It has been interesting to watch the evolution of how small businesses utilise Facebook. Those savvy online business owners have taken to it like ducks to water, and those that have a more hands on, face-to-face client interaction have been a little more cautious.
In an earlier blog post, Facebook vs Linkedin, Which is Better? we explained that Facebook is excellent for consumer goods and services, entertainment professionals, life and health coaches, healers, creativity teachers, hobbists, and groups that need a communication platform. It is becoming an important marketing tool for these types of groups, and this is due to the fact that a Facebook Page is free.
It is important not to confuse your personal profile with a Facebook page. Personal profiles are for non-commercial use and represent individual people whereas pages look similar to personal profiles, but they offer unique tools for businesses, brands and organizations.
From a small business perspective, my top 5 benefits of a Facebook Page are:
1. Community Building – With more than 400 million active users with 50% of them logging on every day, a small business owner has an opportunity to connect with current, past and potential clients, near and far. Your fans, as they are referred to in Facebook, have the opportunity to give feedback, make comments on products, services and photos. They can also kick start discussions, upload videos and comment on your activities. All this interaction supports the growth of your online community. All this community building will, at some stage, lead to an increase in your business.
2. Search Engine Optimisation – Facebook pages can be indexed by search engines and therefore, small business owners have an opportunity to enhance their ranking through backlinks to their website. Besides the backlinks, you can include keyword rich content in your description, in your Info tab as well as additional customised tabs. What I have noticed lately is that many small businesses are missing out on this opportunity particularly when they create a welcome page that is purely an image. By having keyword rich content your business will be receiving some big bonus points in the SEO department.
3. Insights – Facebook pages are nicely equipped with analytics tools allowing you to track when a fan writes on your wall, comments on your posts or likes your content. You can view the demographics of your fan base as well as subscriptions, country of fans, media consumption etc. These insights can help with your marketing plan, and help you understand your fan base better.
4. Communication – Facebook offers you a great opportunity to communicate with your fans easily. Your status updates are automatically published to your fan’s News Feed as are your wall posts. Using your insights, you can target your message to match a specific age, gender and location. Besides communicating within Facebook, you can have a customised tab that encourages your fans to subscribe to your newsletter or direct them back to your website or blog.
5. Viral Opportunities – With wall updates and status updates appearing in your Fans’ News Feed, there is more of an opportunity for non-fans to see your business updates, explore your page and become a fan. This has the potential to drive significant traffic to your page and ultimately your business.
So… where do you start?
My suggestion is to go through each benefit, review your page, evaluate your marketing strategy and make changes if needed.
If you’re overwhelmed, struggling to get things done, or recognise you need some assistance, organise a call with me to discuss your business support needs.