The benefits of Facebook for growing your business
Posted by Content
Savvy small business owners already know that Facebook is a great tool for communicating with customers and many SMEs are doing a great job. But the real question on every small business owner’s mind is how can Facebook help drive revenue and grow their business?
Most will tell you that their best source of new business comes from existing customers telling others about their products or services. Word-of-mouth referrals are nothing new, but technology, and social media in particular, has revolutionised the way we discover and share information. This makes it possible, even easy, to amplify those referrals for great effect. There are more than 3.2 billion likes and comments posted to Facebook everyday, many of those to the 37m brand pages. SMEs that are able to replicate the offline face-to-face interaction with customers online by way of engagement, will reap the benefits of awareness plus endorsement.
Here are four simple steps that can help you win over customers and turn engagement and social visibility into repeat business and revenue growth.
1. Build your Facebook page
This may seem basic but getting it right is key. Think of your Facebook page as mission control: it’s where you build connections and where those important interactions with the people that matter, your customers, take place. So make sure it reflects your business and what your company stands for.
Set a cover photo that encapsulates the essence of your brand and what you represent beyond the widget or services you sell. Include your company logo as the profile picture to give visitors a good feel of your business.
Add important business milestones to build out your timeline. Be creative, use images and remember to keep it true to who you are. For example, a boutique bakery might include a picture of the icing-stained notebook the founder scribbled recipes in when it first began.
Encourage existing customers to like your page. Make it easy by including the “find us on Facebook” button on your emails, newsletters, and website.
2. Engage your fans with quality content
Once you’ve built an interesting page, engagement is the key to maximising the power of Facebook and creating the amplified word-of-mouth referrals that will drive growth for your business.
Make sure you update your fans regularly. Start with one to two posts a week. With every post you have the opportunity to not only engage with your existing customers and fans but also to influence their network of friends. When someone likes a post or image on your page, this appears in their newsfeed, instantly putting you in front of a whole set of potential new customers. You can see how very quickly your message is spread and amplified, so make each post count.
Post regularly but remember that not every interaction is about sales. Create a content calendar to help you get into a rhythm and add new ideas to it to help keep your content fresh. High-quality content will keep fans coming back for more and increase the level of engagement, so keep it human, ask questions and encourage people to interact. From time to time thank your Facebook fans with exclusive offers or coupons. An engaging and successful business timeline should be filled with succinct posts, bold images, videos and the occasional special offer.
3. Find and connect to fans with ads
You are probably wondering how you can grow your fanbase quickly, with real fans who can be converted into paying customers. Facebook ads can be a great way to find and connect with the kind of people who might be interested in you and your business.
Experiment with multiple, well-targeted ads. Regularly check the easy-to-use reporting tool to see which ads work best for different audiences and make the necessary adjustments.
4. Influence the friends of your fans.
The impressive word-of-mouth amplification happens when you are able to post content that is not only compelling to your fans, but influences their friends too. This grows your network and encourages action offline at the cash register, where it counts.
The dynamic nature of the Facebook newsfeed means that on average each post will only be seen by 165 of fans. You can maximise the distribution of your best posts with sponsored stories. This gives them priority in newsfeeds and also displays the post as an ad on the right hand side of the user’s feed, giving your post the best chance of being seen. Just as you are more likely to try a restaurant after a friend recommends it, Facebook users are more likely to connect with a brand that they can see a friend has liked too.
Make Facebook work harder for your business
Research shows that 51% of people are more likely to buy a product after liking it on Facebook and Facebook fans tend to purchase on average twice as much as non-fans. These numbers are compelling for any business, big or small. Using the steps outlined above you’ll be up and running in no time and can start to enjoy a growing and loyal base of fans, and ultimately customers.
Posted on August 20, 2013, in Latest Blog Posts and tagged Business, Business. Social media, Content, Content for small business. Small Business Content, Facebook, Marketing and Advertising. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.