1. Increase your exposure to customers and potential customers
With 1.39 billion monthly active users, whatever your line of business, it’s a safe bet that a good percentage of your target audience is already using Facebook. And if they are, you need to be too.
While Facebook has begun cracking down on non-paid promotional posts, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use news feed to generate real interest and buzz. Today’s businesses will, however, need to evaluate the type of content they’re sharing. Rather than being overly ‘salsey’, Facebook encourages the creation of the high-quality content that audiences want to see.
As well as being there for customers that seek you out, Facebook’s sophisticated targeting tools can also promote your brand to the people that matter to your business (more about this later).
2. Build brand loyalty
Today’s customers want to connect with brands on an emotional level. Facebook provides the perfect platform to cultivate such connections, through the sharing of posts that provide real insight into your business.
Therefore, as well as helping to get your business in front of its customers, Facebook also provides them with a better understanding of your organisation’s values, culture and personality. And, in a competitive world, nothing stands out more than a unique brand identity. If you provide regular, interesting content and updates to your audience, they’ll come to know, like and trust you. And, people enjoy doing business with brands they trust.
3. Drive people to your website
A recent analysis of the referral sources of over 300,000 sites found that Facebook drives a quarter of all web traffic . However, just being on Facebook and adding your URL to your page info isn’t a guarantee of increased web visitors. Savvy businesses also use Facebook to drive traffic to their sites proactively. There are a number of tips and tricks your business can employ to help you do this. Find out how to maximise your page and posts to increase engagement later in this book.
4. Improve sales
Did you know you can set up a store on your page, allowing people to purchase directly via Facebook? The easiest way to do this is through a third-party provider such as Shopify, Storefront Social or Bigcommerce.
However, Facebook is also testing a new feature in the US to help businesses drive sales. With this feature, people can click the ‘buy’ button highlighted in ads and posts and make a purchase directly from a company, without leaving Facebook.
In addition, over the last 12 months, ‘social selling’ has become one of the hottest buzzwords around. Using the power of social media to build valuable online relationships, social selling is ultimately about using the relationships, connections and insights available via social channels to support and improve the sales process. With smart technology becoming increasingly important to savvy businesses, using social channels as part of the sales funnel will soon become the norm rather than the exception.
5. Generate leads
While Facebook provides the opportunity to get in front of your customers, its ability to generate leads is even more compelling. You can, of course, use Facebook advertising to do this, however, you can also generate leads by creating and sharing engaging posts that link to a form on your website. Users who engage with your posts and complete your form will become warm prospects as they share their details in return for something of value (e.g. an offer code or valuable piece of content).
6. Gain a deeper understanding of your customers and your marketing activities.
Once you are up and running on Facebook, you’ll want to make sure it’s delivering for your business. The Facebook Insights dashboard will help you to do just this. With access to the right data critical to demonstrating the ROI value of Facebook, its real-time analytics and metrics includes:
- Page likes, shares, comments, reach and engagement
- Audience growth rate
- Where visitors to your page are coming from
- What they are looking at on your page
- The demographics of your audience including their gender, age and location
- When your audience in online
- Which of your posts generate the highest engagement
Use this information to not only track the success of active and recently completed campaigns, but also to gather insight to improve the success of your next campaign.
7. Keep an eye on the competition
To be successful in business, it doesn’t hurt to know what your competitors are up to. And, if they have a Facebook page, you can use this to keep up to date with their latest news and updates. However, it doesn’t stop there. In a constant bid to become more and more business friendly, Facebook provides a handy benchmarking tool that allows you to keep tabs on your competitors. As long as you have between 100 and 10,000 Facebook likes, you can follow five or more competitors, without them even knowing you’re watching! Find out more about how to set this up later in this book.
8. Become the information source
PR is the practice of managing the spread of information between your business and your target audience. Facebook can help you to do this.
For decades, we’ve been told that to catch the attention of journalists we need to be ‘newsworthy’. Facebook bypasses this criterion and instead lets business focus on giving people the information they want. And, while press releases need to be written in a particular fashion to appeal to journalists, Facebook allows you to share more engaging ‘content releases’, designed with your target audience in mind. Still factually correct, these employ a friendlier tone of voice and can include supporting information such as statistics, messages and links.
Helping to position your business as a key industry player and information provider, while at the same time appearing more approachable, Facebook allows people to connect with your business on a personal level.
9. Respond to customer complaints
Platforms such as Facebook have transformed the customer feedback process. No longer do unhappy buyers have to navigate frustrating telephone helplines. Today, social media provides a quick and easy way for businesses to engage with customers, solve their problems and build brand goodwill.
People who are unhappy with the level of service received from a business are increasingly likely to use social media to tell others about their experience. Facebook pages are often the first point of call. While you may have misgivings about opening yourself up to negative emotions and feedback on in such a public manner, the truth is, whether your business is on Facebook or not, people will talk about it. Isn’t it better to give them somewhere to vent their frustrations and allow your business to respond in a proactive manner?
The key to great customer service lies in the speed and the quality of your response. If you do come across any negative feedback be careful not to get defensive or belittle customer concerns. Instead, promise to investigate the issue and do what you can to appease the complainant. Where a more complex response or rebuttal is required, or where confidential information needs to be shared, take it to another form of communication, such as private message, email or telephone.
Of course, it’s not all doom and gloom. Great customer experience also gets talked about online, and Facebook can also be used to find out all the wonderful things people say about your business and to encourage proactive comments on how to improve. Ask your followers questions about any new offerings, or do a quick poll to gather feedback on what they think about your latest product/service. Not only will this help you to find out more about what your customers want, it will also make them feel valued.
10. Boost the power of your marketing campaigns
Over the last decade, the growth of social media has been nothing short of phenomenal. However, it’s important as we clamour to become social media gurus, we don’t overlook the power of more traditional marketing channels. Facebook doesn’t exist in isolation and to maximise results, it needs to be integrated into, and supportive of your wider marketing plans and communications.