Social media has made great strides in gaining a foothold in the business world over the last year. Yet it’s still an uphill battle to convince many entrepreneurs it’s worth their time to invest in the social media scene.
Social media platforms will surely continue to evolve at a rapid rate as viral marketing spreads at a fever pitch. Like it or not, though, social media is here to stay.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” social media formula that applies across the board to every type of business. Each company is unique and should develop a customized online marketing strategy. However, the one platform that every business ought to be on is Facebook.
With over 400 million worldwide users (50% of whom log on to Facebook every day), Facebook has the drawing power to provide a business owner with an online audience right at his or her fingertips. Recent statistics show that people spend over 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook. There have been some cases where, on a given day, Facebook actually surpasses Google in number of hits.
Here are some common objections or questions I hear from those still on the fence about using Facebook for business:
- Will having a Facebook page make me any money?
- I don’t have enough time to keep my Facebook page updated regularly.
- How can I come up with interesting content to post about?
- What if someone posts something negative on my Wall?
- I don’t want to mix business with something social like Facebook.
- I already have a good website. Why do I need a Facebook business page as well?
If you’re still unsure, here are some points to consider:
- A Facebook page is part of your overall marketing and branding strategy. Like any marketing, there are direct and indirect returns on investment. Some returns are immediate; others take time. Facebook is a good place to get the word out about your business. And don’t forget – it’s FREE online advertising!!
- You can use social media integration sites such as ping.fm or Hootsuite, which link your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Delicious, etc. accounts together so you only have to post an update in one place. You can also outsource the task, hiring someone to spend a specific amount of time each week keeping your page updated, or appoint someone in-house to be in charge of the page.
- Upcoming events, photos, new products or sales – these are all newsworthy items to post on your Facebook page.
- If you have a blog, link it to your Facebook page so that your posts are automatically reposted there.
- If you’re really stuck for ideas, sign up for a Google Alert using a keyword from your industry. Once a day, you’ll get delivered to your mailbox all the news from across the internet that has to do with that topic. You can then post the URL to that interesting link. People will appreciate you sharing pertinent information.
- If you’re an admin on your page, you can remove negative or unwanted posts from your Wall at any time. You can also change the privacy settings to only allow certain individuals to post on your Wall. If the negative comment has some validity, you can put on your customer service hat and answer it right there on the Wall. Other fans will appreciate how you resolved the issue.
- Creating a Facebook business page actually helps you to keep business and personal separate on Facebook. Instead of having clients or customers trying to friend you on your personal page, you can direct them over to your business page.
- On Facebook, you will have greater exposure due to the sheer volume of people interacting. Also, Facebook often has better search engine optimization than a traditional website due to its constantly changing content.
With the potential of reaching over 400 million people, businesses can no longer afford to ignore Facebook. It is not a passing fad and it’s not just for teenagers anymore. Facebook is here to stay and businesses who are not already on board, should rethink their online marketing strategy to make this a priority.