be visible to their friends and family on your their wall and could entice them to visit your site and become a Fan themselves.
Monitoring the Discussion: You will also need to be able to monitor your wall and discussion boards to address any feedback your Fans are posting on your Facebook Page.
Unaddressed or unnoticed issues could become an issue, it is something you will need monitor consistently and thus allowing you to respond quickly.
Fans = Customers: Businesses should be aware that a Fan is not always an active customer.
Many people who become Fans of a page are simply saying, ‘I like this’.
Facebook Fans do not necessarily interact with the company more than anyone else.
Strategy: For Facebook to make sense for your business, you should target a specific area, relevant to your business strategy and goal.
This could be ‘I want to increase my sales by 15% within the 25-34 year olds bracket’.
Now you have all the relevant information to decide if Facebook is the right platform to reach your business demographic or if you should be spending your marketing efforts elsewhere.
Now that you have considered all of the above, and you have decided to utilise Facebook to help your business grow, you are ready to begin.
There are just a few more things to consider.
How you want to engage with Facebook via your Fan Page:
Using Facebook for your business with just a Fan Page: Business accounts are easy to set up – by creating a page without setting up a personal profile. This can be very useful because you do not have to provide lots of personal information to get started.
To create this type of account, just click on the link Create a Page for a celebrity, band or business . This will give you access to your Fan pages.
From here you can also run ad campaigns.
However, this type of account (where you haven’t provided your information) will provide only limited access to your Fans’ profiles and other features on the site.
Using Facebook for personal and business: The majority of people already have a personal profile they use to connect with family and friends. if this is the case for you, then you just need to create a Fan Page for your business.
Facebook is set up to be tied closely to your personal profile and your business page, you many want to update the privacy settings on your personal profile to ensure that you do not have any potentially embarrassing photos visible to your business contacts.
You can use Facebook Profile Privacy Settings to make updates.
Using Facebook for your business with a personal profile and Fan Page: If you have not signed up for a personal profile yet, you can start one.
Keep your business in mind .
In other words, don’t include personal pictures or personal information that is not relevant to your business contacts.
You can use this page as a professional networking source and add a Fan Page to create greater awareness of your business.
Fan Page Setup
Thousands of people have created a Fan page, so don’t be intimidated. It’s not difficult.
Fan Page Name: When naming your Fan page, keep your branding in mind.
If you have been promoting your company with a particular name, you should use that as your Fan Page name as well. Use spaces and full words when entering your business name.
Your business will be easier to find when people do a search for your company on Facebook or in a search engine, both of these could be very useful as you manage your online reputation.
Link to Twitter: If you already have a Twitter account, you can link your Fan Page to your Twitter account.
This will add your updates, links, photos, notes and events to Twitter and allow your Twitter Followers to view all your Facebook information.
Keep in mind that the content on your Fan Page should be unique so your Fans will keep coming back and not just become a Fan and forget about you.
The same applies to your Twitter account.
Having unique content on both Facebook and Twitter can keep your Fans and Followers engaged.
Photo: You want people to know that it is your page when they arrive.
Adding your logo to your Fan Page helps
with branding, and can bring more awareness to your brand.
About: The next step is editing your page and providing useful information to let people know who you are and what your mission is (this is extremely important if you wish to create a growing fan base.
You could list other ways people can get in contact with you: through your main website, blog, and the social profiles that you maintain.
Adding Content: Utilise the other Facebook tabs to add more content to your Fan Page.
Changing these settings is only a matter of checking or un-checking a box on the Edit Page section of your Facebook Fan Page.
Wall: This tab is for viewing your recent activities and what your Fans are posting.
If you are worried about what people will say when they add comments, you can limit what your Fans can post in the Fan Permissions area of the Wall Settings.
Be aware that not allowing comments could make them feel less connected with your Page and your business.
Discussion Boards: Allows users to engage with each other on your Page.
Events: You can let your Fans know about upcoming promotions, sales and other events.
Links: Make it easy for users to see your business’s main domain name, newsletters and other valuable information.
Images: Images are at the top of the online accessibility pile – show your products and images from your events.
Reviews: Fans can leave personal reviews about your business.
This can be a good tool to interact with your customers and hear honest feedback.
You should monitor this closely and respond immediately to any negative feedback.
Video: Appealing videos can really help keep your content fresh and interesting so Fans will come back to your page.
More ways to add content: You can use your Fan Page to connect with your customers and keep them engaged.
Here are a few ways that you can add content to your Facebook page:
Content you create: Post details about business events in the Facebook events tab or display exclusive discounts to your Facebook Fans.
Provide helpful information about topics that are on the mind of your ideal customer.
You can include information about your products or services, but don’t become too ‘salesperson like’ or your Fans could feel ‘pressurised’ and leave.
Auto Generated Content: You can include RSS (really simple syndication) feeds from your Blog(s) and Twitter account.
This will automatically insert the content from your blog posts and tweets into your Facebook page.
This can help you to keep your content up-to-date and help show activity on your site.
Constant activity on your Facebook page can help your Fan Page rank higher in organic search engine results.
Be aware, you do not want too much of the same information on your blog, twitter and Facebook.
Having some information unique to Facebook will help entice your fans to return to your Facebook page.
Content your Fans create: There are so many ways to encourage your fans to interact with your Fan Page, such as discussion boards, surveys, and reviews of your products and services.
Giving visitors the ability to voice their questions and opinions on your Fan Page can keep them engaged and connected with your business.
It may also give you more insight into your consumer’s wants and needs.
More Applications: Many applications are available and can be easily added to your page.
A popular application is Static FBML (Facebook Markup Language) – This application allows you to add custom HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) to a tab to give you more control over how your page looks.
If you decide to set up a custom page, you can set that as the default landing tab in the Wall Settings.
Gaining a Fanbase
Once you have created your company’s Facebook profile you will need to add some information about your company, this is a good time to begin building an audience of Fans.
This should be done both on and off Facebook.
This can be done in a number of ways:
- Link to your company’s Facebook Fan Page on the home page of your company website.
- Link to your company’s Facebook Fan Page in your emails.
- Become a Fan of your own Fan Page, then suggest it to your Friends.
- Use Twitter to announce your new Fan Page and offer deals to new prospective Fans.
- Link to you Facebook Fan page on your Blog and other social profile sites.
- Use Facebook content inside email newsletters.
- Post links from newsletter articles on Facebook.
- Use Facebook to write about the latest news, forum posts, controversial case studies and inspiring blog entries.
Social Media Relations: It’s Not Media Relations
Social media sites and the networking opportunities that they provide are changing the way people market their businesses.
Instead of mass advertising, social media has ushered in an era of inbound marketing.
Word of mouth marketing and the many avenues available for customer engagement means that businesses can channel their current, loyal customers to help market their business to other potential customers.
If you provide interesting content, other users will share your posts with others, and they will pass along the information to even more Facebook users.
This can build new readers and attract new Fans.
Here are a few rules to play by now that you’re in Social Media Relations:
Be nice: What you publish on the Web, even though it can be deleted from Facebook, will still be archived permanently somewhere.
Just as maintaining a reputation as a friendly source for helpful information can be good for business, negativity can have the opposite effect.
Encourage sharing: Provide free information and encourage others to share; this will engage new potential customers as it harnesses the power of bloggers with high readership and a large number of Fans.
Avoid coercion: Do not try to trick potential customers.
Lose control: Sound scary doesn’t it, but its ok to lose control.
Once the information that you have published is out there, let people do what they do best.
If you have any questions or you would like to use Facebook as a new tool in your marketing campaign, but simply do not have the time, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Category: Personal Finance