No longer just a trendy online forum used predominately by teenagers to find out the latest gossip, Facebook is quickly making it’s way into the business world.
Facebook business pages, which are separate to your personal profile page, are a fantastic tool for business andhave many potential benefits for your business, which can ultimately lead to increased sales and profits.
Your business page will be visible to all other userson Facebook, putting your business name and your brand (and potentially your products and/or services) in front of millions of people.
Facebook enables easy, informal communication between businesses and customers. With a single post, you can reach all of your followers at once –a feat that is nearly impossible with other marketing tools.Your Facebook business page is also a free avenue to advertise and network, making it ideal for small to medium businesses with a limited marketing budget.
I encourage my class participants in my ‘Facebook for Beginners’ Course to look at Facebook as another form of networking. It is very effective for building relationships and educating your customers. You can use Facebook to ‘talk’ to existing and potential customers by posting and receiving messages.
You can also use Facebook to gather feedback from your customers. Ask them what they think about your products and services. If they love them, others will want to jump on board and you will know you are on the right track. Altenatively, if they make complaints or raise issues, then you can use this feedback to iron out any kinks and to make your business even better. When legitimate criticisms are addressed openly, tactfully and in a timely manner, you may even turn an unhappy camper into a loyal customer.
How about inviting your Facebook followers to road test new products or new business ideas that you are developing before rolling them out? You will surprised at how many people are willing to try something out and freely give their opinion. This interaction can also help establish and build relationships with potential and existing customers. But the big bonus is that you may release a new product or service that meets your customers needs and something that your customers really want to buy.
Share information related to your business that is actually useful or interesting to other users. It cannot be all about sales or continuous blatant self-promotion. Your followers will quickly tire of that kind of treatment so think about what they need and what they would like to see posted on your page. Sharing good quality and relevant content increases your credibility and promotes your business by building long-term relationships with other Facebook users. For example, a veterinarian could post tips for looking after pets, timing them according to when particular health issues arise (e.g. tics in summer). Be creative with your content.
Along with the benefits to your business, interacting with others on Facebook can also be fun!