For me, this week has been all about Facebook.
Not only have I spoken to a lot of business owners about it and how it has impacted their bottom line (all said increased their exposure to potential customers as well as their profits), but I have had a positive experience with it in the last 7 days.
Here’s the story – one of our clients has been considering holding a DIY night for some time. They understand the importance of nights like this and how successful they can be, but the last one they had run was a lot of effort with only a little payoff. I could see why they were stand offish; that is not overly motivating.
So, rather than relying on word of mouth I suggested we create an event on Facebook and promote it accordingly. Worst case, it doesn’t work, and we don’t do it again. In just two weeks the attendance list went from 6 to 40, many of the attendees were brand new customers, and we sold more of the product we promoted in 3 days than was usually sold in a year.
Of course, it wasn’t just Facebook. We had a very talented speaker who was open and honest about the product, and we thought long and hard about our advertising campaign/target audience. However, none of that would have mattered if we didn’t market the night to the people who were genuinely interested in attending. For an event like this you need a bit of experience in marketing, as well as creating and managing a Facebook event, but the point I am trying to make is that Facebook is a beast, and if used correctly it can pay off significantly.
What did we do in this instance? We promoted the event on Facebook for $30 and targeted women between 25-65+ in the local area who were interested in DIY and interior design. All up it took 10 minutes to boost this event to these people.
After this experience, I wanted to create a list of reasons why businesses should have a Facebook Page. In fairness I sometimes question the point. Virtual Assist does not have many Facebook followers or page likes at this stage, but it is growing. I know the likes I have are genuine (more on that in Why Social Media Likes Don’t Pay the Bills by Stevie Says Social, who I HIGHLY recommend following on Facebook), and my take is that the more businesses using Facebook correctly, the better. Facebook should be more about education and quality than pictures of people travelling and making me very jealous. So here we go…
6 Reasons to Have a (Decent) Business Facebook Page:
- Helps SEO optimisation – What you post on your Facebook Page can directly link to your website, which helps your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). This results in a higher ranking (i.e. whether you are at the top of a Google search). If you are not sure what SEO is and its benefits, refer to SEO Strategy in 2017: What’s Most Important, because it is REALLY important.
- Increases your exposure to potential customers – On March 2017 there were 1.94 billion active users of Facebook, which increases 18% per year. 76% of females and 66% of males of the world’s population is on Facebook. All of this may mean nothing to you because you are a local business working with locals, but you can easily figure out if it should matter with a little trick I have. If you have a Facebook page, have a look at “boosting” a Facebook post. You don’t have to complete the boost, but it will tell you exactly how many possible users are in your target market at any given time, and how much it would cost to reach them.
- Lower your marketing expenses – Starting a page costs exactly $0, particularly if you already have your branding sorted. Facebook ads are relatively inexpensive when compared to other forms of advertising (which all have their place).
- Reach a highly targeted audience – Who do you want to reach? How much are you willing to pay for that? Answer those two questions and then promote your page. Not only will your page show up in the feeds of your target audience, but Facebook will provide you with feedback on your promotion. There are not many forms of marketing that will give you such detailed information.
- Facebook insights – When you promote anything on Facebook, you will receive an insight into this promotion. No more guessing if your ideal customers received your advert. Insights tells you how many likes you received, its overall reach, it’s performance. Everything. This knowledge helps establish what works and what doesn’t when it comes to advertising your products or services.
- It builds loyalty – If you provide your followers with valuable and even entertaining information, your followers will stay loyal. They will remain so even if you make a mistake because it is all about how you manage it. If you are respectful and educational, people will appreciate it and want to repay you with loyalty.
There is a reason I added “decent” in the title , and it’s because of these crucial points about managing Facebook:
- It’s time-consuming – I spoke with the owner of About Thyme this week, which is an excellent local business in my area, and the owner stated that she could spend at least an hour on Social Media per day engaging with followers. That may seem like a lot, but it was benefiting her bottom line so much she felt that it more than paid for her time. In other words, you will need to designate time to Facebook, so make sure it will pay off before you go ahead.
- Do it right – as a consumer and a business owner, if you are going to have a Facebook Page you need to do it right. No one respects an average/below average page. If done properly it will work, and you will get business out of it. Several apps that can help with this are referenced in 10 Free Tools to Help Streamline Your Business, and my biggest piece of advice in this area is to find someone who does Facebook well within your industry, and follow their lead.
I hope this has motivated you to pay attention to how Facebook can help your business. If you would like any further information please get in touch.
On another note, I am currently in talks with the Manawatu Chamber of Commerce to host a more detailed training which focuses on Facebook for business. If you are in the region and would like to attend, either comment below and I can email you the details once confirmed, or (even better) like Virtual Assist on Facebook, as I will be posting a link to the event on there.
I can assure you that the more you use it the easier it is, and a training may be just what you need to get started on your Facebook for Business journey.