A Tutorial in Reality
Have you considered Facebook marketing as a way to help grow your business? In just the past year alone, Facebook has almost doubled in size from 300 million to over 550 million users worldwide and roughly half of the U.S. population has an account. Marketing strategies for small business should include a bit of social media.
While it can be a time waster for many people and it takes a while to see just how to benefit from using it, Facebook marketing can be an effective and affordable way to promote just about any business, especially since many users visit the Facebook site every day!
As a business owner, you create what’s called a Fan Page. They were originally called this because people became “fans” of your pages, but even though people now choose to “like” your page instead, most people still refer to them as Fan pages, business pages, or just “pages”.
These Fan or Business Pages are different from the personal profile that you would create for yourself, and according to Facebook’s “terms of service” you are not allowed to set up a profile for a business – only a Fan Page.
Reasons to Say Yes
Here are some great reasons every business owner should consider Facebook marketing as part of their overall growth strategy. (Be sure to read my disclaimer at the end of this article.)
1. They are free!
2. It is easy to setup a basic Business Page in just a few minutes yourself or you can hire someone, like me, to create a custom fan page for you.
3. You may have an unlimited number of Fans that “like” or "Recommend" your page, whereas a personal profile has a limit of 5000 friends.
4. You may currently upload an unlimited number of photos and videos.
5. Facebook marketing helps you get better placement in the search engines for your key search terms bringing free traffic to your Facebook page, your content, and ultimately your website.
6. Facebook statistics gives you valuable information about how many people like or recommend your page and how many times posts of yours are seen by others.
7. It is easy to promote your page to consumers or businesses in your local area or that belong to a certain demographic by using Facebook’s own advertising tools.
8. Another very valuable Facebook marketing technique is using it to signup people for your email newsletter.
9. Perhaps the most important reason is it gives you a chance to interact with your clients and prospects, those who “like” or "recommend" your business, and can also help introduce you to their friends that are on Facebook.
Here are a few quick ideas about how to use your Business Page to promote your business by posting different forms of content, helping you to interact more with your prospects and current clients or customers.
1. Photos or videos of the products sold in your store.
2. Photos or videos of you performing the services you offer.
3. Testimonials you have received from your happy clients.
4. Free tips and tricks about how to solve common problems your clients may have.
5. Coupons or notices of special sales you are running.
6. Questions about what kinds of new products or services you should sell.
7. Thank you notes to clients who have recently purchased from you. Not only does this encourage those clients to repurchase from you, it shows prospective customers that you value your clients and the business they give to you.
A Little Reality
Now hear me closely to this disclaimer. Facebook is not the end-all-be-all place as you may have heard. Realize that it is designed primarly for socializing amongst the twenty and thirty something crowd. Originally, it was set up as a college age networking group to rate the quality of girls on campus.
However, because of the incredible growth of registered users over the past few years, the business world has tried to tap into this huge sea of possible targeted prospects.
Be forwarned, though, that for the most part, actually getting paid clients or customers has been slow, with only 5% of businesses surveyed reported earning cash as a direct result of their Facebook presence. However, do not discount it either. Facebook marketing is a great way to build brand awareness and name recognition as your helpful content will lead people to your website for more, and then eventually a purchase -- at least that is the goal.
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