Is Facebook Really For Business People?
As a B2B telemarketer I speak with hundreds of businesses on a daily basis. Social Media is regularly discussed as a platform for business marketing. It would seem that some business people have aversions for the use of Social Media. This does not change the fact that Social Media, especially platforms like Facebook, are being used very successfully by business people all over the world.
Facebook is the King of Social Media, with more than an outstanding 1.5 billion users worldwide. Every day, more than 3 billion posts are liked and commented on and over 450 million photos are uploaded.
Maybe you think that it is just a craze for a younger generation. This craze is worth over 60 billion dollars and it certainly is not going anywhere. So ignorance - in this case - is certainly not bliss. If you hold a similar opinion or there is some other reason you are not using Facebook, start doing so because, plain and simple, you and your business are missing out!
9 Reasons why Facebook is for your business
1) Email to Social Media
Although email is still widely used, Social Media has become the new platform of communication for you and your businesses. Facebook provides a platform for business people to communicate simply, quickly and broadly. Facebook can do so much more for you than just instant messaging!
"Think of Facebook as an extension of your email. More and more people are shying away from communicating through email." Will Williamson - Local Business Marketing - Online
2) Personal Networking
Business people can use their personal Facebook profile to network. Whether it's with your business partners, colleagues, existing customers, potential prospects or other important business contacts. From here you can build, find and become part of certain community networks. Facebook is a 24hour ongoing networking event at your fingertips!
3) Facebook Pages
The Facebook page is the place for your business profile; this is where you can create a more professional presence on Facebook and engage your brand with prospects within their own digital hang out. There are so many benefits for businesses here. You can personalise your page by uploading your corporate logo and experimenting with applications. You can promote your products and services by adding relevant information to the page along with links to your website and contact details. Prospects can become a Fan of your page, invite their friends to like and receive regular updates from you keeping them in the mix with images, photographs, videos and events. It is also easy for you to control how the page works, such as whether fans can post on the wall and upload images and videos.
4) Part of your overall marketing strategy
Having a Facebook presence will increase your online domination. Linking Facebook to your website will increase its traffic and also improve your natural Google ranking.
5) Viral Marketing and Word-Of-Mouth
When discussing Facebook as a marketing tool I am often rebutted with statements like "I don't believe in things like Facebook, word of mouth is far more effective!” Clearly some people are missing the point here. We have all seen things spread like wildfire on the Internet whether it’s funny videos, chain letters or new gadgets. Facebook is a social platform, built for people to communicate and socialise. You can see Facebook as a 'digital form of word of mouth' for your business, consumers can talk about your products/services recommend you to friends, tag them in your photos etc. (Facebook is word of mouth on steroids!).
6) Facebook Advertising
Facebook advertising is considered a very cost effective form of advertising, you can create your own uniquely designed ads. It works in a similar way to Google Advertising and can be paid for on a pay-per-click basis. You can create ads to yield all types of results, such as traffic to your website, likes for your page and event responses. Engagement ads can also be used, so viewers can interact with things like sending a virtual, branded related gift to friends!
With Facebook advertising you can surgically target a desired audience using specific categories. For example: a certain location, family status, interest, age or gender.
Facebook provides you with some useful tools so you can analyse the success of your business page. These ‘incites’ are not available to the personal Facebook profile.
Administrators are able to track the levels of interactions with pages and posts, through clicks and comments. There are also various charts that measure a variety of different aspects such as, new and lost fans, different ages and the locations of fans.
p131 Treadaway.C and Smith.M (2010) Facebook Marketing An Hour A Day. Indiana: Wiley Publishing, Inc
Similar tools are provided to measure your success rate with your ads. Making it easy to adjust and improve on the fly, to make the most out of your money.
p.108 Levy, J. and Carter B. (2012) Facebook Marketing - Leveraging Facebook's for your Marketing Campaigns. 3rd edn. Indianapolis: Que.
8) Enhance your customer relationship
Having a Facebook campaign that a customer can interact with, will build a stronger relationship. This could be the defining factor when customers are deciding who to do business with. Regular updates on your profile or page to keep people in the loop, shows your dedication and will keep them visiting you regularly. Improving your reputation and in turn your profits.
9) Market Research
Facebook can also be used as a form of market research. It will give you deeper insights into your customers and their perception of your products, services and industry. This will allow you to build a better quality product or service adapting to suit your customers, making your business more desirable.
To conclude Facebook presents a platform with a wide scope of features and benefits that you can capitalise on. If utilised correctly it can make a business function more efficiently, take your customer relationship to new heights and deliver results on an unprecedented scale.
It is important for your business to get it right, as Facebook can have an equally negative affect as it can positive. Lack of time and knowledge to keep your Facebook presence working well and up to date may sound somewhat daunting. Here are some useful reports on our blog that can assist you in building a successful Facebook presence.
Article by Gavin White