Last week I looked at the benefits that Facebook can bring your business without even setting up a business page.
This week’s blog looks at some pretty impressive benefits that result from going that next step.
But just setting up a business page is really the easy part. The real benefits come from a range of activities you can conduct on Facebook that will impact many aspects of your business.
6. Building the profile of your business
Like email marketing before it, social media allows you to broadcast your message to as many recipients, or ‘Likes’ in this case, as you can muster.
If your posts provide insights into your category of business that lead to genuine benefits for your Likers, you will not only find that the number of Likes grows automatically, but you will become a ‘thought leader’ and provider of choice when that Liker, or their Friend, is next in the market for your product and service.
7. Free direct marketing
In days gone by not that long ago, direct marketing, whilst far less expensive than its broadcast or advertising cousin, was still not a low cost exercise. By the time you took purchasing a list, creating the content, designing the material, printing and then distributing it, you would still be up for a substantial cost.
These days, social media has slashed the cost of creating and executing an effective direct marketing strategy. A program of information, offers and discounts via Facebook and its ilk costs only the time involved in preparing and executing it. And it’s not just your Likers that you can reach in this way. Facebook’s special interest Groups allow you to attract a whole new audience for only the cost of your time.
Have you had a close look at Facebook’s advertising packages? Even if you don’t go on to buy, it’s still very worthwhile going through the process of setting up a campaign to gain an understanding of just how well advertising vendors like Facebook can target your audience these days.
For example, if you are targeting single women between the age of 25 and 35 within a 10km radius of the suburb of your choice, Facebook will show your ad specifically to that audience, without a single wasted exposure. For those businesses that have ever experienced wastage with their advertising spend, this is promotional manna from heaven. And with a starting price of $5 a day, it’s well within the reach of most smaller businesses.
9. Customer Support
Given that many of your customers are on Facebook, the social network provides a brilliant means of communicating with them about any issues, problems and, yes, even praise, they are having with or for your product or service.
Not only is there no cost in communicating with them in this way, but other customers get to view and, if they like, participate in the conversation too. You can even work pro-actively and preventatively by communicating tips about your product and service. This approach has the additional benefit of avoiding future customer service costs by preventing the issue in the first place.
Facebook cannot only be used to recruit staff at no cost, but, somewhat contentiously, check the character of your impending hire.
Just a few weeks ago I spotted some casual work that I thought might suit a niece of mine that a business owner posted in a business Group. I forwarded it to her and before we both knew it, she had the gig. I’m not sure whether the employer visited her Facebook page, but many employers are now doing this to check the character of their impending hire – rightly or wrongly.
So if you think that as far as your business is concerned Facebook is nothing but a distraction and time-waster, it may well be time to think again, because your competitor may already be reaping the benefits of your absence from the social network.
Perhaps it’s time to give it another look.
In addition to being a leading eBusiness educator to the smaller business sector, Craig Reardon is the founder and director of independent web services firm The E Team which was established to address the special website and web marketing needs of SMEs in Melbourne and beyond.