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As of Q1 of 2016, there were close to 2 BILLION active Facebook users worldwide. That number is certainly higher now. The local population around your business comprises a part of those 2 billion users. That said, if you aren’t utilizing Facebook to reach customers and grow your business, you are leaving money on the table. With this in mind, if you are a small business owner or entrepreneur who is still on the fence when it comes to social media marketing, you need to IMMEDIATELY start building/improving your online brand through Facebook. After all, it’s where your customers and potential customers are hanging out every day.
The 5 tips below should help any small business owner or entrepreneur begin growing the business via Facebook.
Establish a Community
If you’ve dabbled at all in online marketing for your business, you may have heard of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. With PPC, you run an ad (typically Google AdWords) and pay only when someone clicks on your ad. Most businesses use this strategy to drive traffic to the business website. Although this strategy works, it’s often limited by the “quick-hit” nature of it:
Consumer Clicks Ad -> Consumer Lands on Your Website -> Consumer Leaves
The only way to repeatedly reach the consumer in the example above is to hope he sees, and clicks on, your ad again (which, by the way, will cost you money each time he clicks your ad).
By building a Facebook community around your business’ Facebook page, you will have cultivated a pool of interested consumers (whom trust you) that you can reach over and over again without needing to pay PPC fees over and over again.
I know it may be tempting to shoot for the instant gratification of PPC but, at the end of the day, building a community is, by far, the more effective strategy for driving traffic, building your brand, growing your business, and increasing profits while keeping advertising costs lower.
Humans are creatures of habit – we don’t like change or inconsistency. We expect some semblance of routine. When utilizing Facebook to reach your customers and grow your brand, you need to make sure that you stick to a schedule. You’ll want to post content to your Facebook page at least a few times per week – preferably, once or twice per day.
Facebook rewards businesses who post engaging content regularly with increased reach – which results in more exposure for your business – which results in increased profits. As such, you need to make sure you stick to a regular schedule when posting. Avoid posting twice a day for a week, then once every three days, then back to posting 3 times a day for a month. Consistency will win the day.
Do Not Sell
Social media users, especially Facebook users, are generally not in “buy mode”. They are on Facebook to interact with friends and family and, increasingly, to get news and recommendations when they need a product or service. They are not there to BUY something. However, this is not necessarily a roadblock.
Instead of “selling” to people on Facebook, offer them free value – in the form of information. For example, if you run a plumbing business, you might provide your Facebook fans with DIY plumbing tips (how to fix a leaky faucet, how to install a shower head, etc.). By providing your fans with this type of value, they will think of you when they need more advanced plumbing services.
When you provide information that helps your fans without being “salesy”, you establish trust. When people trust you, they will buy from you and they will recommend you to others – often in a viral manner through the power of Facebook. Save the “hard sell” for your website, which your users will find when they read your helpful tips that you shared on your Facebook page.
As I mentioned earlier, Facebook rewards engaging content with more reach and more traffic. Simply stated, the more people who like, share, and comment on your Facebook posts, the more people Facebook will show that content to. Taking advantage of Facebook’s algorithms is critical to growing your business while reducing costs.
When posting content to your business’ Facebook page, you need to be sure that it’s content that your fans will appreciate. You also need to be sure that your content is diverse – nobody wants to read walls of text. Breaking up your content into videos, articles, images, links, etc. will ensure that you are posting “something for everyone”. This will drive engagement – which will be rewarded by Facebook with increased reach – which will drive more engagement. See how this works?
I should also mention that you need to regularly respond to messages and comments – that’s ultimately the definition of “engagement”. Be sure to communicate with your fan base.
Click here for more on Engagement vs Reach.
Continue Growing Your Fan Base
Maintain an ongoing Facebook “Like” campaign. With a budget of as little as $50/month, you can continue growing your Facebook fan base, which is your pool of potential customers an evangelists (who will tell friends and family about their awesome experiences with your business). As such, it stands to reason that the larger (and faster) you can grow this fan base, the better.
Resist the temptation to build an initial fan base using an initial “Like” campaign and then thinking “Well, that’s good enough” and turning your “Like” campaign off. At $50/month, you cannot afford to NOT keep a regular “Like” campaign running.
Join me for a free, live webinar and learn how to drive revenue with Facebook marketing. Tune in 8/10 at 7:30 p.m. ET. Register Now »