Published by Designzillas on October 11, 2013
Social media has changed business. Before, the only way for companies to make a statement on the web was with a killer website. Now, businesses can use social media to foster that killer website (which you should still have), and communicate on a more personal basis with their clients and customers. But not all social media websites are the same; they all have their unique functions and personalities. The content you post on Facebook may not be appropriate for LinkedIn, and vice versa. And on Twitter, you have to make an impact in 140 characters or less!
This blog series is all about social media — particularly, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I will clue you into why you should be using a certain social media site if you aren’t, how you might want to use that site differently than you have been, what makes that social media site unique (features that you may not know were there that can boost your business), and how to take advantage of the varying personalities that each site has.
WHY YOUR BUSINESS SHOULD HAVE A FACEBOOK PAGE
First of all, most of us have a Facebook. Heck, it’s probably open in one of your tabs right now. If you personally don’t, you know someone who does. Facebook is the most popular social networking site out there today. It has an estimated 750,000,000 unique monthly visitors and 1.26 billion registered users. That’s a lot of potential business opportunities.
A recent HubSpot study found that 43% of all B2B companies that use Facebook for marketing gained new clients through the network, whileB2C companies gained a whopping 73%! Facebook is great for many reasons. Business with a Facebook page have the opportunity to connect with customers and potential clients like no one else. It’s more personal, so you can engage in conversations with them and really get to know their needs and desires. Facebook creates a little community between your company and your customers.
Aside from the ability to interact with your customers in a unique way, Facebook is also a great marketing tool that is completely free (unless you decide to use their paid ad service). By posting relevant content that is helpful to your users, they will begin to recognize that you are an authority in the industry and be more likely to seek you out for business opportunities. After all, Facebook is the first stop in many potential customers’ journey to purchasing something, so you should take advantage of it.
WHAT SETS FACEBOOK APART
Facebook was created as a way for people to connect with each other on the Internet. It is generally one of the first websites people surf when they have some downtime at work or when they log on in the evening. Keep this in mind when choosing which times to post content. Think about times that you start to get antsy at work; probably right before lunch and toward the end of the day when everyone is getting ready to leave. And don’t forget about weekends! The great thing about Facebook is that you can schedule posts so that you don’t have to log on to your business account during the weekend.
The amount of times you post per day depends on the type of business you have, but the general consensus is to start out with one and monitor how users respond. The maximum amount of times you should probably be posting is 4 times per day. Keep in mind though, it’s better to post 1 or 2 really great pieces of content than 4 mediocre ones.
The great thing about Facebook is that users choose to “like” your page. They have sought you out and found what you represented interesting and viable. Keep that in mind and post things you know your users will respond to! Facebook is also a bit more personal than some of the other social media sites out there. It’s a great way to give a face to your brand. Post pictures of your employees and posts about company birthdays! Let your users relate to your company. And sprinkle some humor in now and then!
HOW TO UTILIZE FACEBOOK FOR BUSINESS
First, if you don’t have one, create a business Facebook page! And as with any content you are creating for your business, make it engaging. Don’t just write or post to satisfy your daily post schedule — create things that your users will want to read! It’s also a great idea to post a variety of different kinds of content, such as pictures, videos, articles, infographics, polls, and offers. Encourage interaction by replying to fans’ comments and questions — never ignore your users!
Facebook has a few unique features that your business can take advantage of. What this post has been referring to is a Facebook business page, but you can also take create Facebook groups around specific topics. This isn’t absolutely necessary, but it may be a great way to get conversations started between customers. Unlike on pages, groups allow your fans to leave wall posts and interact with each other. It may not be necessary for every business, but some industries may definitely benefit from that added communication.
Here are some other features unique to Facebook that may be beneficial to you:
- Customizable Tabs — these act like landing pages for your Facebook
- Milestones — add important dates like when your company first opened, awards you’ve won, etc…
- Facebook Insights — these are analytics that allow you to track the progress of your posts
- Connected Channels — if you have any other social media sites (YouTube, Flickr, SlideShare), you can connect them to your Facebook page
- Paid Advertising — you can pay varying amounts of money for Facebook to promote your advertisements and posts; you can also target different demographics and keywords to make sure your post gets seen by the right people
PROS AND CONS OF FACEBOOK
Like every website, there are both pros and cons. Let’s start with the bad news: Facebook requires time and resources. While this isn’t necessarily a con, it is definitely something to be aware of before you go into the commitment. But there are plenty of companies that specialize in SEO and marketing that can help you out with that. Any kind of marketing for your company, including social media, takes time and resources. But Facebook is virtually free!
Another potential con with Facebook is that you need to really find someone who can be the true voice to your company. Because Facebook is more personal that other social media sites, it’s a great resource for giving your brand a personality. But that requires consistency and reputation management. It’s probably better to employ one to three people to take charge of your Facebook page, rather than having a bunch of people with different voices posting all kinds of content. This will confuse your customers.
But on to the positives! Remember, Facebook has over 1 billion users. That is a lot of people seeing your content. Facebook also allows you to advertise and specify who you want to advertise to. Its internal analytics feature allows you to track the progress of these ads and your posts in general, that way you know where to improve. Finally, Facebook is a great way to interact with your customers. It lets them see that there are real people working at the business that they can relate to.
The pros clearly outweigh the cons, so what are you waiting for? Get a Facebook! If you have one, make sure you are taking advantage of all that it has to offer! And keep your eye out for the next installment of this blog series… All About Twitter!