Now more than ever there are a myriad of ways to market your business. Some avenues cost a pretty penny, while others are free. But which options, pray tell, are the most effective?
The first thing to consider is – where are your potential customers? You want to be where they are, of course! Let me provide you with some relevant statistics to shed some light on this:
- Facebook now has 845 million active users.
- In the US, 71% of the 206 million internet users have a Facebook account.
- One in every 5 page views is on Facebook.
- Facebook is the #1 most visited website in the US.
- 50% of social media users follow brands (companies).
As you can see, it is clear that a good portion of your potential customers are regularly perusing Facebook. If done correctly, you can get a lot of mileage out of this!
As a business, here is how to do this; set up a Facebook Page (as opposed to a personal profile). It is against Facebook’s policies to promote your business from a personal profile page. They reserve the right to shut down your page if they find you are violating this rule. If you already have a personal profile on Facebook, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click “Create a Page” to get started. If you don’t have a personal profile and do not wish to have one, you can set up a business account in order to create a business page. Go to the main Facebook login page and click “Create a Page” at the bottom.
Once you have fully set up your page, your next course of action will be to garner fans or ‘likes’, as they are now called. There is no magic trick for getting hundreds or thousands of fans for your page. It takes rolling up your sleeves and creating some clever strategies to make this happen. A great example of this is Frito-Lay, who actually set a Guinness World Record by accruing over 1.6 million new fans in a 24 hour period! You can Google it to find out how they accomplished that feat.
And finally, you must regularly provide interesting, relevant and useful content for your followers. Actually, this is not the third step, but is part of how you obtain fans in the first place and something that is an ongoing action.
I’m not going to go into all the fine details of how to set up your page, how to amass fans and how to convert those fans into buying customers, but I’ll give you a few of the important things to know and delve into, in order to reap the rewards of a Facebook page:
1. When setting up your page, be sure to fill in every possible field in order to provide as much data as possible about your business to the inquiring minds that want to know.
2. There are applications you can install to increase fan engagement on your page. Many are free and some are not, but there are hundreds and they do some pretty cool things. There is no “App Store” like they have on iPhones or Androids, so you will just have to do a search for “Facebook apps for business” or some such wording. They are very simple to install.
3. There is something called EdgeRank which is particular to Facebook and is similar to Google’s PageRank. Your page’s EdgeRank determines whether your content will actually be visible on your fans’ newsfeeds. Just because they are your fan does not mean they will automatically see all of your content. The Social Media Examiner has a great blog post on EdgeRank and how to improve it.
4. Create a custom URL for your page – something easy and memorable, rather than a string of numbers. To do this, go into Account Settings (upper right corner of screen) and click “edit” next to Username.
That is just a brief summary of how to get your business on the Facebook map. There are a ton of articles on the web which go into greater detail regarding all the aspects of Facebook.
Your Facebook business page can be a valuable channel for staying in touch with existing customers, while at the same time earning the interest of people who could very well become new customers. By furnishing information, tips, articles, photos, videos, etc., that your particular public are in need of, it gives you the opportunity to really show what you stand for as a company and what you can do for them.
There are, for sure, many other effective methods for marketing your business. I chose to highlight Facebook in this article as its popularity is unrivaled. It is a very inexpensive (and fun) vehicle for leveraging the power of the internet in order to increase your company’s reach and, in turn, potential for new customers.
With that, I wish you much success!