How to Utilize Facebook as a Marketing Tool for Your Business
Let’s face it – Facebook is big. In fact, in October of
2012, Facebook announced that they had exceeded 1 BILLION users! Because of its size and set up, Facebook has the ability to not only connect you with a large number of people, but a large number of the RIGHT people.
Effective marketing plans are built around limited “waste.” When utilized properly, Facebook enables businesses to interact with both current and prospective customers, eliminating the wasted audience common with other forms of advertising. You are able to take advantage of the large audience while targeting your marketing message to a specific audience. With this unique form of communication, your business has the ability to provide customers with the interaction they crave from social media. Facebook marketing can have a monumental effect on your business, and it has shown to be an effective advertising tool for both B2B and B2C.
We meet with many businesses in the Washington DC area that aren’t using Facebook to its fullest potential, therefore missing out on potential opportunities. If you’re not already using Facebook (or if you are, but aren’t actively engaging with users) you need to start now. The following guidelines will help you start effectively incorporating Facebook into your overall marketing strategy:
- Begin with the end in mind
- Just because you have a Facebook page doesn’t mean you have a social media marketing strategy… or a Facebook strategy for that matter
- Before starting, set a goal and use it to develop your strategy
- Update your page… consistently
- This isn’t the movie Field of Dreams...If you build it, they won’t just come!
- Before anyone sees your page, make sure it properly represents your company
- Use logos and pictures... make the pictures interesting, keep them updated and think out of the box
- Take the customer behind the scenes and show them something they would never see otherwise… not just your typical marketing pictures they see all over your website
- Once your page is built and looks professional, you then need to attract, maintain, and interact with both potential and current customers
- Your customers are already interacting with others on Facebook
- Your goal is to get some of those 1 billion users to interact with YOU
- Post what they want
- People are looking for riveting content so they can have an engaging social media experience
- They want interesting information they can share with friends
- It does NOT need to be about YOUR business
- If your content is interesting, people will come back and share it with others
- For example, I have seen clients post a daily trivia question or riddle. It takes a little bit of work to come up with a trivia question whose answer can’t easily be found on the internet, but the benefits of this type of interaction are worth your while. You could even incorporate these questions into a weekly contest to promote continued engagement.
- Other examples include asking questions relevant to current events or irreverent questions that get people thinking. Your goal is to get users to post comments, which is where the interaction begins.
- As people interact with you and your page, you MUST engage them
- If they comment, respond
- They are opening themselves up to engagement, and you don’t want to let the opportunity pass
While utilizing Facebook as a marketing tool will take extra effort, the payoff will prove its worth. You must dedicate time to social media marketing in order to reap the benefits. Much of the interaction will be one-on-one, and the network won’t be built overnight. It takes time and at times you may feel the results are coming slow. But if you want to success, you have to start... commit... and stick with it
if you wish to succeed with social marketing.
Remember, just having a Facebook page does not equal a social media strategy. You must monitor your page and “fan” activity, listen and respond to the comments they post, and never stop adding content. Actively engage your “fans” and potential clients in order to build and keep your fan base.
Whether you’re just starting out or already using Facebook as part of your marketing strategy, read our helpful, hint-filled guide 10 Facebook Best Practices for Businesses
to make sure you’re getting the most out of your Facebook experience.