More than 40 million small business pages are on Facebook. In fact, the number of small companies in the U.S. that use Facebook has reached 41%. However, with recent updates to Facebook, many are contemplating the effectiveness of the social media giant as a marketing tool.
I’m not going to promise that a Facebook page will rocket your sales through the roof—but it is still a vital aspect of any successful marketing campaign and can boost your business when used correctly. Try these tips to turn your Facebook page into a thriving community:
Facebook is making it increasingly more difficult for small businesses to reach high volumes of people with each post. This only increases the need to be consistent with your posting. To create a community with your brand on Facebook, you must be faithful with your communication with customers. It is just as important to not go over the top. We recommend following an 80/20 rule: 80% of posts should be social but relevant to your industry and audience, while 20% should relate to your product or service directly.
It is equally essential to be consistent with your communication. Remember, social media is a two-way conversation tool. Customers should not be left waiting for a reply from your business. You should respond within an hour of the post, even if it is something as simple as “thank you.”
Unite Your Marketing Efforts
To organically build your Facebook following, unify all of your marketing avenues. For example, your website should have an easy-to-find link to your Facebook page. It is also important to link your page in email blasts, blog posts, and other relevant platforms to drive quality fans to your Facebook page to create a thriving community. Engage these fans so they are more likely to share, like, and comment on your posts to extend your reach and eventually grow sales by driving clicks.
Set Aside Some Money
Whether we like it or not, Facebook is compelling businesses to pay for better advertising. Spending just a little money to boost a post or buy an ad may be the most vital thing you can do to generate a thriving community. These will appear in news feeds or on screen sidebars of the users you want to reach. Facebook’s targeting tools allow you to isolate specific geographic areas or demographics with ease, which makes the money you spend on advertising well worth it.
Hire Someone Qualified
Be careful when interviewing for social media positions. You may be thinking, “This is simple—just hire someone young and hip, right? Someone who uses social media all the time will be perfect for our position!” Stop right there. There is a significant difference between knowing how to use social media and being able to use it to further a company’s marketing efforts. Would you ask a biology student to conduct a surgery? This may be an extreme comparison, but the concept remains true. Simply hiring some 23-year-old college graduate with a thousand followers on Twitter may not get the job done. It is essential to find someone who has a strong grasp of your marketing strategy and understands what it takes to convey it through diligently planned social media messages. Without this understanding, your social media will just be making noise and wasting time.
Consider a Partnership
Let’s face it: You’re busy. Running a business or department, no matter the size, is exhausting and time-consuming. If after reading this you are considering deleting your business page and quitting all Facebook efforts because of a lack of time…DON’T. Look into hiring a partner to take care of all of this for you. Marketing agencies (like 212 Media Studios) have social media experts who are more than willing to maintain and enhance your Facebook page while you focus on your daily responsibilities.
Consider these facts: 38 percent of social media users recommend a brand they follow online. That’s 38 percent of the 1.44 billion (and counting) active Facebook users. These 1.44 billion people aren’t a just bunch of young kids posting selfies, either. In fact, 91 percent of adults who use the internet are on social media regularly. In case you had any doubts, Facebook is far too large to ignore.
We understand that 1.44 billion is a little intimidating. In order to actually reach potential customers, we slice that number down and target relevant buyers based on virtually any demographic, including area, age, and gender.
However, even when targeting posts to a specific group of potential buyers, it takes continuous communication and strategic planning to produce leads. Simply posting every day will not be enough. Posts must be carefully thought out and follow a plan of action. HubSpot points out that, “The key to generating leads on Facebook is to post a variety of content that aligns with goals other than generating leads or driving sales.” It is essential to get your target audience to interact. Use a healthy balance of both “salesy” and friendly content to encourage engagement.
At 212 Media Studios, we understand the importance of converting interactions into brand promoters. This type of community comes through many avenues. We evaluate all of the possibilities in order to engage with your audience and maximize the benefit to your brand. This can lead to more followers, which yields more leads and, ultimately, increases sales. Engagement is the key element of growth. Reach us online or at 574-306-4811 to talk to one of our social media experts.