If there’s one thing that many established small businesses have in common, it’s not having enough time to understand and take advantage of all of the ways to get new customers to your business. There are so many possibilities – with varying degrees of money and time required – and the benefits seem hard to find among all that marketing speak about how great each possibility might be. I’m going to advocate here for starting with a Facebook Business Page, based on the four key facts below.
Facebook provides a free, relatively easy piece of marketing space just for businesses: the Facebook Business Page. It’s like having a Facebook account specifically for your business – one that you can promote and use to build a brand.
So – if you’re skeptical about Facebook Business Pages, consider the following four key facts about Facebook:
- It provides quick, targeted connections. Facebook connects people to people, and people to businesses (or to topical entities that they care about). It is instantaneous, and shares information across the networks of all the people who show an interest in a business or topic. It can also target cost-effective advertising to people in very specific demographics and niches, even geographically and by age.
- It’s the biggest player. 67% of internet users who use social media platforms use Facebook. That makes it by far the biggest social media platform out there, with Twitter (16%) and Pinterest (15%) the second and third, respectively. Facebook is also used by key demographics who often have more discretionary income, including users who are between the ages of 30 and 64, and those with more than $75K annually. (Pew Research Centre Internet, link to report.)
- It gives you an ongoing dialogue with customers. Once a customer has “Liked” a business’s page on Facebook, they become a follower of that page’s content. Any content that business posts will then appear in its followers’ News Feeds – this is the crux of Facebook’s appeal, in that it pushes out content only to those customers who have signed up for it, and for free.
- It creates more followers for you. Once the post appears in a follower’s News Feed, they can ignore it, they can comment on it, they can like that particular post, or they can share it with their own connections. This is how Facebook works: it uses the connections between people to help generate more connections. Viral, in this context, is a good thing. (See Social Media’s Virtuous Cycle for a breakdown of how this works.)