At a first glance, marketing your company on Facebook may seem unclear at best, and a little unprofessional at worst. However, there are some serious advantages to using Facebook to market a company, especially a small business on a lean budget. Social media has experienced an extreme level of proliferation in the past few years. One study reported 47% of Americans said Facebook has the greatest impact of on their buying decisions and 70% of marketers are now using Facebook to gain new customers. Furthermore, 80% of Americans who use social networks, claim that Facebook is their network of choice to connect them with brands they like. If that is not reason enough to begin marketing on Facebook right now, here are 6 more fundamental reasons:
The best interaction a standard business homepage can offer is an anonymous email system that no one will ever use. When you have a Facebook page, your customers are already accustomed to using the site and will be more willing to post, comment, and interact with your page. If your page is regularly updated with fresh promotional content, such as information about deals or events, customers will return regularly. Also, interacting in a friendly way online will foster a sense of loyalty among your customers that will encourage them to return. The new method of marketing is engaging and creating relationships with customers.
When it comes to interactions with customers, Facebook is very easy to use for targeting specific kinds of people. For example, if you’re opening a new store in a different city, specifying that your business is now in that city, will mean that searches conducted by people who have listed that they live there, will return with your store more often. If you decide to use the paid ad service, it’s even more likely that your target audience will be reached. Remember – there are so many people using Facebook (appx. 1.15 billion) that the target demographics are practically limitless.
A regularly updated, active Facebook page, is completely free, sans the power and internet bills you’d have anyway. Even if you pay Facebook to promote your business, the cost of using it is drastically lower than a traditional advertisement campaign. Other paid services, such as LinkedIn, are useful for talking to industry leaders and connecting with some customers. However, the range of people using Facebook and the minimal cost, makes Facebook the best option for reaching a wide audience at a fraction of the price.
This almost goes without saying, but Facebook itself is a hugely trafficked website. Anything on Facebook is crawled by Google to improve SEO results. Results using the search engine provided by the Facebook interface itself can also be beneficial for attracting new customers. When marketing online, visibility is key, and an active Facebook page with consistent valuable posts will help improve your rankings.
Unlike a review written in a newspaper, on a blog or in another publication, the information on your Facebook page is all yours. Whatever you want your image to be, whether professional, fun, active, or involved in local charity – it’s all in your hands. In connection with the previous points, this also makes it much easier to optimize yourself for searches, draw in a specific audience, or appeal specifically to what your customers want from you. A regularly updated Facebook page, showing off your latest product or advertising a big event, can go a long way in promoting your business exactly the way you want to. You can do all of this without having to hire an expensive advertisement agency or publicist.
Facebook gives businesses a very easy way to acquire useful customer feedback with its easy-to-use comments section. Additionally, once someone likes your page, the updates you post will likely show up on their live feeds, meaning they’ll be reminded of your business. Facebook is also a great way to solicit positive customer reviews. Recent reports show “Over half (51%) of Americans trust UGC more than on a company website content (16%) or news articles about the company (14%) when looking for information about a brand, product, or service.” (Source: Brazaar Voice) One great example of UGC is the Marriott hotel chain who just implemented a rewards program that gives customers points for liking and sharing their pages. The potential in the concept of this idea, to essentially have customers market your business for you, can be highly impactful.
Facebook has evolved into a business-friendly platform, as the new generation of milennials has changed the “average consumer”, in terms of their researching, shopping and buying habits. Consumers are now tech savvy, social and value “word of mouth” over sales jargon. By joining Facebook, listening to what customers need and providing helpful content, you can build long lasting relationships with loyal customers. Having a Facebook presence is not only beneficial for your business, it is a borderline necessity for success nowadays. Take advantage of the new social marketing strategy with the biggest kid on the block; Facebook… there are over 1 billion people waiting.