One of the greatest developments for reaching potential customers and branding your business is social media. By now, you are probably using websites like Facebook and Twitter. These online platforms give small businesses access to consumers for free or an extremely low start-up cost, and offer the opportunity for one-on-one conversation, response & analysis. For example, Facebook has over 900 million active users which you can share and connect with to help grow your brand and business.
For any type of business, building a fan base can be a challenge. Facebook makes it easy to share business and product news, ask for customer feedback, and reach out to potential consumers on a more personal basis. Essentially, Facebook is almost like having a PR team and focus group all on one, free site.
To decide whether you would benefit from creating a Facebook page, consider the following: while Facebook attracts people of all demographics, you will have to decide whether your customer base will be active users of social media. If they are, will they be interested in connecting with your page? If your target market is active in social media and will find benefits from connecting with your business’s page, creating a Facebook fan page is essential to the growth of your business. The key is to know your customers.
So, now the question is- how do I successfully use Facebook to grow my business? Here are some tips on how to get the best results from your Facebook fan page.
1. Keeping it Updated: The important thing to remember is that social media is a continuous process that requires regular attention. It’s much like starting a conversation with your customers, and you must keep up the conversation to attract new visitors and keep your current fans engaged with your content.
2. Time Requirements: Using Facebook as a marketing platform can create great results but generating fresh content and keeping the page updated can be very time consuming. Luckily, there are companies out there (Brandtastic, for example!) who will monitor and maintain your social media accounts and keep them up-to-date with important business news and exciting content & links to blog posts.
3. Fresh Content: One of the most important requirements of a successful Facebook fan page is keeping it updated with fresh, original content. Linking to your company’s website articles or blog posts is a great way to tie in useful and interesting information and draw traffic to your company’s main website. The important thing to remember is that every status message you type should not be a sales pitch, but instead useful information that will build your reputation with consumers because trust equals loyalty.
4. Monitoring the Discussion: Monitoring your wall, messages, and discussion boards are other important tasks to maintain on a regular basis. Fans will post feedback and/or questions which should be addressed immediately (good & bad) so you can maintain healthy customer relations.
So, should you make a Facebook page for your small business? Facebook pages are a tremendous opportunity to “go viral” while creating and growing a fan base that naturally attracts your existing customers. The mix of satisfied customers and new prospects can be a tremendous benefit for your business! Because there are no major expenses involved to get started, choosing Facebook as a marketing platform is an extremely wise choice for nearly every business.