When it comes to promoting a local business, professional office or other small firm, Facebook is looming larger than ever. The latest salvo was the test launch of Facebook Deals in five cities (Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego and San Francisco) – a challenge to daily deal juggernauts Groupon and LivingSocial. More cities will soon be added.
Is there a Facebook page in your future? Considering the juggernaut that Facebook has become for marketing through social media, the answer is resoundingly yes. It’s your first step into “F-Commerce.” If your business doesn’t have a Facebook page yet, here are 10 reasons to get off your fanny and fix that problem:
1) You’ve simply got to keep up:
When it comes to Facebook, your business has already fallen behind the competition if you’re not there. Consider that Facebook has over 600 million users.
2) Connecting with customers is more critical than ever:
This is core to social media. Connecting is king – people connecting with each other and to businesses they like. Customers you connect with on Facebook are some of the internet’s most engaged users. And that translates into lots of good things for your business, including higher satisfaction. It’s also an effective way to communicate news and information about your business.
3) To promote your brand:
As a place to build your brand, Facebook has few peers. But it doesn’t happen by itself; you have to be active and post useful, interesting, relevant content that excites people and makes them fans.
4) To protect your brand:
If you have or are newly building a brand, and have intellectual property such as trademarks and brand names, it’s critical to stake out your Facebook turf by registering pages for your brands. If you don’t, you risk the possibility that others will.
5) It’s a deal you can’t refuse:
Most biz owners like a bargain, and this is a screamer. Setting up a Facebook page is free. The biggest investment you’ll have to make is time to learn how it works, build your business page and keep it fresh and active. More and more small businesses are hiring local firms and social media consultants to help, so for them it’s no longer free. But the investment may be well worth it down the road.
6) It’s fantastic for speedy feedback:
Facebook is a great way to gather customer feedback on your products, services, promotions or plans, or just hear what customers have to say in general. Consider it a key extension of whatever customer service and support mechanism you now have. A tool called Facebook Insights can provide detailed info on who’s visiting your page and what they’re looking at while they’re there.
7) To be a bridge between your online and offline efforts:
Your offline advertising and marketing, including direct mail, in-store, outdoor, newspaper, magazine and other can direct customers to your Facebook page. Once there, they can share experiences, learn about an event, or much more. You can easily post Facebook status updates or other content in minutes.
8) It will help customers find you:
Well-built and “optimized” Facebook pages can perform well in search results, leading customers to your page. What’s more, with millions of Facebook users now use Facebook’s own internal search tool when they are looking for something, so you have a good chance of showing up that way as well.
9) It can boost your sales:
The point of all this connecting and communicating, of course, is to drive sales for your business in some way. “F-commerce” on Facebook is another potential revenue-producing sales channel to consider. Facebook Places is a vital location-based marketing service for local business.
10) Your website may be obsolete:
Some small businesses no longer consider it necessary to have a standalone website and have made Facebook their entire online presence. And that can make sense, depending on the type of business you have and where your customers come from.