Many small business owners have this same question – I have spent money having my website built, why on earth do I need a Facebook page too? Well there are many ways in which building your presence on Facebook can help your business if you’re willing to put in the work.
Firstly, let’s just make clear the differences between a Facebook Profile and a Facebook business page. A profile is for personal, non-commercial use only and if it is used for business then Facebook can delete it. With a profile you have friends and can post photos, videos, status updates and more directed at your friends. A Facebook business page on the other hand is for professional or official use and allows your business to develop its presence on Facebook. With a business page you ask people to ‘like’ your business and you can post relevant content for your customers. So – why is it a good thing?
Facebook is free & easy to use
It costs nothing to set up a page for your business and it takes less than 30 minutes to do. Yes, you can spend money through paid advertising on Facebook but it is also possible to promote your brand without spending a penny (except of course the value you put on your time – and you do of course value your time!). Many people are already familiar with Facebook through personal use, and if not then it is very easy to get the hang of!
A lot of people use Facebook
By promoting yourself through Facebook you have an enormous potential audience! Although in reality it is highly unlikely that you’d reach them all (by highly unlikely read impossible!), it is a great way to reach a wider audience than you’d be able to through your existing company website.
Viral marketing is magic
Ok, so maybe not magic, but the great thing about Facebook is that your customers can easily recommend you to their friends by engaging with your posts through likes and comments and it is well known that people are much more likely to use a company or service if they have a personal recommendation from a friend. When somebody likes or comments on one of your business page’s posts it opens up that content to all of their friends too – giving you a much wider potential audience. That being said, it does mean that you need to fill your Facebook page with interesting, relevant and often amusing content that your likers are actually going to want to engage with. Facebook is not the place to blindly promote your business – people simply won’t read it! You need to grab your audience with every post and entice them to engage or your page will be quickly forgotten.
It can bring extra traffic to your website
This can happen in 2 ways – firstly you hope that people who like your page will visit your website if you give them a good reason to! Secondly, search engines do index social media websites too and it’s great to have more places and people linking back to your website. You can add a call to action to your Facebook page which appears alongside your cover picture at the top of the page. This can help to drive traffic to your website, entice people to subscribe to your email newsletter and more.
Facebook users log on A LOT…
According to Facebook statistics approximately 50% of active users log at least once every day and the average user interacts with 130 friends and is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events. This level of engagement is rarely seen and it means that users are super comfortable in their Facebook environment, they know how things work and what to expect at every turn. This means that whether your page pops up via a friend on their news feed, you pop up as a suggested or sponsored page or they are searching for you on Facebook, they know what to expect and where that ‘like’ button is going to be!
Facebook Insights can give you valuable information
Facebook Insights is an excellent tool for business owners as it allows you to analyse the success of each individual post you have on your page. This way you can find what your customers actually want to see and what is compelling them to engage with your page. For example, you might find that your customers love looking at photographs you post, but that they’re not that hot on your quirky status updates. Insights also tell you how your Facebook page is growing and it’s a great little tool for keeping an eye on your success in Facebook – as we know that small business owners always have to think about profitability of their time!
We know that ‘doing’ social media for your small business can be a daunting prospect and it seems like a never-ending and thankless task but with small steps and a focused plan it really can work to build your audience. Start small, create yourself a business page and see where it will take you.