Your Business Isn't On Facebook?

Harry Kierbow
Harry Kierbow Social Media Manager, Tarkenton Companies

Posted on September 2nd 2013

Your Business Isn't On Facebook?

Facebook business pageOK, you’ve done it. You’ve started your small business. You have a great product. You’re making sales. Things are going well. But you can always use more customers, right? How can you continue to grow your reach? Wait, what? Your business isn't on Facebook. Insert head in sand reference here. But it's OK. We can deal with this.

Increasingly, social media, and Facebook in particular, is becoming a great, low-cost way for businesses to grow and find their next customer. The number of businesses that say Facebook is critical or important to their success has increased by 75%. Your business needs to have a presence on Facebook. “Why?” you say. “How?” you say. Just read on, my friend.

Why Facebook?

One of the keys to successful social media marketing—or any type of marketing, really—involves figuring out where your target market is and then going to them. With approximately 1.15 billionactive members, Facebook is the biggest party on the block. Still not convinced? Here are 5 facts that will convince you of the business value of Facebook.

  1. Internet marketing research firm EMarketer estimates that approximately 51% of all internet users visit Facebook at least once a month.
  2. 47% of Americans active on social networks say that Facebook has the greatest impact on their buying behavior. Last year that number was 24%.
  3. 23% of Facebook users check their accounts 5 or more times daily. Break out the abacus and let’s do that math. 23% of 1.15 billion is… carry the 5… oh yeah, that’s 264,500,000 people accessing their account. Every. Single. Day.
  4. 80% of American social networkers listed Facebook as their network of choice when they connected with a brand.
  5. In 2012, 77% of B2C companies acquired a customer through Facebook.

So, now you’re convinced, right? Of course you are. You’re ready to get started! It’s go time! How do you get started, though? Here are 5 steps to get you on your way.

Step 1: Create your business page.

Make a Facebook business page. Please don’t post your business material on a personal page. A Facebook business page has a number of advantages.

  1. It looks much more professional. Your credibility will suffer when posts about your business prowess are sandwiched between a picture of your dog and, well, a sandwich.
  2. Search engines index content on Facebook, helping search engine optimization.
  3. Fans can “Like” your business page.
  4. A business page gives you free analytics tools from Facebook. These tools will allow you to track your post progress and will give valuable marketing statistics.

If you haven’t already created a Facebook business page, you can do it here.

Step 2: Know your audience.

Now it’s time to think like your customer. Who will make up your target market? What do they like? When are these people active online? You can find this information through trial, error and research. Use Facebook’s Insights, the free analytics tools I mentioned earlier. Experiment with your audience to see when they are online and what they like. Be sure to measure the results so you can track your progress and develop your goals.

Step 3: Develop your goals.

Nice segue, huh? You’ll never be successful without first defining success. What is your overall goal with Facebook? If you’re trying to increase traffic to your website, think mid-day, mid-week.  Link-shortening service Bit.ly saw substantially higher click-through rates for links posted between 1 and 4 pm EST, with the highest rates coming on Wednesdays at 3 pm EST. If you want to grow your page through social sharing, consider posting on Saturdays. Marketing blog Kissmetrics found that Facebook shares increase on Saturdays at noon ET and 7 pm ET. With your team, come to a shared goal and then experiment to find the best way to meet those goals.

Step 4: Develop and implement a plan.

After finding a shared goal, it’s time to create a plan to help you meet that goal. Determine the type of content you will post and when you will post it. Find a voice for your business and stick to it. Map out your plan and decide who will implement which parts. Then put your plan into action. Monitor the results of your efforts in real time and make tweaks when necessary.

Step 5: Look good while doing it.

Show a little skin. Wave your little hat around. Sing a little song. Dance a little… well you get it. Show some personality. This is a chance to put a face on your business. Try to be helpful and entertaining. Ask questions and encourage conversation. Reply to comments to show you’re paying attention. While you still need to be professional, this is a network and an audience that won’t mind if you loosen that tie and let your guard down just a little bit.

OK, so as you I think you can see, Facebook offers a tremendous opportunity for small businesses to easily advertise to the masses. Now, I’ve got to get out of here and get this blog posted on Facebook.

(Image: lev radin / Shutterstock.com)

Harry Kierbow

Harry Kierbow

Social Media Manager, Tarkenton Companies

Harry is the Social Media Manager for Fran Tarkenton and Tarkenton Companies. Harry is a contributor to several sites aside from SocialMediaToday.com, including SmallBizClub.com, BizCoachingOnDemand.comGoSmallBiz.com, and the soon-to-be-launched ExecTeam.com. 

When Harry's not analyzing small biz social media trends and writing killer blogs, he's watching zombie movies or losing his mind to house music.

Connect with Harry on LinkedIn, follow on Twitter, and circle up on Google +.

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Comments

bbmcKinney
Posted on September 2nd 2013 at 1:26PM


Engaging your customer should be your first priority on Facebook. People do not log in to be bombarded with a sales pitch; they log on to be social. So, be social with your customers and be prepared to give and get, and reap the benefits of a highly engaged online audience.

Harry Kierbow
Posted on September 3rd 2013 at 9:28PM

Sorry for the double comment- having some connectivity issues today. :)

Harry Kierbow
Posted on September 3rd 2013 at 7:04PM

Thanks for reading and commenting Babara!

I agree completely. We make sales on Facebook only after establishing a relationship with a fan and giving them a reason to like us.

Truthbetold
Posted on September 2nd 2013 at 8:08PM

To be perfectly frank, no. My business is not and will never be on Facebook. As revolutionary and popular as Facebook is, I find the drawbacks so unappealing and dangerous that it  isn't worth the potential upside.  Facebook is a purely SOCIAL network. Unless one's business is about such matters, there are a HUGE number of businesses that would be better served elsewhere.

By design, I have concentrated my efforts on businesses as clients in order to deal with people regarding their businesses and NOT the worst end of their personal lives as is too often displayed on Facebook. I would not advocate lying about who you are but the common sense of discretion regarding one's personal busines, albeit antiquated, is one I value and expect.  I may be burying my head in the sand but I have no intention of participating in the single greatest loss of propriety on the planet. 

Before everyone starts crying too loudly: If you are successful and happy on Facebook, I AM truly pleased for you.  In the end, Facebook has made me realize that there are many people I liked more, when I didn't know as much about them. Furthermore, the fact that SO many people don't know enough to be embarrassed or ashamed by what they post or include in their profiles is disturbing. I like my little bubble where people know how to be civil adults. 

Call me old fashioned, out of touch, even elitest. I promise you one thing though. I am not hipocritical. I HAVE my own serious flaws. My close family and friends are well aware of them. I do not deny or try to hide my humanity. I would not however, embarrass those that care about me, by broadcasting these things. I don't see myself ever needing bisiness attention bad enough to troll in the, "Tabloid Magazine of the Masses."

Harry Kierbow
Posted on September 3rd 2013 at 9:44PM

Hey Brooks,

Thanks for reading my post and taking the time to comment. I agree- you have to separate business and personal, especially on social networks. I post things on personal social networks I would never post on my business accounts. I'm right there with you when you say, "Facebook has made me realize that there are many people I liked more, when I didn't know as much about them." And, by the way, lol.

You've got to set up a business page and then post relevant, informative, entertaining (hopefully) content that will encourage people to like your page- steer clear of the personal stuff. Even if you don't make a ton of sales through this network, your business can still be very well served by keeping your brand in the minds of your fans and their friends if they share your content.

Thanks again for commenting!

HayleyCalhoon
Posted on September 4th 2013 at 3:15PM

I understand your sentiment, but Facebook is not an "optional" marketing platform for most businesses (especially B2C). It doesn't matter how you feel personally about social networks, although much of what your comment asserts is probably true. If having some kind of presence on social networks will extend the reach of your business (in most cases, it will) - then you must do it.

Truthbetold
Posted on September 2nd 2013 at 8:18PM

Barbara,

You hit the nail on the head! It is a SOCIAL network. I'll admit, I am not wild about the overtly and sometimes obscenly personal nature of Facebook. I actually have no professional profile on Facebook and no current professional profile on ANY social networking site. I do however, find Facebook to be a valuable source of information about the type of individuals I deal with.

j swinfen green
Posted on September 3rd 2013 at 10:03AM

I would start with "step 3 - Develop your goals" before doing anything else.

I do think you need to be careful as Facebook is likely to work in different ways for different types of brand. High emotion brands (fashion, travel, auto...) should find it relatively simple to provide engaging, brand-enhancing, content in this environment.

But other brands (e.g. utilities, financial services, B2B...) will need to take a hard look at why they want to invest in this space and may well decide they want to limit themselves to a presence that promotes the "human" side of their company as a pleasant place to work.

And all brands will need to take care not to intrude in this "social" space by pushing unwanted and irrelevant messages on people.

Harry Kierbow
Posted on September 3rd 2013 at 9:33PM

Hey Jeremy,

Thanks for the read. I agree that Facebook may not be the best place for all businesses, however, with such a large group of people using this network and so many who do use it reporting that it has a large impact on their buying decisions, I think it will make sense to at least have some type of presence there.

I think you're right, though, a B2C business will probably have much more success here.

Thanks for the comments!

Amy Birch
Posted on September 3rd 2013 at 3:03PM

Facebook isn't ideal for all companies - ours is a B2B and we struggle to engage 'likers' in the same way as we can on Twitter, Google + or Pinterest.

Their algorithm makes it hard for companies who do not have images for example, or a large following to make it onto the homepage.

I think the reasons behind having a Facebook profile will differ with every company.

Harry Kierbow
Posted on September 3rd 2013 at 9:36PM

Hey Amy,

Thanks for reading and commenting! I agree, not all businesses will find all of their success on Facebook, especially B2B companies. There are so many users on this network, though, I think a business needs to at least have a presence here, even if it is not the focus.

Thanks again!