Should I have a Facebook page for my business? Small business owners in the Toledo area ask me this question all the time. And my answer is always the same. Yes!
Having an active Facebook page can benefit most businesses. Why? Because it’s a great opportunity to showcase your business, make it more approachable and connect with your customers. In fact, I’ve got 5 clear reasons why you should have a Facebook — in addition to your own website, of course.
With nearly two and a half billion monthly active users, Facebook is the most used social media platform today. Founded in 2004, Facebook’s global reach and total active users is untouchable. Believe it or not, it was the first social network to surpass one billion users way back in September 2012. And Facebook caters to mobile web users — a sizable demographic, at a little under 50% of the total global online traffic share — with a number of apps, including the Facebook app and Facebook Messenger (1.3 billion monthly active users as of 2017).If you have no social media presence, any and every post or query about you or directed at you will go unseen. And you could lose customers who become dissatisfied with your lack of engagement. You might also lose third-party people who notice your lack of engagement and don’t want to be associated with you.
Facebook has 2.38 billion monthly active users.
So it’s safe to say Facebook isn’t a niche thing. And it makes sense why people keep logging back onto Facebook:It’s easy to see why it’s worthwhile to take advantage of what Facebook can do for business. Harnessing the power of Facebook can help grow your business, connect with customers and build a community around your brand. Before we jump into the 5 reasons you need a Facebook page, I want to make one thing clear. Being a prolific Facebook user does not equate to being able to properly promote your business on Facebook. Facebook users are content consumers, while businesses need to be content creators to be successful.
- Registering and creating a personal Facebook profile is free.
- Adding friends and interacting with people you know (and don’t know yet) is easy.
- Users can join groups based on common interests, work, schooling or hobbies.
- You can share status updates and even send messages to your circle of friends, family and acquaintances.
- There are many games and other services Facebook users can enjoy.
And if you don’t have someone in-house who can create and promote content and connect with your audience, find a qualified Toledo digital agency who can help you. Okay, are you ready to learn how using Facebook can help your small business? Let’s dive in
5 Reasons you should have a Facebook page for your businessHarnessing the power of Facebook can help grow your business, connect with customers and build a community around your brand.
1. Consumers expect to connect with you on the #1 social media channel.
Today’s consumers are looking to connect with brands and businesses they like online. On one hand, they look forward to being on the inside track and connecting with other people who are your customers. On the other hand — arguably the more important aspect — customers have expectations, particularly for response time in customer service queries and complaints.
- 80% of customers expect a response within 24 hours.
- 50% of customers claim they’d stop doing business with any company that didn’t respond to their negative post.
- A little over 60% of customers take into account others’ negative comments on social media about a company, enough to also stop doing business with them.
Social media customer service — the new telephone or email?When used right, technology has helped make business better. With the invention of the telephone, customers could connect much more easily with businesses, eliminating distance as a factor in customer relations. And email made things even easier. Now customers could connect with businesses, regardless of distance as well as time. And then social media changed everything. Like email, customers can reach out regardless of time or distance. But the difference is that the immediacy of social media has changed customer expectations. Customers expect you to get back with them and offer a solution. In a recent survey, among respondents who have ever contacted a business through social media looking for support, nearly 6 out of 10 expected the same response time during off hours as that of normal business hours. That includes nights and weekends. I’m not trying to scare business owners. It’s just the reality of online business. Are you able to handle this?
2. You can get a more targeted market reach with Facebook ads.
So now you understand why you need to have a Facebook page, and why you need to be active on a consistent basis. But organic posting is not enough to experience success with social media for businesses these days. Sure, you should have a content strategy for all your organic posts. And you should be using the rule of thirds, which suggests having 3 kinds of posts, focusing 1/3 of your posts on each:
- Promote your business.
- Share industry insight.
- Engage with customers.
This kind of strategy will help you develop and maintain a robust social media community organically. But in 2018 Facebook announced they adjusted their News Feed algorithm to “shift ranking to make News Feed more about connecting with people and less about consuming media in isolation.” The end result was the reduction of organic reach — the extent to which your business can connect with people without paid advertisements. In other words, your social media posting strategy could stay the same, but fewer people would see your posts show up. So with an algorithm change that makes organic reach harder, how do you stay connected with your current audience and reach people not yet within your community?
For some Facebook users, differentiating between regular posts and Facebook ads is difficult because they both will appear in the News Feed. If you look closely, you’ll see a “Sponsored Content” tag on an ad, but oftentimes an ad fits right in with any other kind of post with an image or video, a headline, a paragraph and so on. The real difference, besides the fact that Facebook ads are not free, is under the hood. Facebook ads provide you with ways to target who will see your ads based on geography, demographics and personal interests. You can also clone your best customers and find others who are similar using lookalike audiences. And with Facebook Insights, you can see how your ads are performing, and whether you’re meeting your goals for reach and engagement. Using Facebook ads can increase the efficiency of your marketing and can provide a greater return on investment (ROI) than almost any other marketing vehicle. And most importantly, you can customize your ads to better reach your marketing goals.
A boosted post is not the same thing as a Facebook ad, but they do share some similarities. Boosted posts — basically regular posts that you put some money behind to expand your reach. Some people do this to make up for the loss of organic reach. The thing I personally love about boosted posts is that you can use your free audience engagement data on a regular post to identify already well-performing posts. Then you can push them even further with a boost for even greater reach and engagement. For optimal success, try a combination of Facebook ads and boosted posts. Then adjust your strategy every time you assess the analytics to stay on track with your social media goals.
3. Building brand loyalty is much easier with a Facebook page.
When you run ads and promote your products and services on Facebook, you can reach out to new and returning customers — the growth of your customer base, in other words. But how do you increase satisfaction with new and old customers? How do you build brand loyalty? Remember the social media rule of thirds for businesses? One of those thirds was to engage your customers. This means creating entertaining and/or informative content for your customers to establish who you are in a non-transactional way. If you’re always trying to sell, you may annoy customers and drive them away — the last thing you want to do is get unfollows or unlikes. There’s no single solution. But the good thing is, there are many ways you can keep posts fresh while developing organic engagement.
- Ask questions. Be a conversation starter — or at least contribute to a current conversation everyone else is partaking in. Post polls, votes or anything that gets your audience talking with you. The underrated plus is learning how to better target customers from what you learn in these conversations.
- Offer rewards and loyalty programs. Sometimes you have to reward the faithful. You might keep some customers on board, but you might also strengthen their loyalty even more — maybe they’ll even become lifelong customers. Again, it’s all about providing value.
- Be authentic. Share a little bit about your team, your culture, your values, your successes, your sense of humor. A little realness goes a long way. It’s how you build relationships, and it’s how you make your customers see no other alternative to you.
There are plenty of other tips and strategies. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, so just find what works best for you and your ideal customers. And keep working on it! (We can help your Toledo-area business grow your Facebook community and engage with customers if you don’t have the time.)
4. Keep your customers informed with valuable content.
With some types of marketing, you don’t have a direct line to customers. Think flyers, direct mail and so on. You might be able to draw some correlations between increased efforts and increased sales, but it’s not always so clear. But with Facebook, you’ve got the eyes of current and potential customers. You can communicate directly with those who follow your page.
Keep them engaged with your brand. Tell them about the exciting features of new products or services. Share special offers. If you’re posting strategically, and they’re scrolling, there’s a good chance they’ll be aware of your message! But your content has to be valuable. Your fans are there because they want to learn more about your business and be part of your community. The more cookie-cutter, boring, repetitive or sparse your content is, the more likely they will tune you out or look to your competitors. Here’s a great example of how we did a full overhaul of a client’s digital presence, including Facebook, with results that exceeded their expectations.
5. Make Facebook fans. Then let your fans do the work for you.
Because more and more people are on Facebook — from Grandma to the local mom-and-pop shop — people are more likely to turn to their personal Facebook network to ask for recommendations for everything from restaurants to legal help. If you have a Facebook page for your business, and if you’re consistently active and provide valuable content, fans can recommend your business to their network. Digital word of mouth can have a profound impact on business. Another benefit of providing valuable content on a consistent basis is that customers will be more likely to share your posts with their friends. Over time, you’ll see your network grow as you continue to give fans what they’re looking for.
Use Facebook to your advantage to maintain and grow your customer base and loyalty.
Ultimately it’s not just having a Facebook page. A lot of businesses have a Facebook page. But it’s how you use it to your advantage that can promote social media success.
Remember to keep customers in mind when you develop your social media strategy. Target your ideal customers when you post and when you run ads. Give customers a reason to stick around with valuable content so you can build brand loyalty. As a community develops around your brand, your fans will naturally want to share your value with their friends and family — which only makes your community stronger.
If boosting your social media engagement and reach is one of your top goals moving forward, let us know. We’d love to see how we can help your business succeed using Facebook.