Using Facebook to Market your Business

An article by Dougles Chan – Recruitment Guru. A Business Coach that specialized on coaching recruitment agencies & staffing agencies. Author of 8 books. 25 years in business coaching in recruitment and staffing agencies. Talks about Pareto Principle – 80 20 rule.  Training recruitment business owners in Singapore, USA, UK, and Australia. He specialized business, sales, marketing, digital marketing, 360 recruitment process, SEO, SEM, and social media recruiting. For 121 recruitment coaching, kindly check here.

Facebook is hands down, the most popular social networking site in the world today. Facebook has 1.23 billion active users, and about 757 billion members use this social networking site daily. An average American spends at least 45 minutes every day on the site. This is the reason why it is a great idea to use Facebook to promote your business. Facebook gives you an instant audience.

Facebook has many business and marketing benefits, including:

1. Facebook is an amazing low-cost promotion and marketing strategy.

Marketing campaigns can cost thousands of dollars. But, you can do these marketing activities and campaigns on Facebook for a fraction of the cost incurred in other marketing channels. Facebook is one of the best marketing platforms for small and medium scale businesses.

Large companies can also try to use their marketing concepts on Facebook first before committing to a large-scale marketing campaign.

You can post limitless content and images that promote your products and explain what your company is all about. When posting content, make sure that it is not too complicated and it is easy to read. Take note that most users check Facebook on mobile devices, so it would not be comfortable to read long posts that are poorly formatted. Use bullet points, albeit sparingly, and be succinct with the way you state your message.

Headlines are also important as these are the first things that people see on their feeds. Keep them short enough not to get cut when seen on a feed. For images, use good quality images. It is not necessary to use high-resolution photos on a Digital Marketing, especially when Facebook already compresses images before posting. Just make sure that they do not appear pixelated as that may look unprofessional and cheap.

2. Facebook is a great venue to publicize your business name.

You can build brand recognition through Facebook. Facebook is a great place for you to publicize your business name, contact details, address, and product description. You can also publicize stories about the history and your staff. These stories could create interest in your company and your products. This helps people connect with your company and understand what your core values are.

Through Facebook, you can also give people updates on things you are working on. This can be new features, products or promos. By following you on Facebook, your loyal customers will be the first ones to know about these updates. This is even more effective than advertising on paper, on TV or the radio.

Make sure that all your posts carry your brand name and trademarks to aid in recognition and recall of consumers. Your branding does not need to shout; subtle but repetitive branding is the key. Frequent posting will also help keep you in the mind of your customers. Be strategic with your timing. For instance, if you are offering a breakfast product, then post around breakfast time. If you have a holiday promo, start promoting around the holidays.

As much as possible, be purposeful with your posts. Some companies just like posting for no reason at all. What is unfortunate is that their followers may get annoyed and stop following them because their posts are of no value to them or are timed very poorly.

3. Facebook enables you to communicate with your potential and existing customers.

You can use Facebook to communicate with potential and existing clients by posting a status. You can also share videos and pictures from your business. Creating informative Facebook posts is a great way to share interesting information with your existing and potential clients.

When you use other marketing channels like TV, print, radio and even some forms of web advertising, you tend to be doing the shotgun approach. This means that you just keep on shooting randomly, hoping to somehow hit a target. So, you communicate to a wide audience with the intention of capturing a small number of potential customers. This can prove to be costly and inefficient. When you use Facebook for marketing, you are doing the rifle approach. You shoot once and already hit the target. This is because your followers are either already existing customers or people who are interested in your product offerings. There is no need to look for them because they are already within your reach.

Also, your followers usually share similar profiles and characteristics with their Facebook friends. So, by sharing your content, they are effectively doing targeted marketing for you. Also, most people will share Facebook posts that they think their friends will also find interesting; hence, make sure that your posts lend themselves well to being shared. Ensure that branding will remain intact and unaltered.

4. You can use Facebook for customer support.

Your clients can post “after-sales” questions on your FB wall, and your staff or customer support representatives can answer your customers from there. This method is often more efficient and more cost-effective than answering consumer questions through phone calls, although, this can also be a double-edged sword. It may make contacting customer service easier for clients and help you address concerns in a speedier manner.

5. Facebook can help raise your brand awareness through positive word of mouth.

You can increase your brand’s reputation by encouraging potential and existing customers to hit the like button. Facebook can also help increase your website traffic. Be sure to provide links to your other Digital Marketing accounts and your official website. Digital Marketing presence also helps in search engine optimization. The more content there is on the web about your company and products, the more search engines will favor your website when it comes to listing results to keyword searches. You should be consistent and strategic with your keywords and branding triggers.

Here are some tips that you can use Facebook to promote your product and increase your sales:

  • Set up a business page.

The first thing that you should do when starting your marketing campaign through Facebook is to set up your business page. Remember that your Facebook page represents your business. It works like your business card, website, and promo material.

You have to remember that businesses that have a Facebook page are automatically included in the Facebook “Places” function. This allows customers and client to “check in” on their mobile devices when they visit your store. This will increase the popularity and visibility of your Facebook page.

Make sure that your images look good and are representative of your brand. Do not forget to give an informative write-up about your company in the about section. Also, make sure that all your contact details are correct and that any website links are functional. A lot of people do seek businesses out on Facebook out of instinct, so they should also find you there.

  • Build up your followers.

You have to drive as many people as possible to your Facebook page by encouraging them to “like” your page. A percentage of Facebook visitors can be converted into actual customers. You can also increase your Facebook followers by promoting your Facebook page in your marketing material, in your store, in newsletters, email signatures, and your websites. You can also integrate or create a link directing to your Facebook page on your other social networking accounts such as Instagram and Twitter.

You can also increase your followers through paid ads and sponsored stories which will be targeted to certain interests, demographics, and geographic areas. Your partners can also post your links on their accounts with the aim to encourage their followers to “like” your page.

  • Launch Facebook contests.

Everyone wants to have free stuff. Contests often attract potential new clients. It is also a good way to communicate the benefits and superiority of your products. Facebook contests usually become viral. With a little promo work, your fan base will rise dramatically.

The mechanics of your contests may include liking your page, inviting friends to follow you, or spreading information about your company. Make the reward enticing and remember to spread the word about the contest to as many people as possible.

Examples of Facebook contests can be photo contests that can be won by the number of likes, story writing contests judged by your team members, or simply reposting content on their pages.

However, you must take into consideration Facebook’s updated terms of launching contests on their platform. Avoid violating any of their rules.

  • Have a clear Facebook marketing goal and strategy.

It is important to have a clear goal and marketing strategy when you are using Facebook to market the product. How many “likes” or Facebook subscribers do you want to have? Do you want your Facebook page to generate at least 10% of your total annual sales?

Aside from having a Facebook marketing goal, you also have to create a marketing strategy which may include the following items:

  • Posting a daily photo featuring customers who use the product. This will instantly make the clients feel good and it will entice potential clients.
  • Encouraging your clients to post their photos while they are in your store.
  • Creating a post every day about a featured product.
  • Communicate with your users using a “human voice.”

Some companies opt to have a fictional brand personality that people can interact with. These are like online mascots that both encapsulate what their brand is all about and are also relatable to their audience. They should have names, faces, and personalities that are similar to real people. They can be adopted from existing brand images or created as a sort of customer support character.

Make sure that any characters you create are not potentially offensive to anyone. Their online behavior should also be consistent, so make sure that the people behind them are trained well. You can consider them like puppet masters who make the character come to life.

  • Post regularly.

Social networking sites like Facebook are built around frequent updates. Recent studies show that around 50% of Facebook users check their Facebook Newsfeed at least once a day. So, it is important to post something on your Facebook page at least once daily. But, do not post anything for the sake of posting. You have to post only when you come up with something interesting. Remember that your status posts must be valuable, or at least relevant, to your subscribers.

You can assign someone on your team or hire someone as a Digital Marketing manager who can manage all your accounts including your Facebook account. He or she would have to plot all the planned posts on a schedule that should be followed. It is not good to post sporadically. You must really think of the best time to post to get as much exposure as possible. For instance, you would not want to post when most of the customers in your time zone are sleeping as even the most avid Facebook checkers would miss those posts.

Some studies suggest early mornings or during work breaks like at lunch or in mid-afternoon, although it is best to conduct your research on your market to find out what will work best for your company and marketing needs.

  • Post videos and pictures.

It is important to post pictures and videos regularly. Videos and pictures are more engaging than texts. These videos and pictures will keep your subscribers interested and entertained.

For example:

  • A clothing company can post photos of their new stocks and products.
  • A personal trainer may post videos of a new exercise routine.
  • An architect may post pictures of a house that he is working on.
  • A software company may post instructional videos on how to use the latest software feature.

However, make sure that your pictures are easy to view on most devices. For instance, infographics are usually capable of relaying information better than a long article. However, some infographics are too long and have poor formatting, so people just scroll past them on their feeds. Be mindful of good design. For Digital Marketing, minimalist layouts usually work best and translate on different types of screens well.

For videos, make sure to spend time and effort on good production. Set aside resources for a proper shoot and processing. Though it can be done and may work for some concepts, shooting on a low-quality camera (like a camera phone) without much thought into what you are doing may not produce professional results. If you find video shoots too complicated, you can opt for animated videos that can convey your intended message. You can also simply outsource your video production to a third party company.

Treat your videos as if they were television ads. Many companies think that producing videos for the Internet means that they can get away with a lower quality. You are still a business, and you have to show that you value excellence in everything you do.

  • Conduct surveys.

You can use Facebook to conduct surveys. You can conduct surveys to determine customer satisfaction and customer preference. There are online survey applications that you can use that are compatible with Facebook or that you can link to from your page. Do not just ask people to leave comments. It is better if they were to fill out proper online forms with results that you can automatically generate. That will make it easier for you to analyze responses and generate conclusions.

It is also good to give people a reward for accomplishing a survey. This can be in the form of free product samples or promo codes. They will take it more seriously that way.

You can also do targeted surveys by inviting particular individuals to be respondents. You can focus on a particular age group, location, or interests based on their profiles. Make them feel special by getting selected to be a part of your survey.

  • Try out the Sponsored Stories service on Facebook.

You can hire someone to man your Facebook account during office hours or, if possible, round-the-clock 24/7. Even comments that just say “Thank you” should not be ignored. Thank them back for their appreciation. Do not leave any inquiries hanging as this can frustrate some customers and make them leave negative comments.

  • Use Facebook Insights to get to know your existing and potential clients.

Facebook Insights can help you learn more about the users who like your page. You can tailor your posts and offers to meet the needs and interests of your subscribers.

  • Celebrate your milestones with your Facebook fans.

One of the powerful ways to strengthen your relationship with your Facebook fans is to celebrate your milestones with them even if it is something small.

  • Ask the right questions.

One way to engage your users is to ask entertaining and interesting questions. If done right, asking the right questions can increase for Facebook fan base and it can build a great relationship with your current subscribers.

  • Do not hard sell.

When you are using Facebook to promote your products, you have to try your best not to hard sell. Hard selling will annoy your subscribers.

  • Encourage feedback.

Smart companies tap their Facebook followers to get instant ideas and feedback on their new product design and their customer service. Facebook is a great and inexpensive way of generating customer feedback.

  • Stay on Topic

People who “like” your business page expect your posts to be related to your industry and your brand. You can post the following:

  • Write about current events related to your brand or your industry.
  • Ask your audience to post stories and pictures about your brand on your wall.
  • Repost interesting contents about your brand or your industry.
  • Find and share funny and entertaining videos that are closely related to your industry or brand. For example, if you are running a yoga studio, you can post funny pet yoga videos. If you are running a gym, post funny and entertaining exercise videos.

You have to remember that “unliking” a page is just as easy as “liking” a page. A single uninteresting and off-topic post can urge subscribers to unsubscribe to your business page.