Check out part two of the series, on how small businesses can engage in marketing on Facebook. In this piece we will throw some light on how small businesses can engage in marketing on Facebook. You can also checkout our Part 1 of the series: Beginner's Guide To Facebook Marketing.
If you are a small business owner, then you have the following constraints when you think of getting your business on Facebook-
- “I don't have the time to promote my business on Facebook”
- or “I don't have the budget to sign up for Ads and stuff”
- or “I don't think 750 million users world wide are interested in my lawyers' practice or my dentistry”
- or “I don't know how to go about marketing on Facebook”
Well, if you think or identify with any of the opinions above, then you are wrong. Facebook marketing is easy, it is cheap (in most cases free!) and of the 750 million users, 10 million maybe your target audience.
While you are mulling over this, go through these facts – According to a MerchantCircle survey in the USA, about 8000 small businesses were queried about the adoption of various marketing products. And 70% of the respondents use Facebook to promote their business. This means that Facebook is an effective and preferred Marketing Tool for small businesses.
In A Nutshell
Whether you are a florist, or a dentist or a lawyer or own any other small business, using Facebook to promote your business online is the best way to build your presence and grow your customer base. Facebook gives you the perfect platform where you can meet target audience, interact with them, showcase your products, services and offers to them. There is much more to marketing on Facebook than just creating a profile. Read on to know how you can use Facebook to promote your business online. Here is a video to help you understand better-
Tip One- Why Are You On Facebook?
This means that you have to plan and monitor your Facebook campaign. It is not simply posting your links on your Facebook profile. That is why you need to set your goals clearly. What do you want Facebook to do for you?
- Build your community
- Establish a good reputation
- Drive traffic to your website
- Get leads
Once you have an answer, you must make strategical moves. It all begins with setting up a Facebook page- which you can do in these simple steps-
From Your personal account–>Add your company page to the account–>You need to get 25 “Likes” on the company page–> Go to the Edit Page option and claim a company Username for the company page (be careful while doing this, any errors can't be reversed.
Once your company page is ready, you need to promote it extensively as well as use it to interact regularly with your fans and expand your fan base.
Tip Two – Promoting your Facebook Page
You need to promote your Facebook page-let people know you are there.
- Ask people in your friend lists to endorse your page.
- Interact with similar or industry related pages. For example if you are a florist go to a page like- I Love Flowers on Facebook- Like the page and comment on the posts there. Get people to notice you and encourage them to come to your profile.
- Add your Facebook Page URL to your email signature everywhere else like newsletters, postcards and anything else that you hand out.
- Get your page indexed by search engines by posting keyword rich status updates. Keyword occurrences and placement must also be done in the the Info and About tabs. Always have your brand name and your site link in your “About” section
- Learn and study your fan page. Facebook has tonnes of apps and other functions to make your page more interesting. Integrate your site's blog with Facebook, so it is posted automatically.
This video is really informative in telling you how to generate leads.
Tip Three- Building A Fan Base
You have a page now, and you need to make it popular and get more and more fans. For this you have to be really social. Interact with people and encourage them to LIKE your page.
- Hold Contests and Competitions for users and make it mandatory for them to LIKE the page to enter these contests.
- Share interesting status updates and posts. Be conversational. You must humanize your brand to make people identify with you and trust you. Build a relationship with your target audience.
- Build A Community- As a small business owner you must understand that for you the best approach is people to people approach. Social media is about community and you need to indulge your community.
- You need to interact with them so that they have a reason to take time away from socializing with their friends to socialize with your business. People are on Facebook to connect socially and this is what your have to do.
- Do not be promotional all the time, otherwise the users will be put off by you.
- Be active- respond to what people are saying on your wall. Be there for them. Talk about their interests, leave the business aside for a while and interact as a social being.
- Once you have a bond with them, they themselves will bring their friends over to your page. Giving useful tips about your business is a helpful idea to gain people's trust.
- Give your fans a reason to follow your brand via discounts, VIP treatment or other offers.
- Your page is not a mirror image of your site. It is more. It is a community with real people and not just commercial.
Don't make the mistake of expecting immediate results, building a community and gaining its trust takes time. Be patient. This slide presentation has some interesting
Tip Four-Engage The Users Attention
You have a certain number of LIKES, but mostly people soon forget about the page. What can you do to keep them coming back. How can you engage their attention? Lets explore.
- Post Cool Status Updates- they could be about your offers; or something interesting. It has to be attention grabbing, so that they come on your page from their NewsFeed.
- Post pictures, videos and related articles that you come across on the web. Facebook page is not your billboard, so do not start promotional activities before engaging your users. Keep the posts fun and engaging while also communicating what your business is all about.
- Be open and available for them. Tell them you will answer questions related to the brand or usage or any other thing related to your niche. This will make people come back to you to know more.
- Ask them questions about their life in relation to your niche. For example as a lawyer, you can ask them things like “Do You Know Where The Supreme Court Is Located”. Keep it simple so that people can answer them easily. As a florist you can ask “Which was the flower your husband gave you on your first date”. These are personal questions, yet engaging and people will interact with you.
- Ask people to share their pictures on your wall and comment on them. Make a bond.
- Do not spam the user's news feed with your updates. Give some breathing time between your updates.
The bottom line in content sharing is-
It should be – interesting, interactive, personal, engaging, captivating and unique.
It should not be - promotional, pushy, with sales pressure, advertisement like.
Tip Five- Facebook Ads And Your Budget
Facebook Ads are beneficial in getting targeted traffic. As you can choose to place ads based on demographics, location, age, gender etc. But in the beginning, you can just choose a low budget Facebook Ad campaign.
Make sure that if you are spending money, then have your goal well defined. Otherwise you’ll end up spending a lot of money aimlessly. When you get an idea what ads are working for you, then spend more money on those ads, not before this. The Facebook advertising campaign has a limited budget, and you can start with the lowest one.
Tip Six- Pitch To Your Users
If you have built a strong user base, and your fans are asking questions, posting comments, liking your status updates and generally interacting with you, it is time to put your pitch forward. Ask them to help you grow your page. Tell them to share your page with their friends and your fan base will start to grow. More fans=more traffic=more sales.
Here is a list of the top small business pages on Facebook, that have done really well for themselves.
Facebook Places is another tool to get your local business a good lift. As a small business owner, you have to invest a little time, and you can get great results from Facebook marketing. Get targeted traffic and also a chance to interact with your users and build a mutual trust bond. This only helps in inculcating brand loyalty among your users. It is not about having a million followers, it is about having targeted users as your fans.
The One Line Takeaway – Be Social On Facebook, build a community and then sell your stuff.
Checkout part 3 of our series – Facebook Marketing For Non Profits, Social Media To Leverage Social Causes!.